Faculty and Staff (current and retired), Family and Friends

  • Dave has been part of the Hotchkiss community for his entire life. He has participated in Hotchkiss life by wearing so many different hats.
  • Tell us about how he has been part of your life.
  • What was he like as a colleague?
  • Did you know Dave as a child?
  • Was he funny? Serious? Athletic?

46 Replies to “Faculty and Staff (current and retired), Family and Friends”

  1. Congratulations, Dave, for all you have done for the School. Best wishes on your retirement. Once a Bearcat, always a Bearcat!

    Like

  2. Dear David,
    I will always remember the care and compassion given your students with illnesses during my time in Health Services. I recall especially, an advisee of yours, who you personally escorted to more than one long distance medical appointment because of a parent’s inability to do so, and the student needing your support. Your dedication was inspiring on that occasion and many others.
    Wishing you happiness in your retirement!

    Like

  3. Dave – It has been a pleasure getting to know. If your travels take you to the Finger Lakes region I hope you will take time to stop by and visit. Congratulations! Joaquin

    Like

  4. Hi Dave!
    Congratulations on your retirement! Thank you for always being available to come and chat with prospective students on behalf of the many sports you have coached and the math program. I will miss your professional presence in the Harris House and your candid one at the Dining Hall breakfast table. Be sure to visit the Harris House here and there and let’s play some golf!

    Hugs and every best wish to you!

    Like

  5. Dave, I have often shared stories of your presence – reliable, sometimes surprising (in only the best way), and always ready to step in where needed.

    As I type this, what I realize is that your presence really has been about engagement.

    The best example is from 2013 or 14, and we were up playing NMH and Andover in ultimate at NMH on a pretty nice April day. At one point in the game, someone asked me if that was Mr. Bolmer on the far sideline, and sure enough, with the river valley and clouds behind you, there you were, watching the game and applauding the kids in Blue and White.

    I waved and then when I next looked over, you were gone. The following week in the hallway or dining hall, I asked you what you were doing up at NMH (which is not an insignificant drive) and you simply said “I didn’t have anything to do, and it was a nice day, so I thought I’d drive up and see a game.” I think I then asked you if you were willing to share what you “saw” from the sidelines, and you shared some truly helpful and insightful comments about ways that we could improve our play, even though this was not a sport you were really familiar with.

    Thanks for all your engagement and selfless service to the people that make up the Hotchkiss community. Your presence has made a difference in so many ways over the years.

    Sincerely,
    Dave Thompson

    Like

  6. Dave,
    It has been a pleasure getting to know you through the years. I will miss watching you ride past on your bike, setting a quiet example in everything you do. Your love of this School and it’s students is obvious to all. Your compassion and caring for the external community might not be as obvious because of your quiet generosity.
    I hope your life is filled with health, joy and a little sprinkle of magic.
    All the best,
    Nancy Vaughan

    Like

  7. Ahh, Mr. Bolmer.

    I remember that late summer night in August of ’88 when John and I rolled our UHAUL up to the front doors of Buehler. Campus was quiet in the early evening, and we were excited to move into our beautiful new apartment. Happy to fly under the radar, we began slowly hauling our stuff up to our first Hotchkiss home on Buehler II. When we headed back outside after a trip, there you were. You introduced yourself, but your hands were already busy with our belongings as you helped us carry the load. Then with as little fanfare as when you’d arrived, you departed, leaving the final pieces and the settling in to the young couple we were.

    We couldn’t have known then what we know know, that you are those helping hands. How grateful we are to have been mentored by you about what it means to give to a place and its people. We wonder just how many students and faculty alike have been helped with a ride from you. How many times have you baked for your students, your advisees and your athletes? How many times have you almost ethereally appeared on the sidelines or in the stands at the rink? We remember many times when you stood as the sole Hotchkiss faculty member across the ice at the Taft tournament.

    My years of deaning and John’s years as your colleague in the math department leave us knowing how deeply your students have appreciated your teaching. Even as Hotchkiss softened, you held the bar high, assuring that earning an A in a Bolmer calculus class was a significant achievement. Extra help and extra time given were for you an obvious part of the equation.

    Recently Corey and Brady were quick to report they had seen you picking up trash along the side of one of our beautiful country roads. What we loved about the story was how unsurprising it was to them that you were there making the world a better place. Years of living on this campus has made it obvious to them that you are quite simply one of the givers.

