Distinguished Awards

2021 Distinguished Alumna Award

Catherine "Katie" Currin Hammond 1971

By her own acknowledgement, Katie Currin Hammond’s long and distinguished career in the law, the judiciary, and community service sprang from her St. C experience.  In her two years as a boarder, Katie threw herself into a variety of school activities and leadership roles.  After graduating from Denison, she headed to New York, where she worked until she decided to enter UVA law school in 1981.

Katie began her legal career as a judicial law clerk for the Southern District of New York, perhaps the most active and influential district court in the U.S. From there her career followed a steady uphill trajectory, culminating in her serving as a judge on the 14th Judicial Circuit for 16 years, always with compassion and  servant leadership as her guides. 

As a judge, Katie saw the “revolving door” syndrome so prevalent in cases of non-violent offenders suffering from drug addiction.  With a colleague, she created the first Drug Treatment Court in Henrico County, a collaboration between law enforcement, the court, and health care providers that seeks alternatives to incarceration. Of this program, the bar association president noted, “The Henrico Drug Court has dramatically changed the landscape of dealing with substance abusers in this county, and has not just saved lives, but has helped hundreds of individuals rebuild their lives.” Katie’s passion for serving others seems boundless.

While managing a busy docket of Henrico Drug Court and civil cases, she chaired the board of directors at St. Andrew’s School, an independent, fully accredited elementary school in Richmond, specifically for families with low incomes. Throughout her career, Katie has mentored others in the legal profession, and she has served on various legal advisory committees and boards such as Leadership Metro Richmond.  She was on the editorial board of the Virginia Bench Book for Lawyers and Judges and has been on the faculty of the Virginia State Bar Professionalism Course.  She volunteered as an intake lawyer at Central Virginia Legal Aid, and co-authored “Personal Reflections on the Opioid Epidemic and Legal Responses” for the Richmond Public Interest Law Review. 

In her retirement, Katie owns and manages Juridical Solutions PLC, an Alternate Dispute Resolution (ADR) firm made up of retired judges who help would-be litigants resolve disputes without the time and cost of going to court. She’s also a faculty member of the National Drug Court Institute, which provides training and best practices for drug treatment courts, as well as a guest lecturer at the John Marshall Foundation, which educates teachers and students about the Constitution and the rule of law.

A recent effort to which Katie has dedicated herself has been the creation of a volunteer system to increase pro bono work specific to persons facing eviction. Katie’s dedication and drive to help those in dire need has earned her many awards, including the 2011 Women of Achievement Award from the Metro Richmond Women’s Bar Association, the Caron Foundation Award for Public Service and the Bronze Key Award from the National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependency.  Virginia Lawyers Weekly named her to their 2020 Hall of Fame, as a Leader in the Law in 2018, and to their list of Influential Women of Virginia in 2015.

But, as Katie wrote in a letter to the Ellett Alumnae Board upon being notified of this award, “It is a great honor to be recognized as a distinguished alumna... It is more meaningful than any professional accolades I have been fortunate to receive. This is because St. Catherine’s School really turned me towards a positive, hopeful future.  In only two years at St. Catherine’s I changed from a worried, frightened girl to a  capable, optimistic girl. How? The students treated me like I belonged. The  teachers expected me and everyone else to try hard and aim high. Chapel,  chores, playtime, and leadership chances were all important. No one talked to me  about my family problems and how it made me different or separate. The faculty,  staff and students simply reflected the message that we were all God’s children,  and that he or she or they wanted us to be responsible for right actions. I am always grateful for the St. Catherine’s values - be a friend, use your mind,  help others, tend to your spiritual development.”

Humble and grateful to her core, Katie epitomizes what it means to live our School motto, and we are proud to name her as the 2021 Distinguished Alumna Award Recipent.  


Distinguished Alumna Award

The Distinguished Alumna Award was established by the Ellett-St. Catherine’s Alumnae Association in 1969 to honor, annually, an alumna who has helped to make her city, state or world a better place by giving of her talents in the true spirit of the school motto: What we keep, we lose; only what we give remains our own. The award is intended to honor a St. Catherine’s alumna who has distinguished herself in her field, either as a professional or as a community volunteer, and who is an outstanding example of what one can achieve when grounded in the St. Catherine’s experience.  

From suffragists, dramatists, artists and writers to preservationists, ministers, lawyers, doctors and entrepreneurs, St. Catherine’s distinguished alumnae from every decade have exemplified the school motto through their good works and generous spirit around the world.


