A co-educational private school for Preschool–Grade Eight

Jason W. '94

It's the mid-1980s at FHCDS, and you're a little kid on a big campus, trying to make your way among the older students. Maybe your morning didn't get off to a great start because the Breezeway was freezing; or you're mad at your teacher for making you "scrape" at lunch; or you're frustrated with your parents because they said "no" to your request for chocolate frosted brownies at the Butler's Pantry. You're coming down the stairs from the big gym, feeling down, and from the girls locker room emerges a smiling face. Just the sight of Ms. Fez, on such a bummer of a day, is like a warm hug. You instantly feel better; hopeful...happy even, as Ms. Fez peppers you with positive questions, somehow remembering an incredible amount of detail about you: "Hey how did that soccer tournament go last weekend? I heard you scored 2 goals!! Did your brother ever find his retainer?? Sansone tells me the 5th grade lacrosse team is going to be a force to be reckoned with next year!" With some pep in your step, the day has flipped; you feel refreshed. That was the impact Ms. Fez had, day in and day out. Just a never-ending well of positivity. Even when rowdiness or misbehavior forced her to be a disciplinarian, she always somehow wielded command and control without ever becoming loud or mean or red faced. I think I speak for many a male alum when I say that there were times I would lament that I couldn't play a sport coached by Ms. Fez and I'd be jealous of the girls. But you saw at that young age the example she set in how to treat people, and it stuck with you. What a wonderful career and impact to celebrate. Cheers to Mrs. Houghland!!