Ms. Vic & Mr. Perry: Have a Seat!

Joy Sawyer Mulligan
For esteemed faculty members Derick S. Perry CdeP 1983 and Gallia K. Vickery, the invitation to “pull up a chair” took on new meaning when Head of School Michael Mulligan used the phrase in June at the All-School Banquet.
For esteemed faculty members Derick S. Perry CdeP 1983 and Gallia K. Vickery, the invitation to “pull up a chair” took on new meaning when Head of School Michael Mulligan used the phrase in June at the All-School Banquet.

Trust us: These chairs aren’t made for even momentary R & R. Rather, such honors are ways for schools to applaud and reward distinguished teaching by faculty who are inspirational to those in their classrooms—by virtue of their passion for learning, classroom expertise, and abiding concern for their students' growth.

What’s to recognize in these two? More than this box can possibly hold, but here’s a start:

Gallia, just named to The Sidney W. Treat Great Teaching Chair (last held by the recently retired Phyllis Johnston), arrived at Thacher from a nine-year stint at Purnell School (NJ) in 1991, initially as a one-year sabbatical replacement in the Mathematics Department. Three full academic cycles later, having more than merely “filled in” for two other colleagues on sabbatical, Gallia (a Princeton grad) was hired permanently—and thank goodness, for by then she had more than earned her stripes, as a vibrant classroom teacher and as an exceptionally talented dance instructor whose original choreography has, one season after another, dazzled and delighted—and, we might add, won prizes far beyond Thacher when she’s taken her Dance Ensemble on the road. In the awarding of the Chair, Michael Mulligan affirmed this part of who Gallia is and what she brings to us: “You produce one piece after another that is original, interesting, charming, uplifting, and creative. You seem always to find dance compositions extraordinarily well-suited for the talents of your dancers and we, as an audience, are enthralled.”

With her husband Bill, Assistant in Technology, Gallia has raised two daughters (Melissa CdeP 2003 and Sasha) on the campus. She is presently chairing the Mathematics Department.

A member of Thacher’s English Department since 1995, Derick is the first faculty member to be honored with The Bonnie Moon Robinson Faculty Chair—particularly apt, since he was Bonnie’s student when he attended Thacher in the early 1980s, before going east to Dartmouth College. What Assistant Head of School Peter Robinson called Derick’s “strong sense of authenticity and sincerity” combine powerfully with preparation, astuteness both within the pages of literature, as well as sports huddle and dormitory (he coaches basketball and track, and heads up Lower School), and staunch loyalty to this alma mater. These qualities and an abiding sense of humor draw to him students eager to learn.

Derick is presently working on master’s degree program at Columbia’s Teachers’ College. He and his wife, Molly Twichell Perry CdeP 1985—Spanish teacher and Dean of Faculty—are parents to daughters Jordan and Evan.






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