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Rhode Island’s perspective and possibility widening boarding and day school, grades 6-12 and postgraduate.

Honoree Bios

St. Andrew’s is proud to be honoring the Women of St. Andrew’s with a special tribute to Sheila Martin, Dotty McCulloch and Jane Waters on May 22, 2021 at the Saints Gala for their commitment and service to the school. These remarkable women helped lead and support the school and hold an important place in the school’s story. Their strength, grace, and kindness were instrumental in shaping St. Andrew’s and guiding our students for more than 40 years. Their long legacy continues to inspire our community today.


Sheila Martin

Sheila Brennan Martin was born in Waterbury, CT and moved at an early age to Longmeadow, Massachusetts where she grew up and attended a catholic elementary and middle school, St. Mary’s Academy. Sheila continued her secondary education at Longmeadow High School. Before graduating in 1978, Sheila received a scholarship through the American Field Service (AFS) to study and live in Sao Paulo, Brazil with a family. This sparked an interest in foreign languages and being very involved with international students. As president of the AFS club, she organized events for international students who were attending local private boarding schools and also encouraged her family to host a student from Belgium for a year.
 
Sheila chose to study at Smith College because of the strong language program which included the Brazilian Portuguese language and a competitive swim program. Graduating from Smith College in 1982 with a degree in Government and Hispanic Languages, Sheila began her corporate career in the Contract and Legal Department as a Contract Underwriter at The Traveler’s Insurance Company in Hartford, CT. To pay off her college loan quicker she worked weekends as an assistant coach for an AAU swimming program. 
 
Sheila met her soul mate John David Martin in Western Massachusetts at the church they both attended. They married in March of 1985 and Sheila joined John “Jack” at The Peddie School in Hightstown, NJ continuing to work for The Traveler’s Insurance Company in sales in New York City. Wanting to spend more time with the love of her life Jack, she left the corporate world to be a part of the private school community where she taught Spanish, coached swimming, served as a dorm parent and started an International Club for the students at Peddie.
 
Sheila and John lived at Sewickley Academy for 5 years. Sheila continued to coach swimming, tutor students, and volunteer at the school and in the community, while raising the three young Martin boys Patrick, Conor and John Ryan.
 
The move to St. Andrew’s was an exciting one for Sheila and John as it was a move closer to family, their home in the Berkshires, and John’s start to his career as a Headmaster. Sheila became involved in the school hosting teas, dinners, and parties and became actively involved in the Barrington community serving on the board for The Newcomer’s Club, The Barrington Preservation Society, and the school board at Barrington Christian Academy. Her passion for art led her to serve on the Happy White Gallery Board, hold membership and paint at the Providence Art Club and initiate the St. Andrew’s Summer Art Camp with Nancy Azano.

Sheila taught Spanish at St. Andrew’s for several years as well as at Barrington Christian Academy. She mentored students at BCA as well as mothers in the Mothers of Preschoolers program and led bible studies at the local church.
 
After 19 years at St. Andrew’s School, John wanted to give his time and talent to underprivileged boys at The Nativity Preparatory School in New Bedford. Sheila became involved at Nativity by volunteering in the Friends Program, the library, and tutoring students. She then stepped into a position as an Assistant in the Development Office to help John out when a position suddenly became vacant right before the opening of school in September. Upon John’s diagnosis with cancer, she resigned from her position. Joyfully with a devoted heart, she became Jack’s caregiver for the last two years of his life.
 
Besides her passion for the Lord and her family, Sheila loves animals, especially horses, and was fortunate enough to work at stables and ride every week when they first moved to Mattapoisett. Her love for gardening and flowers inspired her to create a memorial garden for Carrie Waters at the Rectory. At Nativity, she often made flower arrangements for events to save the school money. After John’s passing, Sheila recently found herself a job at a local florist in Marion as well as a Nursery in a neighboring town.
 
Currently, Sheila is fighting her own battle with breast cancer. She is actively involved in a grief group, her church, and painting classes. She values spending time with her three grown men Patrick, Conor, and John Ryan, her parents and new friends from the South Coast area as well as treasured friends from Barrington.
 
Sheila recognizes that life brings many challenges as she survived a stroke in 2013 while at St. Andrew’s, lost her best friend and lifetime partner too soon and now journey’s through cancer herself. With a competitive spirit, Sheila believes that one cannot give up. You should run the race with determination and fight hard to win. You lean on your faith, always look for the blessings in life and have a heart full of gratitude. She acknowledges the importance of accepting love and support from family and friends and looking at each day as truly a gift.


