Honoring Educators – Hobart and William Smith Colleges \
The HWS Update

Honoring Educators

As hundreds of HWS seniors packed, partied and planned for life after college, they took a moment to honor two educators who shaped the early education and lives of their classmates. High School English teacher Martin Duffy and High School Principal Brian Cashman were presented Touching the Future Awards by Hobart and William Smith Colleges as part of the Colleges’ Commencement Exercises on Sunday. The awards celebrate and honor the many early childhood educators and those in elementary, middle and high schools who have led HWS students through their many years of instruction. Awardees are recognized for their dedication, leadership and ability to mentor and inspire students, changing their lives for the better. Duffy, an English teacher from San Carlos School in Bogota, Columbia, was nominated by Hobart senior and international student Felipe Estefan, who wrote that Duffy taught him some of life’s most important lessons. “Martin has not only touched my future, but helped me envision a future that goes beyond anything I could’ve ever dreamed. He inspired within me the confidence to believe in myself and fight for my goals, and he taught me the value of devoting my life to others.” Cashman, a principal from Susquehannock High School in Glen Rock, Pa., was nominated by William Smith senior and Student Trustee Emily Earll, who remembers being impressed with the administrator the moment she met him. “My respect for him has continued to increase over the years. Of course, during your high school days, thinking highly of your principal is not the ‘cool’ thing to do, but somehow, no matter what he did, I always did (and still do) think of him as ‘cool.'” In 2004, the Colleges’ Board of Trustees established the Touching the Future Awards, in part to memorialize Christa McAuliffe, the first teacher selected to participate in the space shuttle program. McAuliffe died in the explosion of Challenger in January 1986. She expressed the sentiments of many teachers when she said, “I touch the future, I teach.”