The Summit Country Day School has announced its highest honor for teaching excellence was awarded to sixth grade language arts teacher, Brendan McEachern. The Schilderink Faculty Chair for Distinguished Teaching is given annually to the educator who represents the high ideals of The Summit, inspiring student growth, learning and achievement.
In giving the award at a recent ceremony, Rich Wilson, head of school, said, “Being a great teacher goes way beyond skills and content. Our honoree this year has not only mastered the complexity but then goes beyond what I would normally expect of a teacher.”
Throughout his seven years at The Summit, McEachern has dedicated himself to activities that promote literacy and writing. He created a student magazine, WordWorks, and advises the school’s Power of the Pen team; two of his middle school students competed in the state competition in 2022. He is also a published author of young adult books and teaches summer camps on his hobbies, comic books and movie making.
“Brendan has such an eclectic catalog of information stored in his head, it allows him to connect on a deeper level with every student,” says colleague Michael DiPaola, science and physical education teacher. “His passion for movies, comic books, superheroes and Star Wars makes him the teacher who connects with his students in a way they aren’t used to. At the same time, he has high expectations of his students, and he does not let them ‘mail it in’ when he knows the level at which they are capable.”
Prior to becoming a teacher 15 years ago, McEachern worked in Los Angeles in the entertainment industry. Inspired by his experiences volunteering in the Big Brother program, he made a career change to teaching.