April 1 Deadline for Kapteyn Prize
March 4, 2010
GREAT BARRINGTON, MA—Berkshire Taconic Community Foundation announced today that April first is the deadline for the James C. Kapteyn Endowment Fund. The fund gives an annual prize of $10,000 to a secondary school educator who exemplifies excellence in “whole child teaching,” serving in multiple capacities within a school community.
The term “whole child teaching” refers to educational environments in which classroom teachers also serve as, for example, coaches, advisors, dorm parents, tutors and administrators, including people who work with students in the visual and performing arts and other special study programs. These dedicated teachers mentor students simultaneously in several different contexts, curricular and extracurricular, thus forming deep bonds that enhance their ability to guide the students whose lives they touch.
The Kapteyn Prize will be awarded to an educator who has made a career commitment of at least seven years to teaching in secondary schools and whose excellence in and passion for teaching and learning inspire his or her students to excel. Prize winners will be individuals of exemplary character, integrity and honor who lead by example and impart to their students a lifelong love of learning and dedication to personal growth.
Eligible applicants are teachers in public or private schools in Berkshire County and Franklin County, MA; Northwest Litchfield County, CT, and Columbia and Northeast Dutchess Counties, NY. Applications are available online or by calling 413.528.8039 and must be delivered to the foundation by 5pm on April 1st.
The fund was established in 2009 in honor of James C. Kapteyn who dedicated his life as a secondary school teacher to embodying the idea that, in the words of William Butler Yeats: "Education is not the filling of a pail but the lighting of a fire.” Kapteyn passed away on January 16, 2007 at age 45 while playing indoor soccer with friends and colleagues from Deerfield Academy, his alma mater, where for seven years he taught English, served as the sophomore class dean, coached girls varsity soccer and boys varsity lacrosse, and lived in a boys’ dormitory with his family.
Deron Bayer, of Housatonic Valley Regional High School, was the winner of the 2009 inaugural prize. Bayer is a history teacher, theatre director and head football coach at Housatonic Valley Regional High School in Falls Village, CT. “The honor of being a recipient of the Kapteyn Prize has helped me to become more reflective about my teaching so that I might continue to be worthy of bearing such a distinction. I am proud that our school, where so many of my colleagues made it possible for me to win the award by their example, will forever be linked with such a person as James Kapteyn,” said Bayer.
Berkshire Taconic Community Foundation builds stronger communities and improves the quality of life for all residents of Berkshire County, MA; Columbia County and northeast Dutchess County, NY; and northwest Litchfield County, CT. Thanks to its generous donors, in 2009 Berkshire Taconic distributed nearly $7 million in scholarships and grants for programs in the arts and education, health and human services, and environmental protection. Berkshire Taconic is a 501 (c)(3) charitable organization.