Latin School of Chicago

Latin Magazine Winter 2019

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Page 53 of 55

Looking Back Celebrate events, people and places from Latin's history with a visit to the school's archives. HONORING MABEL SLADE VICKERY On a crisp October morning, Archivist Teresa Sutter, Alumni Director Stephanie Chu and faculty alumna Ruth Hutton stood on a hilltop at the Lindenwood Cemetery in Stoneham, Massachusetts, looking out across the expanse of vibrant foliage, marveling at the serenity and beauty of Mabel Slade Vickery's final resting place. The three had come to lay flowers at Miss Vickery's gravesite, and to complete a journey that began two years before. After locating Miss Vickery's gravesite in 2016 (see "Looking Back" in the Fall 2016 issue of Latin Magazine), Sutter kept having a persistent, nagging thought: Visitors to Miss Vickery's grave will never know of her pioneering and innovative work in education and in founding Latin School. "Mabel Slade Vickery should be known outside of the walls of Latin," Sutter said. "She was one of the first educators to practice the Quincy Method of experiential-based, hands-on learning, which was a radical notion at the time and is still a method used today. And she was a woman who founded and owned her own school in the 1800s, which was even more radical and rare. I felt we needed a permanent way to honor her and share her story." Sutter approached Head of School Randall Dunn with the idea of erecting a memorial stone at Miss Vickery's gravesite. Dunn readily agreed, but commissioning a gravestone wasn't something the Alumni Office had done before and proved to be a bit of an adventure. Sutter first contacted Donna Tamburrini, office manager/utility billing manager for the Town of Stoneham, who became an invaluable resource. Tamburrini verified that there was space on Miss Vickery's plot for an additional marker and put Sutter in touch with a local monument company. For the next several months, Sutter and Chip Katcoff of HP Smith Monument Company exchanged emails and designed renderings while the Alumni Office learned a great deal about the merits of marble, granite and limestone. In early September, a design finally was approved, and Katcoff sent Latin the cemetery permit. There was just one problem: The permit required a living relative to sign off on the new marker. Miss Vickery's five siblings preceded her in death, as did her nephews and niece. To the best of their knowledge, she had no living relatives. So how could they get the marker placement approved? See live video of the unveiling of the new marker on the alumni Facebook page: Latin School of Chicago — The Official Alumni Page (Facebook account not required!) Donna Tamburrini, office manager/utility billing manager for the Town of Stoneham shows the original deed of sale. Stephanie Chu, Teresa Sutter and Ruth Hutton take a selfie as they honor Miss Vickery. Mabel Slade Vickery B. 1854 D. 1944 Latin's first head of school and founder of Latin. LOOKING BACK 52

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