This spring, CA bid farewell to departing faculty and staff, including these two dedicated longtime teachers, who will leave legacies of living and learning.
Visual Arts Department
For 35 years, if you entered CA’s photography studio, you may have found Cynthia Katz standing on the old wooden table discussing vantage points, drinking tea with her students, or encouraging them to show her something new about a familiar location. She has spent countless hours with her students, reviewing their contact sheets, assessing their visual investigation, and celebrating their remarkable individual growth. “That back-and-forth collaboration is the best part of teaching,” she says.
Katz came to Concord Academy after earning her MFA in photography at Bennington College. In addition to giving students extensive foundational experience in the darkroom, she expanded CA’s program to incorporate digital color photography. Her teaching has focused on visual literacy; bringing diverse perspectives into the classroom; introducing students to historical processes such as cyanotypes, which she continues to use in her own work; and collaborative evaluation and discussion. “For me, teaching photography is about getting kids to explore their world—to discover the extraordinary in the ordinary and learn what makes pictures strong,” she says. “And to do it in an environment that’s supportive, and with high standards.”
Katz not only taught impeccable precision and focus in making photos but also cultivated intellectual thinkers and storytellers. In February 2020, she drew upon her countless connections and creative partnerships to collect and curate the CA alumnae/i art show “Origin Stories,” a collection of her former students’ works, then and now. It showcased Katz’s unwavering support and devotion to teaching and learning over the decades, and reminded us how to find awe and inspiration in creativity in all phases of life.
Melody (Ko) Komyerov ’89, P’25
Lee Fearnside ’92
Zandy Mangold ’92
Patricia Kim ’98
Laura Lively ’02
Monica Kim ’12
Udochi Onuegbu ’22
Cynthia Katz with Photography 3 students in spring 2022.
Cynthia Katz with Melody (Ko) Komyerov ’89, P’25 and Zandy Mangold ’92 at CA after the “Origin Stories“ alumnae/i photography exhibition in 2019.
Performing Arts Department
Linda Hossfeld began giving voice lessons at Concord Academy when she was 25. For 47 years, she has walked from her home in town to teach between 10 and 20 CA students each year. “It’s lovely to teach teenagers,” Hossfeld says. “They look at the world in a different way. I’ve learned so much from them about who they need to be and how they need to express themselves. And they’ve introduced me to all kinds of music.”
A classically trained musician from a musical family, Hossfeld loves songs that teach about love in all its forms. She appreciates that CA has provided an environment for students of all backgrounds and identities to be who they are and explore who they might want to become.
“Teaching in a place that encourages that sort of questioning really changed me,” Hossfeld says. “One of the hardest things I’m giving up is learning from my students.”
“Linda is a passionate, adaptive, and dedicated teacher who cares deeply about her students,” says Michael Bennett, head of the Performing Arts Department and choral director. “She’s also always talking about pedagogy and the latest breakthrough discovery she has had.”
Over the years, having extensively studied Estill Voice Training and the Feldenkrais Method, Hossfeld has come to root her teaching in body awareness. “I realized I wanted to teach my students not to apply techniques to themselves but to experience what feels right and free,” she says. Instead of offering corrective instruction, she invites students to be in their bodies.
“Linda taught me to properly use my body as a vessel for my voice,” says one of Hossfeld’s students for the past four years, Eli Morton ’22. “Her holistic approach has helped me become not only a much better singer, but also more aware as an artist.” Morton is also grateful for Hossfeld’s compassion. “Singing can be an incredibly vulnerable art, and it can be hard to create an environment where it’s comfortable to mess up,” Morton says, “but Linda has made that space effortlessly.”