World Languages Department Chair Troy Prinkey was nominated by a member of the Landon community for GLSEN’s Educator of the Year. The award is designated for an educator who is recognized for making a difference in the lives of students, including those who identify as LGBTQ.
GLSEN (formerly the Gay, Lesbian, and Straight Education Network), founded in 1990 by teachers, seeks to ensure that every member of a school community is valued and respected regardless of sexual orientation, gender identity, or gender expression.
“The fact that I was nominated for this award means that students have felt welcomed to inquire about sexuality and gender identity, maybe even their own; to walk in someone else's shoes; to gain perspective, and to nurture their empathy and grow their understanding,” Prinkey said.
Prinkey led a Day of Silence faculty discussion last April at Landon, in which 12 Upper School teachers attended and spoke about why being an LGBTQ ally was important to them personally and professionally. The Day of Silence is a national student-led day of demonstrations where LGTBQ students and their supporters take a vow of silence to protest harassment and discrimination of LGTBQ people in schools. He says Landon students and faculty have been open to learning more about the discrimination faced by LGTBQ students.
“At an all-boys school, an opposite-sex sexual preference and being cisgendered might be taken for granted. The school has allowed for space for these assumptions to be challenged in a way that represents the spirit of inquiry and understanding that are at Landon's core,” said Prinkey.
Prinkey is a strong supporter of inclusion efforts at the school, including the ALLY Council, which he hopes to re-start next year. He has worked at Landon since 2015 as a Spanish teacher in both the Middle and Upper Schools and now serves as department chair. Prinkey holds a B.A. from University of Pennsylvania, a M.A. and a Ph.D. from University of Virginia.