Dotty McCulloch

Dorothy Rooke McCulloch was born in New Jersey and raised in Westfield with her two brothers. She attended Kent Place School and graduated valedictorian from the Knox School in Cooperstown, New York, where she pursued her childhood passion for figure skating after a summer at skating camp in Lake Placid.

She graduated Phi Beta Kappa from Mount Holyoke College in 1950 majoring in French and Art. During college she spent a summer at McGill University and in 1948-49 she spent her junior year in Paris with the first Sweet Briar Junior Year Abroad program after World War II. It was there that she met Sandy McCulloch, a veteran student from Dartmouth College in the same program. They married after they both finished college in 1950.

They lived in Barrington for more than 70 years where they raised their five children. Dotty was a docent at RISD Museum of Art and Sandy worked in the family textile company, Rayon Processing Company in Pawtucket, RI. He later became CEO and renamed the company Microfibres, Inc. In his early 30’s, Sandy was asked to become the first Lay Chair of St. Andrew’s School. He immediately took great interest and saw many possibilities for the future. Dotty was asked to chair the longtime St. Andrew’s Association, a group of women from statewide who came to Gardiner Hall to support the school and its programs. A shoebox had been passed around for years at meetings to provide funds for incidentals needed by the boys. Other fundraisers were planned for larger projects such as kitchen equipment, partitions for sleeping arrangements in the large open dormitory upstairs in McVickar Hall, and many other improvements. Dessert Bridges and a Christmas shop for the students were yearly projects.

After the tragic death of their son, Bill, Sandy, Dotty, and their families donated funds for a new boys' dormitory to be named Bill's House. Special were the dinners with the Blanchets and students at Bill's House before Christmas vacation as well as winter trips to their home in NH with Pete Blanchet and the boys for skiing, roller skating, and just plain fun. It became a tradition for the senior class to come for a cookout and a swim before graduation. During a lively time of tossing the basketball in the rec room the tray of hamburgers went flying. Oh what wonderful memories!

In looking back, Dotty remembers helping to catalogue library books, organize student activities, serving on Father May’s altar guild, helping to bring the rectory up to speed for the new headmaster, holiday gatherings at home for St. Andrew’s women to make wreaths and bows for the school buildings, and Board retreats with dinners in the recreation room. The holiday gatherings with faculty and board in the headmaster's house with Jane and Steve Waters and with Sheila and John Martin were always special as were the graduation ceremonies. She feels so fortunate to have shared in the joy of such a wonderful school! 

In conclusion, to recount some of her interests and activities during the past 35 years, she must mention International House of RI where she became a Board member in 1984 and then served as chairman for 22 years. So much needed to be done; however, she was amazed by the caring people and teachers involved, the students from many countries, and visitors from around the world stopping in daily. How could she not give it her all? Sandy was committed to many projects and this was her chance to make a difference. With a celebration every five years, they raised the funds to restore the historic house. Volunteers gathered to take part in programs and functions, they were able to renovate guest rooms for graduate students to live in, and thousands of international friends remember the welcome received in Providence. This association resulted in her being selected as "Cook of the Month" by Yankee Magazine in March 1990, and in 2000, she received the Millennium Award for Volunteer Service from the United States State Department in Washington, D.C. Wow, she was surprised!

Dotty’s parents both lived to be 103. The advice her mother passed on at age 100 was quite enlightening — she said, "Dotty, in case you live a long life, make younger friends and learn to play bridge!” The virtual bridge games help during this current epidemic of COVID-19 and the friends make every day special! Thanks, Mom!


Jane Waters

Music has always been front and center in Jane’s life. She grew up surrounded by musicians from the American Conservatory of Music in Chicago which was founded by her grandfather, a pianist, John J. Hattstaedt, in 1883. Her father was its president for 35 years. Jane began her piano studies at an early age and, encouraged by her mother who was a singer and college professor, added vocal training in high school. Piano performance had predominated until she sang the role of Iolanthe in the Gilbert and Sullivan production at the new Trier High School. Jane went on to Smith College where she was a double major of piano and voice. She devoted herself to singing as she enjoyed performing music that gave her a more direct communication for thoughts and emotion with the audience. 

Sheila Martin and Jane have Smith College in common, although Sheila graduated and Jane transferred to the University of Michigan her junior year. While at Smith, Jane had memorable experiences as soprano soloist when she received a favorable review written by Sylvia Plath and the honor of singing an unaccompanied solo at Symphony Hall, Boston, for her glee club performance. 