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  • Past Recipients of the Distinguished Alumna Award

    2021
    Catherine Currin Hammond 1971

    2020
    Nell Cox 1955

    2019
    Katherine Swtiz 1989

    2018
    Yiota Souras 1988

    2017
    Jane Hyde Williams 1967

    2016
    Louise Jenkins Maybank 1956

    2015

    Margaret "Mimsy" wood Jones 1955
    Anne "Panny" Gregory Rhodes 1960

    2014
    Kimberly Lichtenberg 1994
    Katherine Short Clarke 1949

    2013
    Meridith Leigh Rentz 1988

    2012 
    Helen Turner Murphy 1952
    Mary Zayde (“Bucci”) Rennolds Zeugner 1977

    2011
    Geline Bowman Williams 1941
    Liz Gilbert 1986

    2010
    Ann Reeves Reed 1950

    2009

    Louise Lewis Foster 1959
    Elizabeth McMillan Hagood 1979

    2008
    Dina Farley Foster 1983

    2007
    Sally Womack Hruska 1957
    Betty Baugh Harrison 1977

    2006
    Sally Walden Wieland 1956

    2005
    Frances Johnson Lee-Vandell 1960

    2004
    Kate Harwood Gooch 1959
    Nathalie Ward 1969

    2003 
    Janet Patton Lewis 1938
    Dorothy Robertson Parrish 1938

    2002
    Anne Stanley Chatham 1937

    2001
    Betty Bowe Wallace Hendrix 1946
    Sally James Michel 1956

    2000
    Penny Baldwin Williams 1955

    1999
    Gene Davidson Dahmen 1959
    Gene Brumfield Edmunds 1959

    1998
    Ada Gaye Gregory 1988

    1997
    Margaret Davison Block 1950

    1996
    Eliza Scott Nevin 1966

    1995
    Pamela Tucker 1966

    1994
    Minnie Bassett Lane 1949
    Jane Bassett Spilman 1949

    1992
    Ella Prince Trimmer Knox 1952

    1991
    Pocahontas Wight Edmunds 1921

    1988
    Anne Whitfield Kenny 1951

    1987
    Jean Staples Showalter 1930
    Margaret Ferguson Gibson 1962
    Caroline Armistead Riely 1962

    1984
    Viola Hubbard Woolfolk 1939

    1983
    Mary Tyler Freeman Cheek 1933

    1975
    Lee Smith 1963
    Elizabeth Davenport Hayter 1948
    Carolyn Buhrman Nettleton 1941

    1974
    Molly Haskell 1957
    Carolyn McCue Osteen 1960
    Mary Allen McCue (Honorary) 1959

    1973
    Fanny Graves Crenshaw 1908
    Annie Leigh Hobson Broughton 1926
    Cynthia Ann Billings 1950

    1972
    Mary Caperton Bingham 1923
    Florence Turner McCullough 1940
    Vienna Cobb Anderson 1953

    1971
    Anna Hill Johnstone Robinson 1930
    Fortunata Sydnor Trapnell Vanderschmidt 1947
    Katharine Kniskern Mather 1932

    1970
    Frances Laughlin Wadsworth 1927
    Elinor Fry Phillips 1920
    Edith O’Keefe Susong 1909
    Nancy Langhorne Cone 1944

    1969
    Adele Clark 1901
    Mary Wingfield Scott 1913
    Natalie McFaden Blanton 1913
    Emma Gray White Trigg 1909
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2021 Distinguished Young Alumna Award

Anna Woodmansee '11

Anna Woodmansee is squarely in between the ages of Orville (22) and Wilbur (36) Wright when they made aeronautical history.  This summer, Anna was herself part of aeronautical history, and the vehicle she designed for flight on Mars carried with it a piece of the 1903 Wright plane.  As an aerospace systems design engineer for NASA’s  Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Anna and her team were tasked with designing a prototype helicopter called Ingenuity to accompany rover Perseverance on our country’s latest and most complex Mars mission. Because of the considerably thinner Mars atmosphere, the helicopter had to be light (only four pounds) and aerodynamic.  Last April, the world held its collective breath as the $85-million Ingenuity performed the first powered flight on another planet.  Deploying a helicopter was risky, and Anna’s team absolutely had to assure that Ingenuity had no chance of endangering the $3B Rover.  It speaks to the immense importance of Ingenuity’s successful flight that, in spite of the severe constraints on weight, Ingenuity’s design incorporated a tiny piece of fabric from the wing of the Wright plane that changed the course of history in Kitty Hawk, North Carolina in 1903.  

