Educators retire after more than 100 years of service 

The hallways are quiet and students and faculty have departed for the summer. It’s also time to say goodbye to some of our most dedicated and beloved educators as they close the doors on their time at Collegiate and begin new adventures beyond our school walls.

After dedicating decades to our community, teachers Anne Curtis and Brenda Pidgeon and faculty Margaret Paul and Anh Tran are retiring.

Anne CurtisAnne Curtis
Curtis joined Collegiate in August 1977 as a bright-eyed physical education teacher fresh out of college. After a few years teaching our Oaks the importance of athletics, she moved into the math department where she spent the next 40 years of her career teaching mathematics to middle school students. Outside the classroom, she dedicated her talents to coaching field hockey, soccer and cheerleading. She was instrumental in bringing middle school hangout nights and choice time to fruition and served as an advisor to the middle school Student Government Association. She says there was nothing more special than watching her children (George ’07, Cate ’09 and Nick ’13) grow up within Collegiate’s walls

Margaret PaulMargaret Paul
Paul began her journey as an Oak in 1977 as a part-time administrative assistant. After a few years, she transitioned to the counseling department and her position as registrar. For 40 years, she has been behind the scenes working hard to help ensure our soon-to-be college students had everything they needed to get into the schools of their dreams.

“When I started, there were so many people who’d been here since the school opened, and they’d been here 30, 35, 40-plus years. Now I’m in their position,” Paul said. “The most important work Collegiate does is help students become their own best versions of themselves.”

Now Paul will be pursuing her dream of retirement. “In my retirement, I plan to spend more time with my grandchildren and great-grandchild. I’m looking forward to having time to actually read a book instead of just a few pages. I’d love to work in my yard. I’m also looking forward to antiquing. I think I’ll also want to volunteer and help the community,” she said.

Brenda PidgeonBrenda Pidgeon
“I’ve been lucky to have two careers,” Brenda Pidgeon said. “I was a registered nurse before I started at Collegiate. It served me well when I got here and started volunteering in the early 90s when my kids started here.”

Pidgeon began her journey at Collegiate as a volunteer in the school’s clinic and library and media center. It was in the latter that she discovered her love of technology. In 1999, she became an official faculty member, taking a position in the library and media center. After seven years, she transitioned into the computer lab for the last 19 years of her career. Outside the classroom, she sponsored the school’s Great Computer Challenge team and Oak Street Journal, to name a few.

She is also the proud mother of Jonathan Pidgeon ’04, Nicole Skees ’06 and Anna Tyler ’08.

“The best part about this career has been watching these kids grow,” she said. “I got to watch my own kids grow up here. The current graduating class [The Class of 2019] was my first computer class cohort; before them, I was still working in the library.”

Anh TranAnh Tran
Tran joined Collegiate in 1992 and has been a friendly face in the hallways for the last 27 years. Whether it was cleaning up a spill or setting the stage for the next performance, no job was too big or small. Though he will miss our Oaks, he is super excited to explore his passion for music more deeply.

“I’m going to spend my retirement with my children and grandchildren,” he said. “I also plan to continue to play guitar. I play with a Vietnamese band; we perform together sometimes. I want to continue to create music and play when I have a chance. That’s my passion. I want to do that more.”

Joining Curtis, Paul, Pidgeon and Tran are several other members of the faculty who will be starting new adventures in their lives, including:

Lower School

  • Emily Wilson, administrative assistant, will be exploring her passion for Mother Nature as a utilities worker with a concentration in exterior design/landscape with The Budd Group.
  • Sarah Schulte, lower school music teacher, is taking a sabbatical to care for her growing young family.
  • Cathy White ’87, kindergarten teacher, is pursuing her passion for real estate.

Middle School

  • Erin Smythe, middle school science teacher, is pursuing her passions outside of the classroom.
  • Rawn Boulden, middle school counselor, is pursuing his PhD in counselor education at Old Dominion University and in his final year will be sharing talents in the public school system.