Brewster Bestows Top Teaching Honors for 2022

Brewster Bestows Top Teaching Honors for 2022
Suzanne Morrissey

At the first All-School Meeting of the 2022-23 school year, Head of School Kristy Kerin announced the two faculty members who received the 2022 Arthur Morris Kenison Faculty Awards, Brewster Academy’s highest honor for its educators. Yu Lui is this year’s recipient of the Arthur Morris Kenison Faculty Award for Excellence in Teaching, and Cailey Mastrangelo is the recipient of the Arthur Morris Kenison Faculty Award for Career Growth.

The Arthur Morris Kenison Faculty Award for Career Growth: Cailey Mastrangelo
This award is given in recognition of the faculty member who, over the course of the past year, has demonstrated the most accelerated professional growth within the Brewster Academy program.

“In her three years at Brewster, it is amazing how much our Career Growth award recipient has contributed and accomplished,” Mrs. Kerin began when announcing the award. “Yes, it is true that she has grown professionally, but it is more true to say that she has helped Brewster grow. She embodies the principle that ‘Brewster will be better because of me and I will be better because of Brewster’.” 

Ms. Mastrangelo has immersed herself at Brewster and is constantly involved in academic, athletic, and community activities, helping students to first set and then reach challenging but attainable goals, all while providing her students unconditional positive regard and total support. She has worn many hats: Spanish teacher, ELL teacher, dance instructor, advisor, soccer coach, basketball coach, Cádiz chaperone, curriculum writer, strategy teams member, community life parent, and, as her team leader puts it, an “irreplaceable member of the freshman team.”

“That is a long list already, but it is a list that is sure to lengthen,” Mrs. Kerin noted. “With Cailey’s independent mindset, she is eager to be on the cutting edge of teaching, coaching, and advising so that her students can have even better learning and living experiences. With her interdependent approach to improving herself and her community, she is more than willing to collaborate to evolve curriculum, refine teaching practices, and contribute positively and productively to every team on which she serves.”

Fully immersed in Brewster and ready to continue to make Brewster a better school and community, Ms. Mastrangelo has impressed with how involved she has become in such a short time. “It really reflects her incredible dedication to her students and to her chosen profession,” Mrs. Kerin noted. 

“I am feeling quite overwhelmed and extremely grateful to have been recognized!” Ms. Mastrangelo said. “I adore my Brewster community and appreciate the hard work all of my colleagues do to encourage, support, and inspire me each and every day. I am honored to have received the award, but truly could not do all that we do here at Brewster without each other.”

Ms. Mastrangelo says she now considers herself a “Lifer,” because she is starting her fourth year at Brewster.  “It's a very special feeling and realization being in my ‘senior’ year—getting to see this year’s seniors, who were freshman my first year, and the tremendous growth they’ve had. I am excited for many things, but especially to see what great ways this senior class will lead their school.”

The Arthur Morris Kenison Faculty Award for Excellence in Teaching: Yu Lui
The Excellence in Teaching award is given in recognition of demonstrated excellence in teaching practices and overall contributions within the Brewster Academy program. 

Mr. Lui, the 2022 recipient, has “served Brewster for more than two decades with consummate professionalism and care for his students, while also creating wonderful ways to have healthy fun for the whole community,” began Mrs. Kerin as she presented this year’s honor. 

From his first days on campus in 2000, Mr. Lui has taught in two disciplines, an incredible feat that demonstrates not only his depth of knowledge in two fields but also his strong sense of academic best practices. In 2003, he received the Career Growth award, and since then, he has taken on more and more responsibility. In 2018, he was appointed the Mathematics Department Chair, and ever since then he has been leading the department to add new courses, improve evening tutoring options, and revise the curriculum to make it more engaging, interesting, and memorable. “It seems like every summer, he has arranged for his department to attend incredible professional development programs and then to bring what they have learned back to our Brewster classrooms, helping to continue to transform not only how we teach, but also how we learn,” Mrs. Kerin said.

Fortunately, while doing all of this work, Mr. Lui has been able to maintain his care for all and his sense of humor. Throughout his tenure, he has served as an dependable dorm parent, a gregarious game show host, and a maestro of movies. “He holds a Master’s Degree in the Marvel cinematic universe, and a Doctorate in Spider-man,” Mrs. Kerin joked. “We probably all know Spider-Man’s uncle’s line that ‘with great power comes great responsibility.’ We could also say that those who take on great responsibility create a great community. It’s their super power, and we are grateful it is a super power that Mr. Lui possesses!”

“I feel extremely honored to be the award recipient,” Mr. Lui said. “It came to me as a complete surprise—obviously the good kind of surprise. I feel like I have won the Mega Millions jackpot! It is one of those feelings that you wish you could bottle up.”

He also recognized that he is in great company. Recent Excellence in Teaching award honorees include Physics and Astronomy teacher Emily James, Team Leader Alicia Wingard, IS teacher Lauren Hunter, and Team Leader Janis Cornwell. “It is a great distinction to be put in the same league as the esteemed colleagues who have received the honor before me,” Mr. Lui said. 

“Yu has long gone above and beyond for students, finding fun ways to engage them in learning and in helping to bring joy and fun to the community,” Mrs. Kerin noted after the presentation. 

Brewster’s Career Growth and Excellence in Teaching awards are named for the late Arthur M. Kenison, Ph.D, who served devotedly on Brewster's Board of Trustees from 1979 to 1999 as the chair of the board finance committee. The Kenison family has strong and lasting ties to Brewster: Arthur’s grandfather, also Arthur, was Brewster Class of 1899. His uncles, Frank ’25 and Arthur ’30, were also Board members, and his father Samuel was Class of 1927. Brewster’s library is dedicated to the Kenison Family legacy and the Kenison House dorm is named after Arthur ’30 and his wife Doris. It is an appropriate honor to name two of Brewster’s most prestigious awards after a man who devoted himself to ensuring a sound foundation for the school his family loved so dearly. 

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