Deacon Katie Solter ’90

My 35 years of teaching have taught (and repeatedly retaught!) me a few basic lessons that I guess I should have picked up in kindergarten… had I been paying attention.

One of them is to be nice to everybody. You never know if that kid you’re teaching in class or coaching on the field will wind up as your boss. (See Jeff Black ’79.)

Another truth is that you never know how things are going to turn out. That brings me to Katie (Howard) Solter ’90.

Nearly 25 years ago, Katie, the sister of a Hyde student, inquired about doing a month-long study of Hyde as her senior project as a student at The Pingree School (Hamilton, MA). I needed no introduction to her given the fact that a few months earlier she had scored the winning goal against my women’s soccer team in the New England Prep School Tournament. (Oh, how I remembered that!) After that month, she engaged so thoroughly in things at Hyde that she spent a post-graduate year with us.

Beyond the fact that I derived significant direct benefit from her decision to switch from playing soccer against us to playing with us, she had a great year on all fronts. After four years at The College of Wooster (OH), she taught at both our Bath and Woodstock campuses, moving to the latter after marrying then Hyde teacher Tom Solter.

A decade or so ago, I sort of lost track of the couple when Tom left us to accept a position on the faculty at the St. Paul’s School (Concord, NH). That is until…

Last week Laura and I drove to the beautiful chapel on the campus of St. Paul’s to take in a ceremony called “The Ordination of a Deacon.” The new deacon, as you might guess, is none other than Katie Solter. (Suffice it to say that Katie took that “life of purpose” thing quite literally!)

Having never taken in such a ceremony, both the majesty and spirituality were unforgettable. From the facilitation by The Right Reverend Gene Robinson, the Episcopal Bishop of New Hampshire, to the roles played by Katie and Tom’s children, to the beautiful vocals of The St. Paul’s Madrigal Singers, it was an evening to remember. Katie’s “shout out” to Hyde in the program for helping her in her journey made it all the more special.

Yeah, going way back to that bittersweet soccer loss in November of 1988, I never would have predicted that I’d be going to this girl’s ordination as a deacon a quarter of a century later. Then again, back then I didn’t know enough to stop making predictions. “Ah,” as Bob Dylan sang, “But I was so much older then, I’m younger than that now.”

Onward, Malcolm Gauld