Retiring Headmaster Hal Hannaford’s last birthday at Selwyn House was truly unforgettable. As she explains below, Selwyn House Lab Technician Erin Egan decided to get the entire school involved in a special tribute.
“When I started working at Selwyn House six years ago,” she says, “I had been an engineer for almost ten years, had been laid off twice and was feeling very much like a number. Working at Selwyn House is the opposite. For the first time in years, I felt my work was valued and appreciated.
“I'd been working here just six months when I received a handwritten birthday card from Headmaster Hannaford in the middle of summer. To say I felt known and loved is an understatement. When I realized that Hal sends personalized birthday cards to every single staff and student every year, I calculated he had sent more than 7,000 cards during his time at Selwyn. I thought it would be fun to return the favour. I put out the call to all current and former staff and students, Old Boys, and past and present families.
“And, wow, did they answer the call! Middle School and Senior School boys made cards by hand during TAG time, and Elementary School boys made cards during class. Staff delivered cards by the dozen. The mailbox at the front office brimmed with cards daily for weeks. By January 29 when I decorated Hal's office, we had received over 400 cards. By the end of the day on February 4, there must have been more than 600!
“I love that we could return the gesture to Hal in a meaningful and fun way,” says Erin. “This was certainly a group effort, and I appreciate everyone's involvement.”