The Baker-Ellis Spirit Award was created in 2005. A generous McGehee Alumna wished to honor members of the McGehee Family who give ceaselessly of their time and talents in the service of the school. The Award was named for its’ first recipients, Gary Gillis Baker ’52 and T. C. W. Ellis, III. Previous recipients have been alumnae, parents, Trustees, grandparents, faculty and friends. What unites them is love of McGehee School and the spirit of volunteerism and service. All of them have, in the words of the old school oath, left McGehee ‘greater and better’ than they found it.
This year we honored two women who embody the spirit of the Baker-Ellis Award. Both of them served as Parents’ League Presidents. After preceding years of Room Mom duties, Book Week shifts, and Gala organization, they were well aware that this position, though fun and rewarding, is often very hard work, requiring the highest level of skill in organization and diplomacy. And then along came COVID-19.
Leslie Tallant saw what was looking to be a record-breaking year end abruptly. Andrea Mahfouz faced a full year of no events and no parent presence at school. And yet, with grace and humor, both of them accepted the limitations the pandemic imposed and worked to do what they could to fulfill their roles as chief supporters of the school. For their gallantry and continued hard work in the face of impossible odds, Kim Field-Marvin presented the 2020-2021 award to Leslie and Andrea at a recent luncheon at Brennan’s.