Residential Life is an enormous and vital aspect of student success and, frankly, happiness at a boarding school. Providing a safe, comfortable, and fun home away from home is work that falls to the members of Brewster’s Residential Life Team, led by Assistant Dean of Students and Director of Residential Life Rob O’Blenis.
Recently, Mr. O’Blenis announced the 2023 recipients the Residential Growth Award and the Excellence in Residential Life Award. These honors recognize the dedication and excellence of Brewster’s Community Life Parents (CLPs), who live in the school’s 17 dorms with students and are on call for every need, concern, and emergency—along with all the laughter and joy of living in community! But first, he reminded the assembly that in 2021 and 2022, both Res Life awards were given to the entire group of CLPs for their outstanding work in response to COVID. “Their dedication and care for the students both on and off campus during that time deserve recognition in reflection,” he said. “So, please join me in a round of applause for all of your CLPs who helped us through an extremely difficult time in our school’s history.”
Then it was on to the 2023 awards. Beth Roun (pictured left), the CLP for Sargent 2, received the Residential Growth Award, given in recognition of the CLP who has demonstrated the most accelerated professional growth within the Brewster Academy residential program. “Beth is a hard-working individual who you see everywhere here at Brewster,” Mr. O’Blenis said. “In one day she will attend a team meeting in support of students, check in with adults to make sure everything is going well in the dorms, and then head to the training room to make sure that our student-athletes are ready for practices and games.” He added that Ms. Roun joins a select group of previous winners that includes Head Athletic Trainer Kirsty Ridings and Arts faculty member Alicia Childers. “Most recently her hard work has resulted in her appointment as our new Residential Life Leader working alongside me to bolster and improve our already strong residential program,” he said, adding “Please join me in congratulating the 2023 recipient of the Residential Growth Award, Beth Roun!”
The second award of the morning was the Excellence in Residential Life Award, given annually in recognition of demonstrated excellence in community life and overall contributions within the Brewster Academy residential program. The 2023 honoree was Barb Thomas, CLP for Kenison. She joins previous deserving award recipients Lauren Hunter, Maria Found, Susan Crowley, and Yu Lui. “Barb has been here for longer than I have and as you may know, that is a small list,” Mr. O’Blenis said with a grin. “She is the person Brewster can look to anytime to fulfill a role and know that it will be done exceptionally well. From teacher, coach, Team Leader, and CLP, Barb is one of the most flexible and dedicated individuals I have ever had the pleasure of working with.” Ms. Thomas ably handled the changes to her dorm stemming from COVID-related upheavals, meeting the needs of the school with the same dedication that she does in all matters. “It is for these reasons and many more that we congratulate the 2023 recipient of the Excellence in Residential Life Award, Barb Thomas,” Mr. O’Blenis concluded.
To learn more about Brewster’s Residential Life experience, and even enjoy a 360° tour of Toad Hall, visit brewsteracademy.org/student-life/residential-life.