    Dave, Hotchkiss just won’t be the same without you. It will be strange heading up to the math wing and not finding you there. And what will Songs for Smiles do without their driver who without hesitation gave his time on Sunday to drive kids to local senior housing communities to make music and bring light? You were always quick to share with advisors and deans the names of those kids who had given of their time, but none of those smiles would have been possible without you.

    We’re thankful you won’t be far, and we hope we’ll still spot you in the stands or on the sidelines. But most of all we wish you a retirement filled with good health and great adventures.

    Thank you for your friendship, Dave. Go well.

    Christy and John

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Dave,

    Thank you for all that you have done and continue to do for Hotchkiss- you are part of the fabric of this place and will be truly missed!

    Having now seen you in action both on the courts and in the classroom, it is clear that you are the consummate teacher and I feel lucky to have been one of your students in the less traditional sense. Not only did you teach me how to drive a midbus, taking a good chunk out of a free afternoon to brave the roads with me, but you taught me how to be a coach. 

    Your quiet dedication to your teams’ growth both on and off the court taught me that you can make a difference even in the smallest moments. You know everyone’s special needs – even the girls on my team –  always making sure that each individual had something they liked at our joint practice feeds, often freshly baked from your kitchen….in your spare time. When you didn’t have matches, you were always at mine jumping in as an extra (and more capable) advisor even when we were away. You have been my coaching mentor for almost four years (putting up with two maternity leaves and some pint-sized co-coaches) and I will miss you dearly. 

    This year, you welcomed me into your classroom as an outside “observer”. While the content was way above my head, your innate ability to connect, inspire, and excite your students about the most complex of subjects was crystal clear. I so enjoyed seeing you in action and only wish I had had a math teacher as inspiring as you. 

    Congratulations Dave – please enjoy your time – embrace your love of travel, music, and curiosity. And most importantly, please don’t be a stranger as the Brown girls always love seeing “Mr. Boomer”.

    Thank you for everything – I really appreciate all that you do!
    Lisa

    Like

  9. Dear Dave,
    I could never have asked for a more supportive mentor in my first year of teaching. I remember how very nervous I was to have you sitting in my first classes. You came so regularly that I soon relaxed and very much appreciated your support in all aspects of teaching – the group work, correcting papers, etc. I still have the notebooks from each of those courses that you wrote in each day. They are filled with pages of friendly advice and best teaching practices. I’ve always felt as though I have not been a good mentor to younger colleagues because you set such a high bar for what a mentor should be. I would not be where I am today if it had not been for you.
    Hotchkiss is so very fortunate to have had you at its heart all of these years. You are the most selfless person I know. You give to everyone and are always the first to volunteer in any moment. There are not many people like you, Dave. I wish you a retirement full of adventure, travel and continued good times at Hotchkiss. I hope you will visit!
    Warmly,
    Laura Marshall

    Like

  10. Congratulations on your retirement, Dave! I am so happy for you!

    Throughout the years, not only I have been fortunate enough to be your friend and colleague, but I’ve also been able to see and hear how much you mean to your students. Working closely with you during field hockey season allowed me to see how much you care about what you do, and how thoughtful you are towards your colleagues, towards the kids on the team and towards me. I always loved getting half of a field hockey ball as a reminder of the season, and I hope you know how much those meant to me. It was truly an honor to work alongside you, and I wish lots of joy and happiness in retirement.

    All the best,

    Ana Hermoso

    Like

  11. Dear Dave,
    Thank you for making my Hotchkiss years so enjoyable. From baking treats for the 3rds Girls’ Soccer team to inheriting my advisees to always giving me someone to sit with in the Dining Hall, you were the model colleague and friend. Enjoy retirement – you’ve earned it!
    Best,
    Liz Buckles

    Like

  12. Dear Dave,
    Like so many of your current and former colleagues, we are proud to have served with you. Your professionalism and dedication to teaching inspires us. Every aspect of the Hotchkiss experience has felt your influence and every corner of the community knows your concern. When we think of you, words such as consistency and dependability come ringing through. Our whole family knows how much you have meant to Hotchkiss and how much Hotchkiss means to you.
    All the Best,
    The Burchfields

    Like

  13. Dave,

    Congratulations!
    You have made an incredible impact on the lives of thousands of Hotchkiss students. Your work on the sidelines, in the gym, on the courts and on the greens has been remarkable. You have always embodied all that is good about Hotchkiss Athletics.
    I have always marveled at your ability and your willingness to pitch in and help out in a moment of need. I will be forever grateful for all that you have done for the kids on your team.
    Thank you, Coach Bolmer!

    Be True.

