Falmouth Academy Celebrates Olivann Hobbie

Olivann Hobbie is retiring from Falmouth Academy after 37 years of teaching. - Olivann Hobbie is retiring from Falmouth Academy after 37 years of teaching.

When Falmouth Academy opened in 1977 in the basement of the Woodbriar retirement home, Olivann Hobbie was one of the school’s first employees. After 37 years as a leader and teacher, she will retire from the independent school in June.

The academy will celebrate Ms. Hobbie’s contributions to both the school and to the wider community on Friday, June 6, from 6 to 7:30 PM. The public is invited to the event, which will be in the Falmouth Academy gym. The school asks that those planning to attend notify Tucker Clark 508-457-9696, extension 222, or tclark@falmouthacademy.org.

Falmouth Academy opened with 43 students and a plan to expand to its current size of about 200 students. When it outgrew its Gifford Street location in 1979, the school moved to rented space on what was then the Massachusetts Military Reservation. Ten years later Falmouth Academy built its permanent campus on 35 acres adjacent to Beebe Woods that Josiah K. Lilly III had donated for that purpose. During the school’s changes and growth, Ms. Hobbie has been a consistent presence and guide.

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Hired first to be the assistant head of school and to teach English (then algebra and history) she has taught, for over 30 years, a world cultures course that introduces seniors to China, Japan, India and Russia. She has organized student volunteer efforts and helped establish the school’s intense recycling program.

Since the school’s 1989 move to its Falmouth campus, Ms. Hobbie has served as the chairman of the academy’s arts department, making sure that art and music remain integral to the school’s curriculum and to the school’s position in the Falmouth community.

Referring to the June event, Michael Earley, assistant head of school, said: “This is a community event because Olivann is a legend in the community as well as in the school. Her energy and her wide community and international interests inspire her colleagues and her students. She has helped ensure that when students leave Falmouth Academy, they are able to think deeply and write clearly. But,” he added, “I think that Olivann is most admired for her enthusiasm and her constant generosity.”

In the wider community, Ms. Hobbie’s interests and friendships with professional musicians have helped place Falmouth Academy in the artistic center: Among the international performers whom she and the school have welcomed are the Beaux Arts Trio, the Paratore Brothers, cellist Savely Schuster, and pianists Judith Gordon, Brian Zeger and Sharon Mann. 

Friends who would like to make a gift in honor of Ms. Hobbie to support Falmouth Academy’s financial aid program may send a check payable to the academy with a notation, “For the Olivann Hobbie Fund” or contribute online at www.falmouthacademy.org.

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