Steve and Jane met in New York City when she was finishing her master's degree at Columbia University's Teachers College. In New York, she sang with Amato Opera, performing the role of Pamina in Mozart's Magic Flute two days before she and Steve married in Princeton, NJ. Her first teaching job was for sight-handicapped children in the inner city of Newark, NJ. This was an awakening experience for her and what she credits as good preparation for teaching the students at St. Andrew's. She loved it! When Steve began his time as Headmaster at St. Andrew’s, their son, John, was almost five and daughter, Carrie, two. Jane was a stay-at-home mom and began leading the students in a small choir. Voice lessons taken at Brown University put her in touch with her soon to be long-time accompanist, Edith Hemenway. They performed art song literature in recitals at the Music Mansion, Brown University's Alumnae Hall, Rhode Island College, Providence College, and Barrington College. When Edith moved to Savannah, GA, Ludmilla Lifson became her accompanist who coached her in singing music in her native Russian language. They added Ochre Court in Newport and Deering Community Church in Deering, NH, to their busy recital schedule. She also sang at Blithewold in Bristol, RI. She had the distinct honor to be chosen for the first American Art Song Competition sponsored by the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts. The auditions were held in Jordan Hall, Boston. 

During this time Jane was an adjunct voice instructor at Barrington College, Providence College, and Rhode Island College and had memberships in several music clubs, serving as president of Henschel and Chopin Clubs. She also sang the role of Musetta in Ruffino Opera's production of Puccini's La Boheme. In Providence, she was the soprano soloist at Central Church with her performances as soloist for Brahms' Requiem and Temple Emmanuel Holocost highlighted. During her time in RI, she was privileged to give recitals for the Lyric Opera Guild and sing at her father's conservatory in Chicago. 

It was always special to make music with students in St. Andrew's Chapel. She will never forget Sweeney Todd when the lead almost left between acts! And, the more informal times together around her piano. She remembers the most special performance came at the end of her twenty-one year tenure at St. Andrew’s. At that time she was invited to sing with the RI Philharmonic for the Gala Celebration in 1991. She was so happy when they asked her to sing again in 1995! There is nothing quite like singing with an orchestra! Her singing and teaching continued in California at Steve's school and in her own studio. She gave concerts at her church and Nueva School in Hillsborough, CA, where she also taught. In 1997, she and Steve retired to their beloved farmhouse in Deering, NH, where she was given the opportunity to lead the Hillsborough-Deering-Washington Community Chorus which she enjoyed for ten years. Steve was a fine pianist who entertained folks with his jazz and played for her to sing a medley of show tunes now and then. A highlight for them together was being selected as Citizens of the Year by the Hillsborough Chamber of Commerce in 2006: Steve for his outstanding contribution as member of the Hillsboro-Deering School Board for two terms and Jane for serving three terms as president of the Hillsborough Historical Society. To feel the connection to their community of Deering, they decided to join the Deering Community Church where she is now in her fourteenth year as music director. She leads a small choir and plays the piano for what is now Zoom church each Sunday! The church misses singing together during this pandemic but music continues to nurture her soul. 

The years when Jane and Steve were a part of the St. Andrew's community remains the most satisfying for the wonderful exchanges they had as a family with both staff and students. Besides her active musical career, she enjoyed sewing, knitting, wallpapering, gardening, antiques, travelling, entertaining, concerts, opera, and art museums. She is most grateful for the 54 years of marriage with Steve and being blessed with their loving children, John and Carrie. John and his wife, Tracy, have extended our family with her three lovely grandchildren (Turner, age 20, Jack, age 18, and Greer, age 14) to enjoy! Her career success could not have happened without Steve's support. 

She would like to take this opportunity to thank several people who have touched her heart in special ways; Dotty McCulloch, whose friendship she will always cherish as she shepherded their getting settled into the Rectory and including her in those delightful luncheons she provided for the ladies in the long ago St. Andrew's Association; Sheila Martin, who made a little memorial garden for her daughter, Carrie; Amy and David Tinagero, for their kindness and warm welcome; and Pam Farmer, for all the love and special care she so generously gives her. These individuals all enrich her life in countless ways! 

She is most grateful and humbly honored to be sharing the tribute from St. Andrew's with Sheila and Dotty at the 2021 Saints Gala! She looks forward to being together with everyone in person in the near future. However, isn't Zoom wonderful? When it's safe to come back to campus, she knows it will feel like an extra special home-coming!
Rhode Island’s perspective and possibility widening boarding and day school, grades 6-12 and postgraduate