Saying a Fond Farewell

Saying a Fond Farewell

Saying a Fond Farewell


This spring we are saying farewell to four Saints who have collectively served the school for 80 years. We will miss them and wish them well in their retirement!


The last 17 years as an SSSAS English teacher has been an incredible journey for Andy Sidle ’78, filled with memorable experiences, cherished relationships, and meaningful contributions to the school community.

Upon his arrival in 2007, Andy quickly immersed himself in various aspects of school life. He has held numerous roles and participated in a wide range of activities, including serving as the Senior Projects coordinator, an Alumni Association Board member, and as a faculty representative on the Honor Code Disciplinary Board.

The 2020 Traditions yearbook was dedicated to Andy. In that dedication, the editors said, “Always passionate about the world around him, Dr. Sidle personally lives out his beliefs on a daily basis and has consistently supported our school’s environmental efforts by encouraging our Green Leadership Club members, raising his hand for stream clean-ups, and contributing creative ideas to foster environmental sustainability within our community.” Andy has overseen numerous student environmental clubs and served as the Upper School environmental coordinator.

Known as the “Transcendentalist guy,” Andy has enjoyed exploring themes of nature and nonconformity with his students and sharing his passion for American Transcendentalists like Emerson, Thoreau, and Whitman. He has worked on many meaningful projects, including the creation of the “Multicultural Identity Series” film he worked on with Ian Shackley ’14 and Bennie Smith ’14, in which members of the faculty described themselves using three words or phrases. Andy has also led global trips to Croatia and Italy.

Andy has contributed to the athletics program, coaching JV girls tennis, softball, and baseball. When not on a court or a field, he could be found in the press box announcing at home football games and basketball tournaments.

“Andy Sidle is a one-of-a-kind colleague and human being,” said Stephanie Koroma, Director of Athletics. “I have had the pleasure of working closely alongside Andy for 17 years and have witnessed his humor, quick wit, and deep care for people, both as an English teacher, but also as a coach within our Athletic Department. Andy is the consummate professional who demonstrates nothing but love and pride for all members of this community.”

Before joining SSSAS, Andy pursued his Ph.D. and taught undergraduate literature courses at Northern Illinois University (NIU) for six enriching years. Prior to his academic journey at NIU, he proudly served as a US Marine NCO for four years, followed by three years as a US Army officer during the 1980s.

As he embarks on this new chapter, Andy will be moving to Richmond, Va., to be closer to family.

Reflecting on his journey, Andy is grateful for the inspiration he found in “Dead Poets Society” and the impact it has had on his career trajectory. While serving as an officer in the Army, Andy viewed the 1989 film. Watching Robin Williams portray the inspirational teacher, John Keating, sparked a revelation: “That’s what I want to do!” This moment of clarity ultimately led him home to his alma mater. “Teaching at my old high school has been weird and wonderful,” said Andy. “My colleagues have been lovely and supportive, and the students throughout the years were invariably smart and fun, and I have delighted in telling them about ‘the old days.’ Plus, I have been most fortunate to stay in touch with many of my former students.”

Colleague and friend, English Teacher Mieke Cranford, said, “Andy constantly works to help students find meaning in life. His students benefit from his passion for the natural world, his appreciation for the power of narrative, and his determination to help them become ethical leaders. Wherever he lands, we know that he will be working to open hearts and minds to the meaning and beauty of the world around them!”


Anne Sellon, an Upper School Academic Center teacher, is retiring after 20 years of service to our school. Anne has been an integral part of shaping the academic support program and nurturing countless students on their educational journeys.

Anne has held a number of roles throughout her tenure, including Lower School Learning Specialist, Upper School director of the Academic Center, and chair of the Department of Student Support. Starting in the Lower School in 2004, she orchestrated the shift from the one-on-one student support model to small group sessions. This change allowed for classroom observations, group activities with students, and support for teachers. Transitioning to the Upper School in 2012, she played a key role in building the comprehensive student support program currently in place.

