The Joan Shaw Herman Award for Distinguished Service

Award recipients have exemplified the qualities of generosity and selflessness and the capacity to labor untiringly on behalf of others. These outstanding community members have shared with us their own visions of a better world. They challenge us to challenge ourselves.

We are excited to announce that Chris Rosenberg ’86 will receive the 2023 Joan Shaw Herman Award for Distinguished Service. The Joan Shaw Herman Award is presented annually to a Concord Academy alum whose life exemplifies a fundamental orientation our school cultivates: service to others. Since it was established in 1976, CA’s only award has offered our community opportunities to affirm the value of working toward a better world and draw inspiration from individuals who are making a difference.

Chris’s career as a teacher and principal has been shaped by his belief in the power of education and his drive to support social justice. Following his graduation from CA, he attended the University of Chicago, where he majored in history, with a focus on African American history. After college, he moved to New York City and taught history at JFK High School in the Bronx. Chris also worked as a teacher recruiter for Teach for America before moving to California to teach grades 5 through 8 in Oakland and San Francisco. Over 16 years, he served as the principal at several San Francisco public schools, focusing on supporting traditionally underserved students seeking pathways to academic success. Chris has helped transform the lives of many, many students. Recently he and his family returned to the Boston area to reconnect with family.

Many thanks to the 2023 Joan Shaw Herman Award Selection Committee:

Katharine Rea Schmitt ’62, Chair
Stuart Warner ’77
Alexis Goltra ’87
Elizabeth Green ’91
Shreya Patel ’21

Isabella Ginsburg ’23
Lynn Lewis ’24
Irene Jiang ’24
João Martins ’23
Aina Tasso ’23
Chiara Wanandi ’24

The Joan Shaw Herman Award

The Joan Shaw Herman Award for Distinguished Service is the only award given in the Concord Academy community. It was established in 1976 in honor of Joan Shaw Herman ’46, who was paralyzed from the neck down after contracting polio the summer after her graduation. Although she was confined to an iron lung for much of the remainder of her life, she worked constantly for the improvement of the lives of disabled persons. Herman’s devotion to others exemplifies a common value instilled in the CA experience—a lifelong commitment to service. 

Each year, the Concord Academy Alumnae/i Association presents the Joan Shaw Herman Award to a member of the CA community who has demonstrated dedication to service in either a professional or volunteer capacity. Nominees may be of any age and may be recognized posthumously. While Concord Academy is fortunate to be supported by many wonderful volunteers, this award is not for service to Concord Academy but to the world at large. Learn more about Herman and the award.

Nominations

We invite you to nominate peers to be future Joan Shaw Herman Award recipients. Your nominations are both inspiring and humbling. It is a testament to the values of the CA community that we choose to give our only award in recognition of service. We look forward to hearing the stories of and tributes to your extraordinary classmates. Thank you in advance for your thoughtful submission.

About Herman’s “Christmastide” Painting

Christmastide

“Christmastide” was painted by Joan Shaw Herman ’46 and copied from a color photo taken by Elizabeth Wheeler. It was painted with a brush held in her teeth and was begun March 1959 and finished October 1960.

Past Award Recipients

Our impressive field of past honorees have made their mark through work in medicine, the arts, social justice, environmentalism, education, science, and more.

2022
Adnan Zubcevic ’75

2021
Leslie Davidson ’66
Ingrid Walker-Descartes ’91

2020
Anne Pfitzer ’85

2019
Kate Morse Erwin ’69

2018
Catherine Saalfield Gund ’83

2017
Lyn Burr Brignoli ’62

2016
Sandra Willett Jackson ’61

2015
Sharmin Eshraghi Bock ’80

2014
Robin Alden ’69

2013
Tom Lincoln ’78

2012
Ellen Smith Harde ’62
Jennifer Moulton ’67 (posthumously)

2011
Nancy Jaicks Alexander ’51

2010
Paul Santomenna ’85

2009
Nancy Read Coville ’49

2008
Anne Gaud Tinker ’63

2007
Katharine Muller Bullit ’42
Phyllis Rothschild Farley ’42

2006
Victoria Post Ranney ’56

2005
Nellie Davidson ’55 & Anne Wilson ’75

2003
Angela Middleton Wilkins ’48

2002
Jody Heymann ’77

2001
Corrine Benson Johnson ’46

2000
Deborah Ham ’55

1999
Lisa Halaby ’69 (HM Queen Noor)

1998
Adelaide Eicks Comegys ’48

1997
Marten Poole ’58

1996
Sarah Foss ’41

1995
Wendy Arnold ’65

1994
Betsy Atwood Nelson ’55

1988
Ann McKinstry Micou ’48

1985
Rosemary Baldwin Coffin ’40

1984
Helen Whiting Livingston ’41

1982
Doreen Young, past faculty (posthumously)

1980
Cynthia Creelman Hill ’50

1979
Ruth Brooks Drinker ’31

1978
Elizabeth Monroe Boggs ’31
Margaret Lincoln Marshall ’31

1977
Joan Shaw Herman ’46 (posthumously)