Students cheered when they learned that Michael Kassatly, who joined the mathematics department at Milton in 2006, is the ninth holder of the George C. Lee Family Teaching Chair. Head of School Rick Hardy announced the award. “The chair supports excellence in teaching and helps new faculty find a sense of belonging at the School,” Mr. Hardy said. “Finding [their] way, getting to know one another as well as their colleagues who have been here, and figuring out how Milton works, is easier to do with some leadership and some financial support.” The family of George C. Lee ’17, realizing the importance of retaining extraordinary teachers, “invested in this vital part of Milton’s future,” Mr. Hardy said, “those new faculty members who bring their life experiences, their energy, and their creativity to complement the talents of our veteran faculty.”
“Michael Kassatly has been a vital part of the community since he arrived on campus,” Mr. Hardy said. “Whether he is in the classroom or the Skills Center, he listens carefully to what is being said and responds with probing questions that get at the heart of mathematics and spur his students and colleagues to make fresh connections. He also coaches the boys’ JV tennis team, bringing energy and his gentle sense of humor to the court, and, as many of you can attest, he is a talented and versatile musician. Whatever he is helping his students grapple with linear algebra or demonstrating a drop volley on the tennis court or singing at the Beatnik Café – his enthusiasm is infectious and genuine. Michael earned his bachelor’s degree in math at Cornell, a master’s degree at the University of New Hampshire and a second at UCLA.”
“I’m very honored by the appointment,” said Michael Kassatly. “I have been blown away by the enthusiasm and encouragement I have received from students and colleagues regarding this opportunity to serve the school in a new capacity. I hope that I can help promote and expand our already strong community ties.”
One person is named to the Lee chair each year, and holds the position for two years. Therefore, Michael will join the eighth Lee chair holder, Will Crissman, in planning professional development and social activities for faculty new to Milton. Past chair holders have included Terri HerrNeckar, Matt Bingham, Diane Gilbert-Diamond, Heather Sugrue, Peter Kahn, Kelly Marshall, Steve Feldman and Will Crissman.