True to their school: St. Ed’s community fetes Wachters

An invited audience of Saint Edward’s School alumni, parents and supporters gathered Saturday afternoon to bid a fond farewell to their friends and colleagues Bruce and Joanie Wachter. Bruce Wachter is resigning in June as Associate Head of School and Head of Upper School after 45 years working at the private barrier island school, and wife Joanie is retiring as Lower School technology coordinator after 40 years there.

Lauded by one and all, the speakers included Peter Benedict, Head of School from 1971 to 1995, who hired Wachter and called his retirement a “wow moment” in the history of Saint Edward’s School. Benedict reminisced with great fondness about his many years working with Wachter, adding that he had been blessed to have him as his wingman.

“His shoes, large both literally and figuratively, will be extremely difficult to fill,” said Kevin Barry, current board chairman. “Every person who succeeds him will be judged by the Wachter standard, and that is one that he has set at the highest level for this school.”

Mike Mersky, Head of School since 2009, also recollected their time together with affection, saying, “Bruce Wachter is a man who has singularly devoted his entire professional career to one school and one school only.  Ladies and gentlemen, that is by far, beyond rare. That kind of devotion and love simply will never happen again; not just in independent schools, but in any profession in our future.”

Wachter brought his appreciative audience to their feet after relating with emotion some of his wonderful experiences at the school and the community that he and Joanie love.

A full story on Wachter’s career appears in the News section.

Photos by: Denise Ritchie
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