Pedro B. Perez has been named the recipient of St. Martin’s Episcopal School’s 2018 Dorothy Porter Service Award, Head of School Merry Sorrells announced today.
“The first time I met Pedro, he was surrounded by adoring former students at an alumni event in Houston,” said Sorrells. “It was inspiring to see the impact that this one teacher had on a group of young people whose lives he touched in a deep and meaningful way. Pedro remains a beloved member of the St. Martin’s community, and it is a pleasure to honor him as the 2018 Dorothy Porter Service Award recipient.”
St. Martin’s is delighted to present this year’s Dorothy Porter Service Award to one of the most beloved community members in the history of the school. For nearly four decades, from 1969 to 2007, Perez was an excellent classroom teacher who was consistently committed to the achievement of his students. During that time, he also served as chair of the foreign language department. Under his leadership, the department flourished.
His dedication to Upper School led him to serve as the Student Council sponsor and junior class lead advisor. In these roles he showed that he was not only interested in the classroom learning of students but also in their personal growth. Whether working to coordinate prom fundraising or planning homecoming week events, Perez worked to encourage leadership skills in Upper School students and always held high expectations of them.
Perez formed strong relationships with students on the athletic field as well. When the school's Upper School soccer coach departed he willingly took over the position. As a coach, he taught tenacity and the importance of teamwork to students he may never have encountered in the classroom.
He is fondly remembered by innumerable students and colleagues for his multiple and varied services to the school. The Shield, StM’s yearbook, was twice dedicated to him -- in 1977 and 1991. In 2008, to honor him, the Upper School Spanish Award was renamed the Pedro Perez Spanish Award.
No summary of his time at St. Martin's could capture the tremendous impact that he has had on the school. His concern and respect for the St. Martin’s community will long be remembered by all who worked with him. After retirement from StM in 2007, Perez remains an example of the consummate educator. He continues to take courses at his local college. His emphasis on lifelong learning mirrors the element of scholarship that is a primary value of our community.
We invite all of our alums and community members to join us on May 12 at the annual Alumni Spirits party as we honor a teacher who dearly loved his job, his school, and his students.
History of the Dorothy Porter Service Award
The Dorothy Porter Service Award was established in honor of the beloved longtime teacher, who was a part of St. Martin's from its beginning. Even after her retirement in 1983, Mrs. Porter was actively involved in the school. She exemplified grace, commitment, historical love for the school, and an enduring spirit that is admired by everyone who is a part of St. Martin's. With the Dorothy Porter Service Award, St. Martin’s honors Mrs. Porter and her commitment to St. Martin's. The award recipient must be an exemplary St. Martin's citizen who has consistently served the school with time, talent, and treasure and who represents the motto, philosophy, and mission of St. Martin's: Faith, Scholarship, and Service.
Past recipients of the Dorothy Porter Service Award are Dorothy Porter (2002), Jim Marsalis '62 (2003), Belle Johnson (2004), The Rev. Gedge Gayle (2005), Eileen Beckman (2006), Bill Rosenbaum (2007), Wally Porter '76 (2008), "Miss Janet" Russo (2009), The Rev. John Stone Jenkins (2010), Lynn Coatney (2011), Karen Sullivan (2012), Linda Trevino (2013), Marian and Larry Gibbs (2014), Julie Dieth (2015), Warren Lind (2016), and Chick McGeehan (2017).