Lincoln Academy Class of 2018 President Levi McAtee (left) with classmates David Barnum and Taylor Holmes stand in front of their class gift, a bench dedicated to LA teachers past, present, and future. The bench was installed earlier this fall in front of the Bailey Gymnasium.

The Class Gift of 2018 arrived on campus in September of 2018: a polished granite bench in memory of all teachers who have taught at Lincoln Academy since it doors opened more than 200 years ago. Lincoln Academy opened in a two story building on the River Road in 1805. Daniel Haskell was the Academy’s original Preceptor (now known as Head of School) and is considered Lincoln Academy’s first teacher.

The concept for the 2018 Class Gift dedicated to Lincoln Academy’s teachers surfaced when it was noted that four long-serving Lincoln Academy teachers had passed away during the four years that the Class of 2018 spent at Lincoln Academy. Those teachers were Winifred Sherman, who taught Latin, Peggy Duckett, who taught English, Andrew Williamson II, who taught math, and Principal Arthur Dexter.

The oldest Class Gift on campus is a pendulum clock from the Class of 1903 in the school’s library and the Class of 2019 is already hard at work to leave a significant class gift to enhance the campus of LA.

The granite bench located in front of the Bailey Gymnasium has the following inscription, “A Teacher Takes a Hand, Opens a Mind, and touches a Heart. Class of 2018.” Levi McAtee, President of the Class of 2018, announced the class gift to attendees on Class Night May 30th, 2018, which is the traditional occasion for class gifts to be made public.

McAtee, who now attends Bowdoin College, came back to campus for a photograph in front of the now-snowy bench, and reflected on the meaning of the gift dedication this way: “Leaving Lincoln Academy is one of the hardest things I’ve ever done. It was my home–it was where I discovered myself and everything I’ve ever wanted. I found wisdom in my teachers. I found fierceness in my friends. There was love wherever I looked, and guidance wherever I needed it. In time, I grew into a courageous silly boy with all the time in the world and not a moment to waste. I became myself. I’ve since been a little lost without it, without my home, but I have faith I will find another one in my future–and I’m confident I’ll know it when I see it.”