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“Just knowing that Connie is in the building reassures everyone.” With that single sentence, Head of Lower School Barbara Robins may have captured the essence of Connie McGrain’s many contributions to McDonogh School: she makes everything better!
When Connie arrived in 1995 to teach technology in the Lower School, she discovered that everybody - students, teachers, and parents - needed plenty of reassurance, support, and no-frills instruction on how to navigate the unfamiliar territory of technology. So, Connie did what she has done so many times before and since: she strapped on her tool belt and got to work!
That work has included teaching computer skills to thousands of students, filling the role of the first-ever Lower School Technology Coordinator, spending her summers creating and recreating the Lower School schedule, and logging hundreds of hours running cable through the ceilings of Elderkin Hall. Twenty-four years later, she has successfully guided her division through the challenging process of integrating technology into the curriculum in the most meaningful ways.
Connie understands, however, that some of her most important teaching happens outside the computer lab. A master of the teachable moment, she is first to intercede in squabbles on the playground or to put an end to antics at the lunch table. She can quell tears just by reminding students that they are, after all, friends.
Connie places a high value on relationships and is deeply loyal to her friends. She can sense people’s needs and knows innately when to arrive on the scene with just the right support. Whether visiting a hospital, offering warm muffins, or passing the Kleenex, Connie wants to help. In 2013, she wrote this about the community she loves:
It is a privilege to work in this magnificent school with amazing kids and folks I am proud to call my colleagues and friends.”
Connie, it has been a privilege to work with you as well. Thank you for all you have given to so many of us at McDonogh!