Catch Up With Honorary Alumni in the Class of 1862

  • Ravens Rewind
Catch Up With Honorary Alumni in the Class of 1862
Karen Lewis Taylor

With Head of School Doreen Kelly’s induction into the Class of 1862 on May 3, she joins a select group of Ravenscroft’s most dedicated and admired faculty, staff and trustees.

When Head of School Doreen Kelly was inducted into the Class of 1862 at the All-Alumni Awards Celebration on Friday, May 3, she became an honorary alum of the school — and joined a select group of Ravenscroft’s most dedicated and admired faculty, staff, trustees and supporters.

The Class of 1862 Award was created in 2000 to honor school employees and volunteers for dedicated service and support, whether in direct work with students or behind the scenes. As Mary Moss, Ravenscroft’s Director of Development from 1990 to 2001, recalled, stakeholders ranging from alumni to trustees wanted to find a way to honor those special people whose contributions had made a significant and lasting impact on the school.

“We had no other mechanism to recognize outstanding engagement by non-alumni, so the board created the Class of 1862,” Moss said. “We held it out as the school’s highest honor, to be awarded periodically.”

Head of School and new Class of 1862 inductee Doreen Kelly is joined by fellow honorary alumni Carol Miedema, Barbara Jean Warren and Bruce Miller at the May 3 All-Alumni Awards Celebration.

Kelly — who in June will wrap up 21 years of service as Head of School and 25 years total at Ravenscroft — was honored alongside a number of outstanding alumni during Alumni Weekend May 3-4. Several prior Class of 1862 Award recipients were present to share in the celebration.

With Kelly’s addition, there are now 11 members in the Class of 1862. Here, we share their stories.

George Joyner (2000)


George Joyner in his yearbook photo for 2000, the year he retired, and in 1973 with members of the Rocket Club

Joyner taught in the Middle School Science Department at Ravenscroft from 1971 through his retirement in 2000 and was the first inductee into this class. In announcing the establishment of the Class of 1862, then-Headmaster Jim Ledyard said, “The Alumni Association has chosen as the inaugural member of this elite society a man who has dedicated his career to the education of more than 2,000 students. Not only have his Middle School students been given a thorough understanding of their subject, they had fun doing it.”

“George Joyner was a great teacher, mentor and friend and inspired me to be a better teacher,” his colleague Melissa Spainhour said. “He loved nature and science and instilled a love for both in me.”

Joyner passed away in December 2022. In his obituary, his family noted that his retirement “provided time to stay on Topsail Island for long stretches in the fall and host many friends and family.”

Alumni remembered him with great fondness.

“He was a great man and teacher — one of my favorites. He really fueled enjoyment in science for me,” Rusty DeMent ’90 said. “He also offered really calm stability during those crazy, early teen years. ‘Geode George,’ as we were prone to call him, because he had a geode belt buckle. He will be missed.”

“What a great teacher!” Laurie Austin Dyer ’89 said. “I remember when he took the whole eighth grade to School in the Mountains at the camp where he spent his summers. He made a difference in so many lives.”

At top, Class of 1862 members (clockwise from top left) Michelle Piette, Martha Janes, Bruce Miller, Carol Miedema, Phil Higginson and Barbara Jean Warren