A Tribute to Lillie


After teaching at Waring for four school years, the time has come for Lillie to pursue her passion of film scoring on a professional level. Lillie McDonough graduated from Waring in 2007 and from Vassar College in 2011. Following her collegiate education, she decided to come back to Waring to become a teaching assistant in many of the school’s subject areas, such as music and CORE immersion.

Lillie explains her reason for returning to Waring as one that has a rather personal significance: “Lots of things made me decide to return to this place. So many things.  But there are a few big ones that stand out.  Waring gave so much to me, I felt I had to give back. The teachers I had gave me everything.  They always made time for my curiosity – I mean always.  For example, I remember some email exchanges about humanities readings extending as far into the night as 2 am… As a result, they gave me two things: one, the sense that my curiosity mattered, that learning is a joint process and an important one, and that my learning was important to them; and two, they gave me a model for how to be an invested, active learner that has since become my chosen mode of being in the world. It was like someone giving you the blueprint for how to become the person you wanted to be in the world.  That was what my teachers gave me. And why I needed to give that gift again.”

Since the impact of her high school education was so powerful, Lillie felt as if it was her responsibility to come back to try to give new Waring students a similar experience to the one she had.

     There is no doubt that Lillie achieved her goal during her four years here. Tim Bakland, chair of the performing arts department highlights the impact Lillie has had on everyone in the Waring community: “It is hard to overstate Lillie’s impact on Performing Arts at Waring.  She has been an inspiration in so many facets of the program, from the several theater productions she’s directed or been a part of, to her work in CORE Chorus, the music theory program, and music-oriented endterms.  Lillie is an organizer and a doer.  She makes what needs to happen happen through her talents as a musician, singer, actor and director, and does so by digging into any and all projects.” Lillie’s energy and passion for everything she does is omnipresent and is something that we will miss. She is a role model for many students because she puts her all into each project she takes on and never backs down.

     We know that Lillie’s talent, passion, and work ethic will always stay with her no matter where she goes. She has decided that her next step will be to pursue a master’s degree in Film Scoring at New York University starting in the fall. We will miss you so much, Lillie, and we will be forever indebted to you for all of the wonderful things you have achieved as an educator at Waring.


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