From a very early age, Anna had always held a fascination for space travel. The more she learned about space exploration, the more entranced she became.  Woodmansee’s “Senior Ambition” in the Quair was “To become an aerospace engineer.”  Woodmansee credits her Science teacher and Faculty Advisor, and now our Head of School Cindy Trask, as an inspirational teacher at St. Catherine’s. “Anna was what we science teachers would describe as an ‘inquisitive discoverer.’  She was insatiably curious, and very resourceful in seeking out opportunities for collaborating, designing and researching. She didn’t struggle with failures in the lab, seeing them as opportunities to adapt, to grow to learn…Anna was a very successful student and she was also humble and inclusive in her achievements.  I remember her wide smile and mental fortitude, definitive of her personal warmth and resilience.”  After St. C, Anna attended Georgia Tech, and began interning at NASA after her freshman year, working on designing the drill for Curiosity and Perseverance without any Mars test rock samples or knowledge of the structural properties of what they would be drilling into.  She describes such work as “Design without access” as it often means designing for the unknown.  In designing the helicopter her team tested it in a massive structure in which they simulated conditions like sunlight, atmosphere, and radiation inside a specially created 2 story high, 25 ft in diameter structure.  Anna continued working at the JPL after earning her B.S. in Aerospace Engineering in 2017 and then enrolled in Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University, working towards a 2023 Master’s in the Field of Study Autonomous and Unmanned Vehicle  Systems Engineering.  This summer, Anna experienced what so many of us have in the midst of the ongoing pandemic: her life and career veered onto a different track.  

In August 2021, she began working on a new master’s degree in clinical psychology at Pepperdine, working towards a PhD in neuropsychology. “The pandemic made it very obvious to me that one of the biggest systems engineering problems our society is facing right now is how we treat mental health both in our daily lives and in medicine. I’m going to apply my systems engineering background to mapping the mind-body connection in the nervous system and developing treatment modalities for trauma that use heightened neuroplasticity to retrain people’s autonomic nervous system response to chronic stress and/or trauma! It sounds like a complete 180, but the science behind how our brains develop physical responses to emotions is quite similar to training a learning algorithm for autonomous robots. Time to take all of this learning and help people heal!”

Not many people even over the course of several decades can claim to have pursued a career that literally changes our world.  At the tender age of 28, Anna Woodmansee is on track to make a second such momentous impact.   We can’t wait to see what Anna accomplishes next, and we are incredibly proud to count her as an alumna and as the recipient of the 2021 Distinguished Young Alumna Award.


Distinguished Young Alumna Award

In honor of St. Catherine's 125th Anniversary, the Distinguished Young Alumna Award was established by the Alumnae Association to recognize an alumna who is celebrating a 20th reunion or younger. The award is given to an alumna who has demonstrated distinction through her volunteer work or through her leadership, achievements and accomplishments in her career or community.


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  • Past Recipients of the Young Alumna Award

    2021
    Anna Woodmansee 2011

    2020
    Elizabeth Redford 2005

    2019
    Julia Warren 2014

    2018
    Holly Ziskal Habimana 1998

    2017

    Darley C. Newman 1997

    2016
    Carrie D. Wortham 2008 (awarded posthumously)
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2021 Outstanding Service Award

Sue Baldwin

St. Catherine’s was never just a job for Sue Baldwin — St. Catherine’s has been her second family. She says, “I have had the opportunity to be part of two families, my family at home and my family at School. My cup runneth over as I am surrounded by love and care on all sides.” 
It was with great appreciation that the Saints family said goodbye to Sue at the end of last School year, as she left  to join the Virginia Association of Independent Schools (VAIS) as a consultant with independent schools in Virginia in the areas of Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, Social Justice and community health and well-being.

Although Sue wore many hats over her 39 year career at St. Catherine’s, for the last nine years at the school, Baldwin served as the Assistant Head of School. She was the Staff Liaison for Education and Inclusion Committees of the Board, chaired the Global committee for curriculum enhancement and developed the “Art of Change” summer program for underserved girls. She has tirelessly elevated the Core Value “Celebrating Individuals” to help others recognize the strength that comes from our differences and has been instrumental in advancing the School’s DEI initiatives. She helped shape “Our Path Forward” Plan from the summer 0f 2020 that included the staffing recommendation and recent appointment of the new Director of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion, Tish Canady, who joined St. Catherine’s in July. 

Baldwin served for one year as Interim Head of School (2011-2012) and was the Director of Middle School for 13 years prior. It was the role as Interim Head of School that stands out to Baldwin as one of the highlights of her career at St. Catherine’s. 

