On Friday, June 11, 2021, Blair celebrated the transformation of Steckel House into a new, two-family faculty residence with an open house and dedication ceremony. Many in the community remember the single-story structure, built in 1958, as the home of history teacher Dr. Martin Miller, Hon. ’81, and his wife, Micheline. Before retiring in 2020, Dr. Miller dedicated himself to Blair, working for 40 years as a history teacher, coach, mentor and friend to all. The house’s original name, however, dates back to an earlier instructor—World War I veteran Charlie “Cap” Steckel, who faithfully served Blair Academy for 30 years as a dorm head, coach and math teacher.
Standing before a small gathering of faculty and Trustees at the dedication, Head of School Peter G. Curran paid homage to both previous community members, christening the new building the “Steckel & Miller House.” Mr. Curran thanked members of the Romano family for their support of the renovation and supporting Blair’s mission to retain and attract faculty who are experts in their fields and deeply engaged with students. “Elevating our faculty housing at Blair is critical,” Mr. Curran said. “It makes it possible to attract incredible teachers and coaches who are student-centered and love what they do.” He noted that the newest inhabitants of the house, the families of language teacher Tim Devaney and Dean of Admission Teddy Wenner ’96, are deeply student-centered. They have already used the renovated space to give students a home away from home, hosting team dinners and advisee meetings, bringing new life to the old quarters.
Mr. Curran closed the brief ceremony by thanking Blair Trustee DJ Romano ’74, Vice Chair and Treasurer of Blair’s Board, and father to three remarkable Blair grads. The renovations were made possible by the generosity of Mr. Romano and his wife, Cathy, Mrs. Kathyrn Romano P’74 ’76 ’85, Mr. and Mrs. David P. Romano ’76, P’14 and Mr. Anthony Rizzo and Ms. Nina A. Romano ’85, P’14.
The new Steckel & Miller House overlooks the Blair golf course and can be viewed to the east as one approaches the Bogle Science Center. It stands not only as a beautifully renovated home, but also as a tribute to those who, like “Cap” Steckel and Dr. Miller, have dedicated their lives to Blair students.