Staff Spotlight: Dr. Russell S. Boles, Jr. Rookie of the Year Award Announced

At the Latham End-of-Year Celebration last week, more than 200 Latham students, residents, staff, families, and special guests celebrated the theme of Mastery during the two-hour annual event. It poured for most of the morning on Friday, June 21st, but as our community came together under an enormous tent, everyone was uplifted by the moving participation of our students and our Latham Players; by the highlights of Mastery at Latham presented by our leaders; and by the invigorating words of our award presenters and recipients.

One of those awards, given in memory of Dr. Russell S. Boles, Jr., was the Rookie of the Year Award – presented to one member of our Children’s Program and one member of our Adult Program.

President Anne McManus introduced the award: “It is my privilege today to introduce a new annual award – the Dr. Russell S. Boles, Jr. Rookie of the Year Award. Russell Boles, who passed away in February at the age of 96, was a great man and a true friend to everyone at Latham Centers. He served as a member of the Latham Board of Directors from 1999 to 2010. Even though Dr. Boles officially retired from the board, he continued to be a force in the development of our school and our adult programs. Dr. Boles was instrumental in the growth on campus, starting with the addition to the Schoolhouse, the Yawkey Dormitory, and the recently built Cottage Dormitory. He remained active in the Capital Campaign and was always interested in the success of our students and staff. Not only was Russell Boles totally devoted to our students and staff, he was also one of Latham’s biggest cheerleaders — always upbeat, ready to tackle any issue impacting the school or our programs, and always going above and beyond to ensure Latham’s success.

We lost a champion in Dr. Boles, and I lost a very dear friend, but his legacy of service and kindness is carried forward by his family. His wife Margie, and his children Liz, Laird, and Margaret have all embraced Latham and helped us to advance our mission. We are so grateful to count them among our dear friends. It is therefore fitting that we name an ongoing award to that new staff person who epitomizes the professionalism and grace that Russell Boles always demonstrated. I’m thrilled to announce that this year’s award is being presented to two “rookies” – both of whom are relatively new to our organization but have been recognized by their peers as possessing the character, motivation, energy, and compassion to be outstanding in their roles.”

Director of Education Brittni Kliment then presented the award to a member of our Children’s Program staff:

“This year’s award goes to Craig Thatcher. Craig has been a One to One Counselor since January 2019. Since beginning at Latham, Craig has made a significant impact on all of the students. Craig has the ability to work through the tough situations with a calm, neutral demeanor. He manages challenging situations with ease and respects the students and staff throughout the entire process. Craig goes above and beyond, promotes teamwork and support amongst his fellow employees, and is always working with the students in new and innovative ways to get them involved. Congratulations, Craig, and thank you for all that you do!”

Tomorrow, we’ll introduce Latham Centers’ Adult Services Program Rookie of the Year.

Pictured: Brittni Kliment and Rookie of the Year Craig Thatcher at our June 21st Year End Celebration of Mastery; and Anne McManus with Dr. Russell S. Boles, Jr. at our 2018 Year End Celebration.

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