    Danny Smith

    Like

  14. Dear Dave,

    I feel so lucky to have learned about being a good school-person from you. There’s never a volunteer opportunity you don’t take, never an extra-help session you won’t provide, never a gap you don’t notice and fill. You never leave to others what you can do yourself. Personally, I enjoyed being on your Main Building team, as you are the truest form of team player. The students and faculty and staff and parents and families have been fortunate to learn from you, directly and by example, in so many ways for so long. Thank you for your service to the School and every one of its constituents!

    I wish you all good things, with hopes for a safe and happy retirement,
    Carita (and family)

    Like

  15. Dear Dave,

    Congratulations on your retirement!

    I am grateful to have had the opportunity to learn from your dedication and deep engagement in the life of the school. At the center of all you undertake is what is best for students, subtly weaving teaching into the range of interactions that take place in the course of a full day in a residential community.

    I am glad you will remain a neighbor, and look forward to your continued presence in the Hotchkiss and broader NW CT communities.

    Warm regards,
    Amy

    Like

  16. Congratulations Dave, so well deserved! The “aha” moment for me of your dedication to Hotchkiss was seeing you on the sidelines of the New England field hockey championship at Middlesex in the fall of 2014. In your chair, with a blanket draped around you as I recall, there you were cheering on the girls to their thrilling victory. From there I learned just what a regular you were to various games, supporting the Bearcats. As well, surely many an advisee remembers being treated to a delicious brunch at Chai Walla. A pandemic has robbed you, at least for now, of the appropriate send-off you so deserve.

    All the best, John

    Like

  17. Dear Dave,
    Overlapping with you for the better part of my career at Hotchkiss, the most prominent memory for me is that when something needed to be done, you would step up and do it. Whether that was covering for a reaching or dorm situation, working with a team that needed a coach, finding a driver for an event, or just getting somebody to bake a batch of brownies, you were the go-to person. Thoughtful, honest, candid, and open, you were as much fun to have in a lunch conversation as you were in a faculty discussion. It is hard to imagine the place without you!

    All the best on your retirement!
    Fondly,
    Betsy

    Like

  18. Dear Dave

    It is wonderful to have been your colleague for so many years (eleven), sharing the same office at the Math Dept, occupying different floors of the same house off campus for a while. Your even temper and kind attitude have always had a special place in my heart. One could not have asked for a better colleague. Your presence at Hotchkiss is such that I identify with you, as with some other already retired colleagues, a lot of my Hotchkiss memories and experiences and your departure is a sad confirmation that nothing stays the same forever. Somehow, from far away, I will miss your presence at Hotchkiss with all the good that it has brought. I wish you all the best in your retirement and hope to see you some time, again. Maybe we should have a Hotchkiss Math Dept former/current faculty party some day?

    Like

  19. Hi Dave,

    I’m so grateful to have been your colleague for over 30 years. When I arrived, we had two Mr. Bolmers at Hotchkiss, and I’ve always marveled at the fact that we have had a Mr. Bolmer on our faculty, uninterrupted, since 1947. That’s 73 years–remarkable, unequaled history!

    I’m grateful for the support and help you have given my wife, a math department colleague for almost three decades, and my two sons, who both care a lot about math. You have been an inspiration and positive influence for whole generations of Hotchkiss students and teachers, and I’m glad I have gotten to see it up close.

    You’ve made us stronger and better, Dave. I know how much you care about the school, both on a professional and deeply personal level, and how much you have always cared for the students you work with.

    All my best on your retirement,
    Keith

    Like

  20. Dear David,

    I still have with me the folder you gave me with the print out maps of Florence, and I also remember your gracious account of your experience there. This was so helpful to me! And thank you for the many times we had lunch together, which made me feel very much at home.

    I wish you the best and you are always welcome in Colombia!

    Un abrazo,

    Pacho

    Like

  21. Dave, Anne and I would have to be considered the grandparents o the volleyball team for the years she was alive. We came to most home games and followed you and your players far and wide to various tournaments and championships. We were SO impressed by your coaching style, your demeanor on the floor and overall by you as a coach and example for your players. We were privileged to a part of a program of which you were a remarkable founder and mentor. Thanks for your part in an exciting program which did Hotchkiss proud. C. Arthur Eddy

    Like

  22. Mr. Bolmer,
    I’ve procrastinated writing because there is just so much on my mind that I wish I could articulate as beautifully as my colleagues have already done here.
    I am so glad to know you. You are one of the people I can always count on and that makes my job much easier! Not only are you always the one answer a call for help, you actively seek out ways to help wherever you can. You’ve never missed a deadline. You’ve always gone above and beyond for your advisees in a way that taught them how to advocate for themselves but also made them feel supported.
    Please know that I have deep admiration and fondness for you and I will miss you. I’m so sorry that you are retiring during this crazy time when none of us can be together to celebrate in person. I know that Hotchkiss is in your blood and so I have no doubt that we will see each other on campus again someday.
    I hope retirement brings you the opportunity to fill your time with everything you enjoy!
    Warmly,
    Heather

    PS – Thank you for completing the teaching request form this year. I liked the course title of “Golfing Instead of Classes” and hope that you get to enjoy that very soon!

