Head of School Lee Burns speaking at the Townhome Dedication
When Lee Burns ‘87 became the McCallie head of school in 2014, he quickly informed the Board of Trustees that he wanted to improve faculty housing on campus.
That goal was officially realized with the dedication of the 16 faculty townhomes built into the side of Missionary Ridge that make up Peak View Faculty Village.
“It’s important that we build the strongest faculty possible,” said Mr. Burns. “We’re a community, a family. Boys interact with our faculty families, who transform their lives. Because of that, it’s important that we do right by them, and these townhomes accomplish that.”
The townhomes are either three or four-bedroom units. They all have a spectacular view of downtown Chattanooga, with each unit having two balconies overlooking the Scenic City.
Each unit is named for a current or former faculty or staff member, board member, or friend of McCallie. Those names include former head of school Spencer McCallie III ‘55, former students and faculty members Chet LeSourd ‘72, John McCall ‘61, John Pataky ‘49 and Ed Snodgrass ‘73, Major Arthur Lee Burns, class of 1920; former faculty members Steve Bartlett, Steve George and Bill Royer, Class of 1986ers William Newberry, Jim Tanner and current history chair Duke Richey; former board chairs Ed Michaels ‘60 and Hal Daughdrill ‘73; staff member David Hughes ‘78 and his wife Kathaleen, a faculty member; Graham Burns, mother of Lee Burns; Don Welch ‘58 and two townhomes where the brass dedication plaques pay tribute to “our dedicated faculty” and “every McCallie teacher who gives their all for boys who rely on them.”
Unfortunately, Mr. Michaels, whom Mr. Burns described as “being a part of every important decision made here over the last four decades,” including the Michaels-Dickson scholarship program, passed away two days before the dedication ceremony, bringing, in Mr. Burns’ words, “a tinge of sadness” to the event.
Chris Carpenter, McCallie’s dean of Student Academics, lives in the townhome named for Mr. Pataky. Being a part of the Residential Life Faculty is “an odd way to go through life,” he joked when speaking at the dedication.
“People ask us if Martha and I sleep in bunk beds. Do we use community showers. Or do we have to observe lights out by 11 during the week,” Mr. Carpenter added. “The answer, of course, is no. But that commitment that McCallie has made to me and my family is so appreciated. I love coming home each night to my family and my townhome.”
It was soon former Board Chairman David Stonecipher’s turn to speak.
“This project moved fairly rapidly,” he said. “It was one of Lee’s first suggestions to the board after becoming headmaster. The board took that suggestion to heart. Lee’s determination is why these buildings are here today. The sun is shining on McCallie today because we built these.”
Current board chair Gary Welch and his family donated the money for the townhome bearing his father Don’s name (class of ‘58) and Mr. LeSourd. Of those teachers who choose to join the residential life faculty and live on campus, Mr. Welch said, “They make it their life’s work to help boys like us get through life.”
Mr. Welch then looked around at the 16 townhouses perched on the Ridge, all of them positioned to enjoy a peak view of Chattanooga.
“McCallie got it right,” Mr. Welch said. “Again.”
Board Chairman Gary Welch speaking at the Townhome dedication