Ann Martinez, considered by many to be the heart of the Packer community, is retiring after 19 years as a member of the school’s food service department. Ann’s impact extended beyond the work she did in the Commons. She made a point of making personal connections with the many students, families, and faculty and staff members she saw during breakfast, lunch, and snack time.
“She’s always willing to help anyone she comes in contact with,” said fellow food service team member Tawanna L. Carmichael. “She’s our kitchen mom. She’s always there for us.”
“From the moment I met Ann, I knew she was a very warm and caring person,” said Rich Costas, Packer’s Food Service Director, who has worked with Ann for five years. “It wasn’t until I saw her interact with the Packer community, which she called her family, that I truly knew how special she was. She always engaged in genuine and caring conversations with everyone she met.”
“She was the most consistent presence in the school for as long as I can remember,” said Assistant Head of School and Middle School Division Head Noah Reinhardt, who has known Ann for nearly 20 years. “She provides such a grounding, centering presence in the school for so many people every day.”
Even Packer’s newest community members have experienced this. Head of School Dr. Jennifer Weyburn, who joined Packer in July 2019, said Ann helped her “start every morning in a good, centered place.”
Ann could often be found chatting with a faculty member as they prepared a cup of coffee, connecting with an Upper Schooler whom she had watched grow up at Packer, or even drying the tears of a little one who had had a particularly tough moment.
In the spring of 2020, Ann was awarded the Florence Davis Award, which is granted to a Packer faculty or staff member who exhibits the award namesake’s qualities of patience, understanding, and helpfulness. 2019-20 Student Council President Izabella L. ’20 presented the award to Ann at a virtual award ceremony and shared the following remarks:
“Ann radiates kindness to everyone who crosses her path. Her devotion to care and compassion is apparent through her kind interactions with both students and faculty. If there is anyone you need to have a conversation with before you finish your time at Packer, it’s Ann. Her genuine words of wisdom can brighten up anyone’s day. She knows practically everyone at Packer by name and takes the time to check in with everyone she greets. Ann has truly been a blessing to the Packer community.”
Ann’s genuine concern for others has made an impression on her coworkers and has even influenced how they approach their own work. “Before I knew anything about Ann, she knew about me and about my family,” said Noah. “She was genuinely interested in how I was doing as a person…. Ann has helped me remember to create a moment with another person, to let them know that I see them as a person and not just someone I work with.”
Ann’s departure will be felt deeply by everyone in the Packer community. “Ann is one of the most dedicated and caring people I have ever worked with,” said Rich. “A smile and a hug was Ann’s way. I will miss those hugs.”
“I’m grateful to God for bringing me from Panama to work at Packer,” said Ann. “I enjoyed working, helping, and talking with everyone…. I want to give thanks to all of the faculty and staff…[for] the respect, love, and friendship they gave me. I’m going to miss you all.”
If you would like to submit well-wishes to Ann, please send them to firstname.lastname@example.org.