    Like

  23. David’s retirement ends a multi-year commitment of service, loyalty. and dedication to the Hotchkiss School by the Bolmer family. His dad, Steve, who also taught math and fulfilled many other important roles on campus, greeted this fledgling teacher when I arrived with my family in 1963. I recall that warm welcome given to us by Steve and Peggy both of whom were so happy when David followed in his father’s footsteps.

    In his years at the school, David served with the utmost honesty, integrity, and dedication and it was an honor to have been a colleague of both him and his father. May David’s years of retirement be many and happy.

    George Anastasio

    Like

  24. Hello Master Bolmer,

    Before I came to The Hotchkiss School, my colleagues at SGS were excited for me because I was going to be to work with David Bolmer. I remember listening to their description and thinking that this person was a myth due to all the superlatives they were saying. They explained how much you cared and always went the extra mile for everyone. I thought you could not be real.

    When I first met you, I was thinking I must have gotten something wrong. Was this the same guy who they mentioned? At that time, I did not see you smile and I was intimidated by your presence. When I connected with you, I understood.
    I am so glad you allowed me to connect with you and forge a friendship with you. Now I know that those descriptors that I previously heard were all understatements. You are the real deal! You are such a role model to me and for so many people. You do so much, but you somehow disappear without proper thanks. I want to thank you for making my Hotchkiss teaching career so special and for helping me adjust. I have thoroughly enjoyed all our interactions and all our conversations. I am also so proud that my daughter had the opportunity to be taught by Master Bolmer this year.

    Since you will not be that far away, if you are looking for a project, you taught me to be a better and more effective teacher. Do you want to work on my golf game soon?

    Dave, thank you for being who you are. Thank you for being so available to your students and your colleagues. Thank you for your advice. I value your friendship. I am truly honored that I was able to work with the great and one of the most humble people I know, David Bolmer.

    Respectfully,
    Pierre S. Yoo

    Like

  25. Dave-

    It goes without saying that I consider myself extremely fortunate to have been your colleague. As a new faculty member, you quickly became a role model for me in terms of doing your job the right way all the time. I’m glad that you are remaining close to campus as I have no doubt I will seek your guidance in the future. Looking forward to the next time our paths cross.

    Best,
    Will

    Like

  26. Dave,
    I always enjoy our exchanges. Congratulations on your retirement. Your knowledge and history as a member of the Hotchkiss Community can’t really be replaced. I am glad that we will still be in communication at times. Your years of dedication to Hotchkiss, are really remarkable, as are those of the many retirees with their collective service to the school. What a great community to be retiring from and to. All good people, bound together in service to propel young people forward in life. Thank you.

    Like

  27. Dave and I have been friends since the summer of 1977 when we met at Camp Laurel in Readfield, Maine. Pen pals, hiking buddies, ice cream connoisseurs and ultimately both teachers at independent schools. Dave has been a mentor, teacher and friend of 40+ years and I wish him a relaxing retirement…he has earned it.

    Like

  28. I taught for many years with Dave’s father; I have a good sense of the tradition to which Dave remains faithful and for its place in the history of Hotchkiss.

    Dave embodies many of the values associated with the ‘old school’. His dedication to all the facets of students’ lives is unparalleled. He is thoroughly consistent— in applying standards to students and in holding his colleagues to the expectations of the job. He is dependable. I am truly in awe of his commitment. He makes the ‘triple threat’ believable.

    At the same time, he has embraced new approaches to the craft of teaching. Particularly in the use of technology Dave embraced its promise from the outset—although not uncritically. He knows that technology is merely a supplement to the personal relationship at the heart of learning. And he has enthusiastically supported new program—specifically the music program. He and his mother are always in the first row for performances of both students and professional musicians. I trust they will continue to be there after Dave’s retirement.