“Anne brings so many gifts that it is hard to know where to begin,” said Elise Canfield, director of Upper School Academic Support. “Students praise her ability to listen without judgment, and her gentle, but persistent, guidance to become more effective students. Colleagues also come to her for guidance, seeking out her experience and deep understanding of the students and their needs. On a personal note, Anne was a mentor when I was a math teacher trying to reach all of my students. Working with her in the Academic Center these past two years has felt like a full-circle experience. I will miss her wisdom, her ability to see and accept people as they are, and her wry sense of humor.”

Anne has spearheaded numerous initiatives aimed at supporting diverse learning needs. In the Lower School, she helped the development of an academic summer program tailored to bolster students’ reading, comprehension, writing, and math skills, fostering an engaging learning environment through enjoyable activities. Additionally, she served on the 10-year VAIS accreditation committee and played a pivotal role in launching the Fountas and Pinnell literacy program. As part of her commitment to professional development, she led initiatives such as the “Addressing Student Learning Needs in the Classroom” program and facilitated the Upper School Summer Study Skills program for a decade. She also was a member of the Upper School Admission Committee and the New Student Orientation program for 10 years, ensuring a seamless transition for new students and their families.

“Anne is like an angel,” said alumnus Ish Seisay ’15. “She was the best thing that ever happened to me in high school, and I still think about her every day. She made things make more sense to me. Working with her wasn’t just about school and academics, we also talked about life. Her office was a safe space for me and many other students. By far, she’s the reason I felt comfortable at SSSAS and graduated with confidence.”

Alumna Raleigh Speed ’23 also remembers her fondly, “I was very fortunate to have been mentored by Ms. Sellon. She is such an advocate, a trusted advisor, and cheerleader for all her students. She believed in me and helped me build the confidence to tackle anything. Thank you, Ms. Sellon, you are truly a Saint!”

As Anne embarks on this new chapter of her life, she has an array of exciting plans lined up. She’d like to take an “epic” train ride, perhaps across Canada, welcome another dog, step up her fitness program, work part-time in a garden center, and take classes to learn art, Italian, and interior design. Most importantly, she will become a very involved grandma! Anne has two children who attended SSSAS, Tim ’06, and Emily ’08.

“SSSAS has a wonderful community of teachers and administrators,” said Anne. “I have developed friendships that I know will continue long after I leave. Everyone goes through tough times, and I’m no exception, and SSSAS has been there to support me every step of the way. SSSAS has given me the opportunity to develop a student support program and working with students in the program has been a privilege and a joy.”


Lisa Hassell, administrative assistant to the director of Upper School and head of school, is retiring after 21 incredible years of service. Lisa’s journey at SSSAS began in 2003, and she has held various administrative assistant roles across different divisions. From her initial role at the Middle School under the mentorship of Bob Weiman, to her tenure at the Upper School working alongside former Head of School Joan Holden, Lisa’s dedication and versatility have been truly admirable.

Among her cherished roles, serving as a student advisor for six years stands out as a source of pure joy and fulfillment. Guiding students through their academic and personal journeys and witnessing their growth until Commencement Day has been a highlight of Lisa’s career. Additionally, Lisa’s involvement in planning all-school and divisional events, including the beloved Monday Night Dinners, has brought immense joy to both students and faculty alike.

Libby Weith, associate director of College Counseling, shared, “Oh, I absolutely adore Lisa Hassell and I feel so lucky to be able to call her a friend! Truly genuine, thoughtful, and empathetic, she is always available to lend a listening ear, offer advice, or share a laugh. Her warmth and caring nature have made her beloved by students and colleagues alike, and she has been a source of steadfast support here at the Upper School. Her smile makes every day brighter, and SSSAS simply will not be the same without her.”

As a parent volunteer during her daughter Haley’s ’16 time at SSSAS, Lisa experienced the school’s traditions and milestones firsthand, creating unforgettable memories as a proud Saint family. Inspired by her father, Col. Robert E. Lynch, who taught part-time Russian and Chinese history courses for 16 years at SSSAS, Lisa followed in his footsteps, driven by their shared love for the community. “My dad adored this community and used to say ‘Lisa, you need to come work at SSSAS.’ Because he cared for this community so deeply, I did,” shared Lisa. “I love this part of our father-daughter story and our shared love of SSSAS. I hope there are windows in heaven so he can see how happy I have been here. He would have been so proud to know his granddaughter Haley is a graduate!”

