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2020 Excellence in Teaching Award
Congratulations to eighth grade language arts teacher and Director of High School Placement Mr. Andy Willits, who was named the September 2020 recipient of the Excellence in Teaching Award. Our school is filled with exemplary educators and each year seeks nominations from parents, faculty members and alumni for this prestigious award.
“Andy Willits demonstrates excellence every single day,” said Head of School Judith Foley Arnstein. “He is a dedicated practitioner in the classroom while maintaining both high standards and a deep sense of empathy for students and parents. Mr. Willits understands that the academic success of a student is just one part of a student’s profile and that character, curiosity and citizenship are all critical attributes of a well-rounded individual. He embodies our mission of respect, responsibility, integrity and scholarship in all that he does.”
Andy Willits was recognized by many for his facilitation of the high school placement process and the care that he takes in successfully guiding both parents and students through that challenging process. In the words of an alum, “His work on behalf of his students is unmatched.”
“Mr. Willits is not only one of the greatest teachers I have ever had, but he is also the most caring. I have never seen a teacher care so much about the well-being of his or her students and go out of his way to check in with students on a regular basis. He makes his subject matter come to life in a way that few teachers are able to. I vividly remember Mr. Willits’ class many years later, but more than anything else, what sticks out to me about him is that every time he has seen me since I have graduated, he smiles and asks me how I am with the same care and compassion that he had when I was a student.” ~ a former student
“Mr. Willits’ dedication to learning and positive approach are invaluable. His curricular choices are terrific and of the caliber that we’ve come to expect for CDS. His enthusiasm, dedication to learning and positive approach are invaluable.” ~ a parent
“As an educator, I am struck by the brilliance of the language arts curriculum that Andy Willits has laid out. His planning has broadened the horizons of our students to a larger world and educated them on contexts outside of our own CDS experience. As a colleague, I am always impressed by his true passion for his subject.” ~ a colleague
The Excellence in Teaching Fund was established in 2016 by a Charleston Day school alumni family who wanted to recognize and show appreciation for faculty members. Last year’s recipient was French teacher Madame Brigitte Morin.