    Like

  29. David: What a legacy you are leaving. What gifts you have given to so many. Others who have known and worked with you longer than I have already given glowing testimony to all this and more. What I can add as a former head is that you were an ideal faculty member–professional, skilled, committed, generous of spirit, altruistic, tireless, good natured. I could go on and on. Maybe the question is, “Can we clone you?” Thank you, thank you. Hotchkiss has been the beneficiary of your example, and I hope your example will carry on. Yours, Skip

    Like

  30. Dave,

    It’s hard for me to imagine the Math Department without you. You’ve been a good colleague and friend through the years. I’ve learned more from you than you know. There is nobody more reliable and more committed to his students than you. You’re leaving very large shoes to fill.

    It took me years to understand that underneath the gruff exterior was a gentle kind man who would do anything to help someone else. You’re the first to volunteer to cover a class or drive a student to Wassaic. You’ve worked hard and long and you deserve a restful retirement. I just hope that I see you around the Hotchkiss golf course or the Math Wing every now and then. Don’t be a stranger!

    Like

  31. Dave Bolmer is one of those teachers who makes schools like Hotchkiss what they are. His career at our school has been both extraordinary and exemplary. When I think of Dave, these haunting and gracious lines of Wordsworth come to my mind: “….that best portion of a good man’s life,/His little, nameless, unremembered acts/Of kindness and of love.” Dave has given the best portion of his life, a hugely generous portion, to Hotchkiss, and he is a good man. His many gifts, little and large, nameless and named, unremembered and remembered, will live on in the spirit with which they were offered, with kindness and with love.

    Like

  32. Dear David,

    There is no one quite like you! Your dedication to the Hotchkiss students, faculty, staff and alums has been remarkable not just here and there but consistently throughout your entire 34 year career here.

    You’ve been a tremendous asset to us in the athletic department and I can honestly say there has never been another coach like you. Since you began working at Hotchkiss in the fall of 1986, you have coached our teams for 96 seasons – this is out of a possible 102 seasons.

    Not only can you coach pretty much any team sport, but your willingness to step in wherever we needed you is truly unparalleled. There was never a plea from you to lessen your load in those 34 years. In fact, you are the only faculty member who not only coached their team during a particular season, but also volunteered to help a new faculty member coach another team in the same season.

    I’ll never forget in my senior spring the varsity softball team was playing down at Taft. While we were warming up, there you appeared with your signature white hat and lawn chair ready to hunker down and watch our game. You sat right along side the 3rd baseline for the entire game, a game we won I might add.

    I think this is what is most endearing about you. Your true love of sports – whether as a coach or supporting spectator – this love was truly unfailing. A regular fan at the PKO hockey tournament, any and all New England championship games, home or three hours away in Boston, you were always there.

    Your dedication, incredible sportsmanship and love of all things Bearcat Athletics will certainly go down in history!

    All the best in your retirement. Although I do wonder how long it will take until you ask to coach a Bearcat team again.

    Like

  33. Dear David,
    Ginny and I would like to offer our salute to you for your engagement, professionalism, and generosity to the Hotchkiss program and community. No one has done more to serve, help, volunteer, support, and embrace this life so authentically for an institution that has been such a huge part of your life. We share many memories from the playing fields, the streets of Florence, meals in the dining hall, duty teams in the MB, and a wide range of evening and weekend duties. Teaching has been an avocation and we are all better for your endless commitment to your students, advisees, and players. You have served as a role model for Ginny and me through these many years and we send you warm wishes for the next steps in your life post-Hotchkiss.

    Like

  34. Congratulations, Dave!

    It is difficult to imagine Hotchkiss without you. Like the Main Gates, you have been a steady, strong, welcoming presence on campus. There is no doubt that all you’ve done during your years at the School will continue to play a part in the community. Your unwavering commitment has been an exemplary model for all. Your kindness, generosity, and integrity have been an inspiration for countless students, faculty and staff. You simply always show up, do the right thing, and care. I admire, and learned a good deal from, your tireless efforts to understand and support students, while also holding them to high standards. I appreciated the many ways in which your wisdom and guidance added value to my own experience, professionally and personally. You’ve certainly earned the release of time that will come with retirement, but I suspect that you will still be keeping an eye on what’s going on at Hotchkiss. The impact of your time there has been permanently woven into the School’s fabric, and the differences you’ve made will continue to matter. I’m sorry that we’ll miss the opportunity to celebrate with you, but I’m imagining myself in an endless line of students, staff, and faculty clapping in the math wing, honoring who you are and all you have done.

