When Lucinda Lee Katz announced last fall that she was retiring after nearly 50 years as an educator and 14 years as our Head of School, the MCDS community set about finding a way to honor and celebrate her extraordinary vision and leadership. Lucinda’s one request was that we keep the celebrations simple, inclusive and, most importantly for her, limited to the last months of the school year so as not to distract from the teaching and learning happening in the classrooms.
In typical MCDS fashion, there were a few surprises for Lucinda scattered throughout the year! Like the all-school photo where MCDS students, faculty and staff formed her initials, LLK, on the Upper Field (we made sure Lucinda was occupied by an “important meeting” to keep the picture a surprise!); a song dedicated to her by students during their Grandparents and Special Friends Day performance; hundreds of handwritten notes of appreciation presented in an engraved wooden keepsake box; and a top-secret community art project to create a tile mosaic mural in Lucinda’s honor.
A celebration on June 3 brought to campus parents, students, alums, faculty and staff who were part of the MCDS community during Lucinda’s 14-year tenure. The event featured live music, student performances, remarks from former MCDS Board Chairs and lots of hugs and well-wishes for Lucinda! A final surprise was revealed when it was announced that the Learning Resource Center would be renamed the Lucinda Lee Katz Learning Resource Center.
In her farewell message to the MCDS community just before Step-Up Day, Lucinda wrote:
“After nearly half a century as an educator, I like to think that I've left the world a better place for children. My philosophy has always been to remember that a civilization flourishes when people plant trees under whose shade they will never sit.”
Thank you, Lucinda! The many “trees” you planted during your tenure will inspire, nurture, and challenge generations of MCDS students and teachers.