“When the Board asked me to serve as Interim Head of School during the 2011-2012 year, I was moved beyond measure by the honor to serve the School in that capacity,” Baldwin said. “Standing in the back of St. Stephen's Church ready to process at the Opening School Service took my breath away as I looked out at the girls and my colleagues. 
 
“As tears fell, I prayed that God would give me the strength and the knowledge to care for each one of them, mind, body and spirit. It was a year of challenge made easier by the grace I received and lessons learned from the entire community.”
 
And while Baldwin continued to learn from others during her career, she taught and inspired so many students, teachers and parents over the course of nearly four decades.  “Sue was one of the most amazing teachers I had at St. Catherine’s, and her contribution since my days in her 6th grade homeroom is overwhelming,” said Elizabeth Irwin ’00, “She is hands down one of the most kind, caring, thoughtful, giving, and dedicated members of the St. Catherine’s community as a whole, as well as to its students individually.” 

Under her leadership as the Director of Middle School, Baldwin transformed it into a four-year program starting in fifth grade. She led the Teacher Evaluation Committee, directed the all-school New Teacher Mentoring Program, participated on the School’s Strategic Plan Committee and served on countless search committees. Among her many accomplishments is receiving the Peggy Ross Middle School Excellence in Teaching Award (1991) and Margie Miller Teaching Award for Excellence (1999) and presenting at dozens of national and regional conferences over the years. Many will fondly recall her exceptional piano performances at chapels, school assemblies and special events. Baldwin said Middle School was her happy place. She described the girls as “authentic in ways that bring tears to your eyes at the poignancy of their observations, make you fall to the floor laughing at their rich sense of humor, and take you to your knees as you pray for them when they face difficult situations at home or at school.”

Always keen to develop the growth mindset, Baldwin studied leading experts and attended conferences around the nation. That passion and expertise carried over to both her students and teachers.  “Sue has been the true north star for my daughter Liza and me when she entered Middle School,” said Faithe Norrell, mother of Liza Mickens ‘15. “Sue was head of Middle School at that time and our friendship remained and grew over the years. Her many leadership positions at St. Catherine's have made it the more inclusive community it is striving to be.”

Her impact extends far beyond St. Catherine’s. She received the 2020 VAIS Sally K. Boese Award (the highest award VAIS gives) and spent many years as the Vice-Chair of VAIS accreditations. Baldwin is just the seventh educator to receive this award. Selected annually by a subcommittee of the VAIS Board of Directors, the award is presented to an individual who embodies the qualities and service exemplified by Dr. Sally K. Boese, the Executive Director of the Association for 24 years.

St. Catherine’s has been blessed to have someone as caring and dedicated as Sue Baldwin at our School.  It is with great pleasure that we present her with the 2021 Outstanding Service Award.
 
 

The Adelaide Rawles Flippen '30 Outstanding Service Award

The Adelaide Rawles Flippen '30 Outstanding Service Award was created in 1994 to honor that individual (not necessarily an alumna) who shows an outstanding level of commitment and service to St. Catherine's School. The recipient will have spent a great deal of productive time, energy and thought in helping the school on a particular project or will have demonstrated continuing dedication to St. Catherine's over many years. This award will probably not be given to a present school employee. The presentation of the award normally takes place at Graduation. 

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  • Past Recipients of The Adelaide Rawles Flippen '30 Outstanding Service Award

    2021
    Sue Baldwin

    2020
    Anne Howell McElroy 1978

    2019
    Jean Hill Davenport 1958

    2018
    Chris Williams

    2017
    Missy Gullquist

    2016
    Dee Dee Butler Sutton 1976

    2015

    Lucy Stockdell

    2014
    Jean Cameron Grainger 1966

    2013

    Katherine MacNaughton Whitney 1975

    2012

    Elizabeth Cabell Jennings 1981

    2011
    Margaret and Dave Bloor

    2010
    Lang and Molly Gayle Meem 1973

    2009
    Jackie Wilkins

    2008    
    Cal and George Jennison

    2007

    Gussie Johns Bannard 1973

    2006
    Susan Pfefferkorn 1973

    2005
    Annabel Morgan Edge 1964

    2004
    Bill Armstrong

    2003
    Mert Jones

    2002
    Jack Kenny

    2001
    Virginia Jones

    2000    
    Frances Brown
    Peggy Ross

    1999    
    Wesley Wright, Jr.

    1998
    Mason New (awarded posthumously)

    1997
    Dixon Christian

    1996
    Ted Price

    1995
    Betty Molster

    1994    
    Cabell Goolsby West 1964
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