Phebe and Zephaniah Swift Moore Teaching Award

Linda Maier

Biology teacher
Emma Willard School
Troy, New York

Despite her traditionally rigorous classes and high expectations, Linda Maier’s students consider her more than just their instructor. According to Laura Gerrard ’15, who nominated her for a Swift Moore Award, Maier is “more like a family member … a second mother” who “invited us over to her house for pancake breakfasts before breaks and sent each of us individual emails before the AP exam, assuring us that we would do well and that it was time to quit studying and go to sleep.” Gerrard credits Maier for instilling in her a strong work ethic and a caring attitude toward others—traits that have propelled her through her four years at Amherst. “She showed me through example what it means to truly care, to work diligently and thoroughly, and how to have fun while doing both.” As Gerrard prepares to leave Amherst, she knows that lessons Maier passed on will accompany her into the next phase of her life. Maier, she says, “always encourages me to try something new or to go for what I say may be hard to achieve.”