2010: Lisa Baldwin and Samuel Prouty

Lisa Baldwin, a chemistry teacher at Monument Mountain Regional High School, and Samuel Prouty, an English teacher and dormitory head at The Hotchkiss School in Lakeville, Conn., were awarded the second annual James C. Kapteyn Prize.

“We were thrilled to choose these two extraordinary recipients,” says Kirsten Kapteyn, widow of James Kapteyn, chair of the selection committee and the Associate Director of Admission at The Bement School in Deerfield. “Both Sam and Lisa exemplify the spirit of the
Kapteyn Prize and honor Jamie’s memory by
impacting the lives of their students far beyond their formal teaching duties.”

Lisa Baldwin has been a teacher at Monument Mountain Regional High School for 20 years. She is an educational leader with a passion for connecting with, engaging, and encouraging young people to challenge themselves in all areas of their lives. She teaches chemistry to grades 9 through 12, supervises the science department and has also been a faculty advisor to student organizations such as the Student Senate, Community Council, Recycling Team, school newspaper and science competitions.  Lisa is an active member of numerous committees and boards, and coordinates several extracurricular events and activities for her students each year.

“I drive to work each day and feel happy, excited, and very lucky to have a job that brings so much to my life,” said Lisa. “The intensity of each day exhausts me and exhilarates me in seeming equilibrium. Many of my greatest moments of wonder, joy and fulfillment have resulted from the relationships I have built with students and colleagues.  I want to use the award money to organize a student-based project whose focus will be to somehow capture and convey the rewarding power of excellent teaching. The goal of this project would be to inspire young people to consider making education their profession of choice.”

Samuel Prouty began his teaching career in 1999 when he worked in college admissions and counseling offices.  He started teaching English in 2005 at The Hotchkiss School, and he began coaching squash, softball, golf and debate teams. Samuel is also a boys’ dorm head, a member of the Student-Faculty Council and Discipline Committee, and in 2008-2009 was chosen to co-lead the Hotchkiss Antarctica expedition, which brought 85 students and 15 faculty members to Patagonia and Antarctica.

“Teaching allows me to touch lives while never ceasing to explore all that is interesting about the world around me,” said Samuel.  “I have a love of travel and literature that captures the spirit of adventure, which I try to pass along to my students, so I intend to use some of the prize to fund a trip— perhaps to the national parks of the west or to Alaska.  Ideally, I will be able to explore both new places and new place-based literature and will return with new ideas for fresh course material,”

The 2010 James C. Kapteyn prizes were awarded in a ceremony at the Berkshire Botanical Gardens.