    Enjoy your next chapter,
    Nancy Gaynor

    Like

  35. Dave and I arrived at Hotchkiss in the fall of 1986 as young 30-something math teachers, and for most of my 29 years there we shared the same office space. In a nutshell, I’m not sure I know of anyone who has given more of oneself to students and to a school than what Dave Bolmer has. If I had to describe Dave in a word, indefatigable comes to mind.

    I know from having observed Dave teach many times that the atmosphere in his classroom was truly rich in every sense of the word. Students who arrived in Dave’s class knew they were going to think, work, conjecture, cooperate, and explain. One of Dave’s trademarks was to get students at the board the moment they walked into class. Without strictly subscribing to any formal methodology of teaching and learning, Dave’s style spanned and contained key characteristics of many leading educators. This was evident by watching the way Dave’s students worked together, critiqued peer work, and assessed themselves. His students learned early on that they were going to be challenged every day and through guidance and encouragement, they would gain confidence in their abilities to think abstractly and make connections. Dave embraced appropriate use of technology in his early years at Hotchkiss when the beginning versions of graphing calculators were emerging in mathematics education. It did not matter what level of math class Dave was teaching, his approach was the same, as were the results, namely, curious, industrious, and seasoned math students.

    Dave’s teaching and reach at Hotchkiss went far beyond the mathematics classroom. He was a true professional in coaching. His teams played with grit and respect just as his students performed in the classroom. Dave would routinely and willingly step in to cover the needs of others. Whether it was holding classes for his math colleagues, taking on driving responsibilities, offering endless hours of extra help, mentoring teachers new to the profession, stepping in to help with additional coaching responsibilities, and even moving back into the dormitory for a term to help with coverage, Dave would do such things without thinking twice about it. Besides regularly attending games as a spectator at home and away (and sometimes at tournaments far away), Dave was also an avid supporter of the performing arts as he rarely missed a performance of plays and concerts.

    The term “triple threat” might not be the most appropriate term to describe David Bolmer as he was more of a quadruple or quintuple threat. For me, and I suspect for hundreds (perhaps thousands), Dave was an inspiration. He was tireless and selfless with all that he did. A man of great character and integrity, it was an honor for me to have had the privilege of knowing him and to be his colleague.

    Congratulations, Dave, and best wishes on your retirement.

    Wayne Gaynor

    Like

  36. Thanks, Dave, for all you have done for the school during the many years you have spent on campus. You and I, and the others of the glorious new faculty of 1986 (about 15 or 16 of us, I think) have always been classmates of a sort. By the time I retired, you, Noyes and Kelly were the only ones remaining. Is that accurate? We hung in there and saw change, for better and worse, happening around us. As the last surviving member of the ‘class’ you brought all kinds of talent and bedrock loyalty to the institution you have loved so well.

    Counting your childhood years, how many Heads of School have you seen passing through the hallowed halls? Amazing to contemplate. That kind of longevity is one of the reasons for Hotchkiss’s success and prestige. The wisdom of the ages!

    Enjoy now the rest and the leisure you so richly deserve. I know we’ll run into each other from time to time, most likely at school functions, but I’ll be glad to see you anytime, anywhere. You’ll always be a reminder of good years spent on the hill.

    Congratulations,
    George Faison

    Like

  37. Dear Dave,

    We started together at Hotchkiss in 1986, part of a group of 16 new faculty members. I wonder if you thought then that you would stay for over three decades and finish your career at Hotchkiss? Clearly you have enjoyed your primary roles of math teacher, coach and residential life as well as the countless other hats you have worn over the years. Your willingness to volunteer for any and every assignment was impressive. Your hand was the first to go up when a driver or a chaperone was needed for an off campus trip to some other remote part of New England!

    Equally impressive is the care you gave to your students. For you, it was always about the students and what they needed. I would guess that very few nights of Main Building Duty or dorm duty would go by without a request for help with a math question. I know that the nights we did MB duty together that was true. You patiently worked through a problem with the student – not giving them the answer – but asking guiding questions to help them arrive at the correct answer themself.

    As a very successful coach, you put that same care and detail into coaching your teams. Whether it was a varsity, junior varsity or thirds team you always approached coaching in the same way and with the same high expectations for your players. You are an innovative coach and even made training aids for your teams. I remember wandering into a volleyball practice and observing a device I had not seen before. When I asked a player about it her answer was “Oh, Mr. Bolmer made that over the summer. We use it for hitting and blocking drills.” Several times a week, you would stop by the athletic training room and check up on your players that were spending time with us. You were always interested in their progress and in working with the athletic trainers to ensure a safe, speedy return to full play. I always appreciated that communication with you and enjoyed our conversations.

