New Pond Farm has just lost one of its founders, a guiding force and generous donor. When Sally “fell off the twig” in late August she left us knowing that she had led a full life and that her vision, hard work and support of the farm would continue to enrich the lives of students of all ages for generations to come. Sally had a wide range of interests and approached each one with great passion. New Pond Farm, her close friendships, her dedication to teaching, her love of travel, theatre and tennis, her commitment to conservation and politics topped the list.
She was an outstanding philanthropist and supported many organizations but New Pond Farm was her major beneficiary. Her great respect for Native Americans and their lifeways inspired her to create a significant Native American fund which has allowed the farm to acquire a vast array of living artifacts and an authentically recreated encampment, to develop an extraordinary program that ties-into the curricula of area schools, and to give thousands of students a hands-on appreciation for how Native Americans lived off the land. More recently, Sally presented New Pond Farm with an inspirational lead gift for our Capital Campaign. These have been extraordinary donations to the farm and to the entire community.
Outside New Pond Farm Sally was a devoted educator and skilled administrator. From 1965-1968 she was Dean of Students at her alma mater Connecticut College. She was a fifth grade teacher in Redding from 1969-1985.
She was devoted to her students and set high standards for her classroom. Some of her fondest memories of this time centered around an integrated curriculum program held at Silver Lake in Sharon, CT., where, after months
of preparation, the 5th graders and their teachers would become a family as they’d head off for four days of cooperative learning and fun. They’d hike the Appalachian Trail, go on early morning bird walks, participate in
programs with National Audubon staff, carve their own walking sticks, learn Native American games, dances and outdoor cooking skills. Sally was instrumental in the annual organization of this worthwhile program. She knew how well children learned from hands-on experience in the out-of-doors and she and her Silver Lake colleagues, who have all played an important role at New Pond Farm, gave their students some incredible memories.
Sally was our world traveler, having explored regions on all seven continents. Her favorite distant destination was Antarctica. She made four trips to the tip of the southern hemisphere- the vast landscape, the crisp air, the unmatchable blue of the glacial ice, combined with the waddles of her favorite species of penguins touched her deeply. Closer to home she would make an annual pilgrimage on her own or with good friends to the Atlantic shore- she loved sailing, beachcombing and swimming in the bracingly cold water.
Sally was comforted in her final days knowing that the farm was in capable hands. She also knew that she had the love, respect and support of her good friends and her heart was filled with love for them. She led a full life. We shall miss her and we will be forever grateful for her love, guidance, tireless work and generosity. We will all do our best to care for New Pond Farm in memory of our two founders, Sally and Carmen.