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the Gauntlet

the official student-produced news site for Saint Stephen's Episcopal School

the Gauntlet

the official student-produced news site for Saint Stephen's Episcopal School

the Gauntlet

A farewell to Mr. Holt

As the school year comes to an end, another chapter closes on one outstanding faculty member, Mr. Holt
Jackson Pakbaz
Mr. Holt in his element working the front desk.

Imagine it’s your first day of high school. You sleep in and you’re now late to your first class. A tardy on your first day is a bad way to kick off 9th grade. You are beyond nervous and question your readiness for this new transition, but you soon realize that you do not have to fear, because Mr. Holt is here. He is our very own superhero, whose calming demeanor and gentle words immediately put you at ease as you walk into the Upper School Main Office. 

Bill Holt, head of the Reception and Attendance of the Upper, Middle, and Lower School, is one of Saint Stephen’s most beloved staff members. For many, he is the first face they see when entering the school, and he always greets everyone with a warm smile and a heartfelt, “Hello” or “Good morning.” 

Mr. Holt brings compassion and laughter into his daily tasks that spreads joy throughout the campus. He may do this by simply adding cool sound effects to his announcements, or by supplying candy for a student who just needs a little boost of energy.  He is a shining example of someone who goes the extra mile for our Saint Stephen’s community.  

With the end of the school year quickly approaching, sadly Mr. Holt’s chapter at Saint Stephen’s will come to a close. Despite the huge hole his absence will leave, many students are still confused about what he actually does. 

One aspect of Mr. Holt’s job is to check students’ attendance. Of course,  sometimes students, who don’t make it to class or school on time, have an excuse. Mr. Holt shared a couple of the most peculiar excuses he has heard over the years. 

“One time, a student came in and said there was a bee in her car,” Holt said.  “She said she pulled over on the highway and had to wait until it flew out. Another strange excuse was someone told me there was a cat on the road and there was no way to move it, so she had to wait for it to move on.” 

Whether you have been at Saint Stephen’s since pre-kindergarten or this is your first year, you’ve probably had an interaction with Mr. Holt that has brightened your day. His genuine interest in your life makes you feel valued and accepted. 

“Being new anywhere is tough,” new senior Kai McMahan said.  “But when I came here one of the first people I met was Mr. Holt. He was really nice and made me feel welcome here.” 

Mr. Holt has had a compelling working career, and his path to Saint Stephen’s has been a long, winding road. After 30 years in commercial banking, he’d decided to retire for the quiet life when he received a call from an old high school friend, Dr. Jan Pullen. 

Dr. Pullen said that the school needed some help on the business side of things, and asked Mr. Holt if he could help out. Shortly after that call, Mr. Holt’s journey at Saint Stephen’s began. He started part-time in 2011, and by 2013 he had become a full-time member of the faculty. 

Mr. Holt loves his job at Saint Stephen’s, and when asked what his favorite part of the job is, he answered exuberantly. 

“The best part is actually the people: the students, the parents, the entire community,” Holt said. “It’s a high-energy, adrenaline-filled career, and it gets you going. Sometimes you just can’t wait to get out of bed in the morning.”

Mr. Holt doesn’t just touch the lives of the students, but the faculty and staff, as well. Mrs. Beth Turconi, an Upper School Administrative Assistant, who has worked closely with Mr. Holt for the past two years, said he is a joy to work with. 

“He amazes me because he’s so patient, and there’s nothing he doesn’t know about the school,” Holt said.  “He knows so much about Saint Stephen’s. He’s very funny, and has a very dry sense of humor. He’s just a great guy, and we’re going to miss him because he’s just a calming presence for the kids.” 

After being here for over 10 years, Mr. Holt has amassed many good memories at Saint Stephen’s. When asked what his favorite memory is, Mr. Holt said this.  

“In the early years, I was asked to help out with the school musicals,” Holt said.  “Back then, they used to be held in the gym [Hoagland Arena], and they were very well attended. They brought the whole community together, and I enjoyed playing in the instrumental section.”

Mr. Holt is a cherished member of our community. His dedication, warmth, and compassion have permeated our school. His love for his job shines through in his everyday actions, and he will be sadly missed next year. But, you never know: he retired once and came to Saint Stephen’s… Maybe we can convince him to come back again? Thank you, Mr. Holt, we will miss you. 

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About the Contributor
Jackson Pakbaz
Jackson Pakbaz, Staff Writer
Jackson Pakbaz is a sophomore in his first year writing for the Gauntlet. His role in the Gauntlet is a staff writer who writes good stories. He has one tortoise, his favorite color blue, and his favorite show is Cobra Kai. His favorite hobby is playing soccer.  


Comments (3)

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  • Janelle (Esposito) VanHooseMar 28, 2024 at 8:22 pm

    Very well-written! Mr. Holt will be missed, but we wish him all the best in retirement!

  • Cindy AckermanMar 28, 2024 at 5:28 pm

    Bill Holt is an amazing person, talented, witty and always a calming presence in the midst of a storm. Enjoy retirement, Mr. Holt, it is well deserved!

  • Luke R.Mar 28, 2024 at 1:34 pm

    What a well-written piece! We will all miss Mr. Holt!!