    The Humanics Philosophy of Springfield College (we are both alums) calls for the education of the whole person – in spirit, mind and body – for leadership in service to others. You have embodied that philosophy throughout your Hotchkiss career. This final term for you at Hotchkiss has been a lot different than you had anticipated. You had written in an email to me that you were teaching the same courses you had taught for 25 years, had a strong group of returning golfers and now that you lived in your own house did not have MB duty. The implication was that it was going to be an easy, fun final term – and then everything changed. But in typical Dave fashion, you adjusted to teaching on Zoom and everything else that was required this spring.

    Enjoy your retirement – you have certainly earned it. You are the final member of our “faculty class of 1986” to retire. Thank you for your friendship and support. I look forward to seeing you at some games, concerts and other events once school reopens. Perhaps I can even get a golf lesson or two from you this fall. I wish you good health and much happiness in the future. Congratulations on your retirement, Dave!

    Pat Kelly

    Like

  38. Félicitations, Dave!

    I write on the eve of Hotchkiss’ last week of teaching in a distance learning universe; what a way for you to crown your long and admirable career! No choice but to go out on a limb with (new) technologies and challenging ways of being with your students. You’re up to it, and hats off for adapting! I’m certain that even in this mode, you’re ever-present for them.

    Some overarching themes come to mind when I consider teaching and learning at Hotchkiss in your presence. I’m grateful for what I observed from your model starting with my first days on campus : field hockey, squash and coaching, baking for appreciative players and advisees, Outing Club, of course, Elfers concerts, performances and student theater. I’d guess that your consistent presence at every concert or performance in Lakeville will continue.

    As an entry-level coach, I learned to jump in and do my best thanks to your lead on the 49 fields and Cullman courts. (From the field next to our 3rds group, your example guided, including how to actually hold that field hockey stick!) More recently, Jonathan and I got to appreciate your dedication from our parent perspective as you coached Elliot in JV squash. Thank you especially for that.

    You were often the one willing to answer all-fac pleas to join us at Ranger with an Outing Club overnight crew. Hike in late, hang out by the fire for a bit, and then retire quietly to your tent up on the hill above. A go-to colleague for advice before a trip with students (“Dave, where to park for Belter’s bump? Dave, what’s the best way to start Sage’s Ravine?” and you’d answer with a p.s. : “If you go the back way, you’ll find blueberry bushes, too.”) Mealtime conversations included your stories of summer hiking adventures whetted my appetite for places farther afield that I’ve yet to explore.

    An advisee once told me that your course was so demanding that sometimes she was scared of your expectations, “… but I know that he’s a big teddy bear, and he’s really generous with his time during extra help. I know he really wants to help me learn.”
    What a legacy. Thank you, Dave! Sarinda

    Like

  39. Congratulations on your retirement . We’ve enjoyed hearing your many stories about Hotchkiss through the years and your excitement about what lays ahead.

    See you on the golf course !

    Like

  40. I came to Hotchkiss from England in 1989 as a member of the History Department. After a year of living off campus my family moved into Dana and David was the Head of Dorm. He was just the right man, for an Englishman who had attended a British boarding school and who had taught at another, to explain and show me that you do things differently in America! David was always ready to talk when something happened that I did not understand (which was often) and because of his encyclopedic knowledge of the school, I was able to learn a lot of its history and traditions. At that time, David’s father was still teaching at Hotchkiss and was intrigued by the similarities and differences between father and son. I left Hotchkiss in 2013 and am now happily retired in England. You will find retirement is very, very different from working, David, but it will surprise you just how quickly you become involved in non-school issues: so much so that you will wonder how you ever found the time to teach!

    James G. Marshall

    Like

  41. Congratulations Dave, you will be deeply missed by many many people at Hotchkiss and beyond. I cherish our time together as colleagues and friends, and know that you’ve had a great influence on many others. Amongst our memories, I fondly recall trips to Fudgy’s, chaperoning kids in Florence (with the Witkowski’s, Susan, and Brad!), coaching an undefeated golf team, teaching MA450 together, coaching girls thirds basketball (while you simultaneously coached your own squash team), summer golf around New England, watching the Springfield volleyball tournament, tapas and Wicked in NYC, and late nights working in the office or with students in the math wing. There is NOBODY who inspires me to work harder to be a better teacher than you, even today. Thank you for everything. I hope you’ll enjoy your well-deserved retirement and make your way to the west coast for some adventure soon. I can sense many birdies in your future!

