TA News

TA Celebrates Mr. Mellinger & Mr. Chapin with Employee of the Year Award

Thetford Academy honored two retiring faculty with the Peters Family Employee of the Year Award in June. Greg Mellinger and Ray Chapin are co-awardees of the 2020 Peters Family Employee of the Year Award. Both long-serving faculty members at Thetford Academy, Mr. Mellinger and Mr. Chapin are well-known and beloved among TA students and alumni for their engaging and skillful approach as teachers.

The annual award gives special recognition to an employee who demonstrates dedication to Thetford Academy and who goes beyond the call of duty to nurture, support, and inspire students. This award, now in its 20th year, was initiated by long-time TA educator and administrator Ted Peters upon his retirement in 2002 in honor of his parents, who also worked at the Academy for many years.

Ray Chapin first joined the TA faculty as a student teacher in 2000. After a few years teaching at Rivendell, where he made his mark initiating new English courses like Science Fiction and Shakespeare into the curriculum and launching student clubs for drama and a student newspaper, he returned to Thetford Academy as an English and Drama teacher.

For 20 years, Ray Chapin has engaged and inspired students in the classroom and on the stage, and the TA drama program shone under his leadership. In a video tribute celebrating his retirement, students shared the impact that his teaching had on their lives. From Haley Grigel, Class of 2013: “Ray, thank you for your work creating a culture of respect and excellence in the drama program and at TA as a whole. A production with you always felt like a collaboration. You treat young people as peers, and helped me build confidence as I was growing up.” Thetford Academy is proud to honor Ray for his commitment to students; he will be missed and his legacy long remembered.

Greg Mellinger joined the Thetford Academy community in 2009 after 23 years of award-winning teaching in the Upper Valley and Connecticut. A multi-talented musician and educator who played with Frankie Valli, the Shirells, and the Boston Big Band, among others, Greg brought an innovative approach to music education to TA. He astounded concert audiences with musical arrangements that showcased the best work of every student–no matter what their experience level was or how many students played the same instrument. His student ensembles built skill and confidence through performance and improvisation through their accompaniment at assemblies and events.

Always ready with a listening ear, a kind word, and a helping hand, Greg Mellinger emodied TA’s mission to find the unique worth in every student, to nurture their strengths, and to challenge them to fulfill their potential. Thetford Academy wishes him all the best in his much-deserved retirement.

Congratulations, Ray Chapin and Greg Mellinger, Peters Family Employees of the Year for 2020!




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