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PTA Honors Retirees

retireescakeOn Wednesday May 10th, the Scarsdale PTA hosted their annual luncheon to honor the 13 retiring teachers at Scarsdale High School. The lunch began with some PTA business. The PTA budget was approved and so was the executive committee slate for next year. PTA President Amy Song announced that the PTA had been given an award for most members in a Westchester PTA unit, and had gained an impressive 1,056 new members over just the last year. The PTA will be lead next year by President Beth Zadek; President-Elect Karen Ceske; Vice President of Membership Melissa Berridge; Vice President of Volunteers and Programming, Eileen Donovan; Treasurer Nancy Brady; Corresponding Secretary Aileen Burke; and Recording Secretary Kathleen Campbell.

olivier presentsDean Oren Iosepovici and teacher George Olivier presented their findings from a recent study about homework and stress and detailed the steps the school is taking to improve wellness. The high school has implemented some changes over the past year with a focus on decreasing homework load, namely by not allowing homework to be given over breaks. They said that this particular initiative had been very successful and popular among students, some who said this was the first time in a long time they had experienced a "real" break. Statistics from the surveys showed that while homework time seems to have been reduced from last year and the school is making real progress, there is still quite a bit of change that needs to occur. In upcoming years the wellness committee is looking into differentiation of homework distribution based on class level and qualitative changes in the homework being assigned.

minglingA representative from STEP, or Student Transfer Education Plan, explained their program to the attendees. It is a two-year college preparatory initiative for promising students of color. STEP students attend SHS in their junior and senior years while staying with a Scarsdale host family, and the program gives them access to an incredible education and an incredible experience. A current STEP student then spoke about the positive influence STEP has been on her life. The initiative is currently looking for a host family for the upcoming years. You can learn more about them on their website. 

The grand finale was, of course, the farewell to the retirees. Principal Bonamo gave a heartfelt speech about the wisdom that each of the teachers had given to the school. Stories were then read about every one of the retirees, one by one. The stories were submitted to the PTA by a mixture of current and former students, as well as peers, parents, and administrators.

Each story spoke to the unique kindness displayed by their teachers and the guidance they provided to their students.Now doubt they will continue teaching in new ways, and we wish them all the best. Best wishes to the retirees:

Robert Arrigo
Hannah Beals
Steven Boyar
Louise Ciffone
Ernest Collabolletta
Ann-Marie Donohue
Michael Gibbs
Gwendolyn Johnson
Susan LaSalle
Elise Levine
Anita Occhiuto
Howard Rodstein
Rashid Silvera

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