Lisa’s dedication and contributions have not gone unnoticed. In 2013, she was honored during the Light the Way Campaign with a designated chair in the Chapel/Performing Arts Center, a testament to her impact on the school community. Lisa extends her heartfelt gratitude to the anonymous donor who bestowed this recognition upon her. Friend and colleague Nicole Harding, administrative assistant to the head of school, said, “Lisa likes to say, ‘Always leave a place nicer than you found it’ and that could be a true metaphor for how she is ‘leaving’ SSSAS–we are a much better school and institution because of Lisa Hassell.”

Looking ahead to retirement, Lisa is eager to cherish precious moments with her family, including her daughter Haley, husband, and beloved dog Panda. She plans to deepen her relationships with loved ones and embark on new adventures around the globe, filled with learning and exploration.

As Lisa bids adieu to SSSAS, she leaves behind a legacy of kindness, dedication, and unwavering commitment to the school’s mission. Her presence will be deeply missed, but her spirit will forever remain intertwined with the Saint community. “I made lifelong friends here, I always had a sense of purpose, and my intention was to help wherever and however I was needed with grace,” said Lisa. “I hope I brought that intention to fruition during my tenure. In many ways, I grew into who I was supposed to become in this community. A direct result of the opportunities I was afforded through the patience, support, and mentoring I was gifted with every day. Being in the presence of Saints will always conjure the love I felt during my time here. Thank you SSSAS, I know our paths will cross again. Once a Saint always a Saint!”


It is with gratitude that we bid farewell to Teo Torres, who has been an integral part of the SSSAS community for the past two decades. Joining our team in February of 2002, Teo has played a vital role in maintaining our school campuses and ensuring a safe and comfortable environment for all.

Teo began his journey at SSSAS as a maintenance technician in 2007. His dedication, hard work, and expertise soon led to promotions, first as a maintenance supervisor and then as a Preventive Maintenance Coordinator in 2010, the position he still holds today. Throughout his tenure, Teo has served all three campuses, leaving a lasting impact on our school community.

As a Preventive Maintenance Coordinator, Teo has played a crucial role in developing and implementing preventative maintenance tasks for our school and residences. From electrical and plumbing to HVAC and carpentry, Teo has ensured the smooth operation of our building and grounds systems. Before joining SSSAS, Teo worked at the Peruvian Embassy from 1992 to 2002 as a maintenance technician, honing his skills and expertise in facility management.

Friend and colleague Edgardo Herrera, Upper School Maintenance Supervisor, shared, “In the many years Teo has been with SSSAS in the Maintenance department, he has made an undeniable difference and I am proud of his dedication and hard work he brought to work each day. Years ago, someone asked for my opinion about choosing Teo for the new position, and without hesitation, I expressed that he was the right person. His kindness and camaraderie have made life’s challenges more manageable and triumphs more enjoyable. I am thankful that he always found ways to support me even when life was busy. I will be forever grateful for the great relationship I have with Teo and it’s wonderful to see someone as deserving as him retire!”

As Teo embarks on the next chapter of his life, he plans to return to Peru to spend quality time with his relatives before returning to the USA. His warmth, professionalism, and dedication will be missed by all at SSSAS. “Teo has made a tremendous difference in the Buildings and Grounds Department in maintaining our campus utility infrastructure with a persistent preventative maintenance program throughout the years,” said Bill Owens, Director of Buildings & Grounds. ”His skillful ways to overcome any challenge, big or small during his 22-year tenure as Maintenance Tech, Campus Supervisor, and Preventive Maintenance/ Project Coordinator have been flawless. He has consistently been a hard worker, a helpful coworker, and a terrific friend to the entire B&G crew. Thank you, Teo, for everything you’ve accomplished for SSSAS. The B&G Team won’t be the same without you!”