    Like

  42. Dear Dave,

    Congratulations on your retirement. You were a standout mentor for me throughout my years at Hotchkiss. I always considered “how would Dave Bolmer do this?” and I valued your succinct and clear opinion on all matters math and otherwise. We would all take a beat and consider the truth in what you uttered, and it often summed up the issue and so we moved on. Thank you for being fair to everyone and expecting everyone to be fair back. My favorite quote of yours that I use and recommend to my advisees still is “That’s not nice,” that works in any situation that you want to diffuse without judgement or escalation.

    Thank you for always walking the walk without expecting anything in return. I admired you for quietly getting your team equipment with an award gift when anyone else would have indulged themselves. Thank you for always trying to do the right thing. Thank you for looking out for all of the students. You were the first advisor to greet the kids in the dorm when they moved in. Thank you for being a dedicated coach. I think you cheered on even more games than you coached, and that’s saying something since you coached all three seasons even when you took on an extra class too. Thank you for looking out for all of my kids, and teaching them, and traveling with them. They still talk about your white shoes. Thank you for looking out for me. I will always be indebted to you for being an excellent role model.

    I wish you all the best in your new home!
    Nina

    Like

  43. Dave! Happy Retirement!! We wish you all the best as you settle into a more relaxing lifestyle, full of hikes, golf, and world travel. Be happy and stay well.
    All the best,
    Mary and Bobby Albis

    Like

  44. Dave, you were the quintessential teacher, none ever more so that I ever was around — Your dedication in and out of the classroom…to/with students, colleagues, staff I always admired — I certainly enjoyed the time we shared together in the math dept. during my tenure at Hotchkiss — May you find retirement a new adventure that will keep you as upbeat and engaged as all that you have done before now, sincerely, Al Bertsch.

    Like

  45. Fear not, David. Although I must have been introduced to you within days of your birth, I have no baby pictures with which to embarrass you. And while I have many memories of our days of roaming the Hotchkiss campus together in the 1950’s and early 1960’s, I will not share them here. Instead, I’ll simply say that as your colleague in the Math Wing for over thirty years I routinely felt that you set an impossibly high standard of dedication to the job of being a teacher, coach, advisor and mentor to students and teachers alike. You didn’t work at Hotchkiss, you LIVED Hotchkiss twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week, for at least eleven months a year, from the day you began teaching here in the fall of 1986 until the day you Zoomed into the sunset in the spring of 2020. Oh, there may have been a sabbatical, and you allowed yourself a bit of solitary travel time during Spring Break or after all those summer chaperoning adventures in Italy. But I can’t imagine anyone giving more of their heart, soul, sweat, and time on this earth to Hotchkiss – well, anyone who wasn’t named Wheeler. That’s rare air, my friend. Rare air.

    Thank you. Your honesty, your fairness, and your frankness made Hotchkiss a better school. You always spoke your mind, and you always spoke from your heart, firm in your conviction that the truth – even if hard to hear – was the best option. When people call this approach “tough love,” they too often focus on the first word of the phrase rather than the second. However, any student of yours who ever ate one of your homemade desserts, solved a hard problem on an exam, or saw you magically appear as a spectator on the sidelines of a distant playoff game, in miserable weather, knows that you were motivated by the love of the young people in your care, and you always wanted the best for them.

    By the 5th tee, overlooking the Lake, stands a rusty old water fountain. I remember being so young and short that I had to stand on one of the legs of the fountain merely to make myself tall enough to reach the water for a drink. Turning the handle was hard. You, too, were once the same size, and I want everyone who reads this, to think about what it means for you to have remained so close to Hotchkiss, for more than sixty years, and to have given the School everything you possibly could, even when it was hard to do so. May your retirement be easy, and may you drink deeply from the well of memories you have for yourself, and of those you’ve created for others in helping to shape their lives.

    Like

  46. I won’t be as eloquent as others, I’m sure, Dave, but I hope you know how much I have appreciated you through the years. You were the math department’s go-to guy. In fact, we never had to go to you; you were quick to volunteer for anything we needed. You have mentored me and so many others through the years, in matters big and small. I admire your attention to detail AND the bigger ideas of math, and above all, your bottom line philosophy that everything we do is for the sake of our students.

    Lord knows where we will go to now when we need scissors, rulers, graphing paper, a good quiz…. the list goes on and on.

    Of course, I’m thrilled that you will have time to devote to YOU, after years of devoting yourself to others. I’ll be nagging you to be sure you stay on task.

    With much love,
    Bridget

    Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s