During Commencement 2013 ceremonies, Hobart and William Smith Colleges honored two special educators for the role they played in the lives of a Hobart and a William Smith student who graduated on Sunday, May 19. William Smith senior Krissy B. Stoner honored Southside High School Retired Spanish Teacher Susan Tryon Rogers P’05 with the Touching the Future Award, and Hobart senior Raphael Durand recognized Raymond Long, his adviser and mathematics teacher at The Governor’s Academy.
The award is given during Commencement each year as the Colleges celebrate the faculty at Hobart and William Smith Colleges who have touched the future of HWS graduates by their interactions these past four years. The Touching the Future Award celebrates and honors the many early childhood educators – those with whom HWS students interacted in elementary, middle and high school — who have led graduates to Hobart and William Smith and to crossing the stage for Commencement.
To recognize the educator who had the most significant impact on touching the future of a William Smith student, Stoner nominated Tryon Rogers for the award, crediting her with helping her realize her potential, aiding her in finding funding to study abroad, and writing a letter of recommendation for admission to William Smith.
Stoner graduated with a double major in ancient Greek and international relations. She was recently named the recipient of the Stephanie J. Volan ’91 Memorial Award; she has also been honored with the William Smith Prize in Classics and was named to the dean’s list. She was inducted into Eta Sigma Phi, the Classics Honor Society.
A resident assistant for the past three years, Stoner was an active member of the Christian Fellowship and Campus Peer Ministry at HWS, helped run Pasta night with Chaplain Lesley Adams. She attended of The March: Bearing Witness to Hope, Holocaust remembrance trip in the summer of 2010, and organized the 2013 Reading of the Names on campus in honor of those killed in the Holocaust. She studied abroad in Brussels, Belgium, and interned for Women at Risk, International, an anti-trafficking Christian organization located in Grand Rapids, Mich.
“I loved her class because every time I walked into the room I felt respected, loved and important. Through her class I learned of a world outside of my own as I tasted food from Spain, heard her stories and saw pictures of foreign lands and obscure art,” Stoner said.
Tryon Rogers served Southside High School, in Elmira, N.Y., for more than 30 years before her retirement in 2011, teaching English and Spanish throughout her career. At Southside, she served on a number of committees, including for the National Honor Society, and regularly took students abroad to England, France and Spain.
A recipient of a National Institute of the Humanities fellowship to Madrid, she was one of 14 educators from the United States to study for two summers at the University of Cádiz, Spain. Tryon Rogers has on three occasions participated in workshops in Havana, Cuba, hosted by the Institute of Philosophy, and offered through the Center for Global Justice. She earned her bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Elmira College and studied in Mexico in her junior year.
Durand, from Menlo Park, Calif., majored in international relations and economics. He was a Druid, and an Orange Key and Chimera Honor Society member. He was also involved with the HWS Leads Certificate program, played soccer and club hockey, served as an Orientation Leader for the Classes of 2014 and 2015, and was a Rape Prevention and Masculinities Facilitator. He nominated Long because he has been and continues to serve as a role model.
“Raised by my more than gifted and loving single mother, Ray Long became a father figure to me. … His teaching excellence and extra help allowed me to move into honors class for geometry,” Durand said. “Gradually, I progressed through Governor’s Academy, taking on leadership roles, running fund raisers, making varsity teams and excelling in the classroom. Much of this success stemmed from his continued support.”
Durand was named a 2012 Newman Civic Fellow last spring and travelled to Macau, New York and Hong Kong, while conducting market research for DFS and Coach as a recipient of the 2012 Charles H. Salisbury Summer International Internship stipend.
Long is associate director of admission at Governor’s Academy in Newbury, Mass., his alma mater. He began his career at Governor’s Academy as a math teacher and has served as a faculty adviser for the Gay Straight Alliance on campus. He is currently the head of a sophomore – senior dorm of 35 boys, and an assistant coach for varsity football, varsity girls’ basketball, and varsity outdoor track and field. In 2009, he attended Columbia Teacher’s College’s Klingenstein Summer Institute for Early Career Teachers. In the summer of 2012, he participated in Diversity Directions’ Independent School Diversity Seminar, which looks to address issues of diversity within independent schools.
He earned his B.A. in chemistry with a minor in studio art from Dartmouth College. While a student, he was a member of the Inroads organization and the track team. Prior to joining Governor’s Academy, he worked for Accenture as a consultant in the financial services field.
The Touching the Future Award was established by the Hobart and William Smith Colleges Board of Trustees in 2004. It derives its name from the famous words of Christa McAuliffe, the first teacher selected to participate in the space shuttle program who died in the explosion of Challenger. McAuliffe expressed the sentiments of many teachers when she said, “I touch the future, I teach.”