Friday, Jul 12th

Kudos for Thirteen Retiring Staffers from the Scarsdale Schools

Group13 members of the Scarsdale School faculty with a collective total of over 300 years of service in the schools were recognized at a ceremony prior to the Board of Education meeting on June 10, 2024.

Superintendent Drew Patrick thanked the retiring staffers for all of their “distinctive contributions,” and wished them joy and happiness in their next chapters.

Megan Troy, in her first year as Assistant Superintendent, lauded each one,and, for the first year, rather than receiving a rose, they each received a copy of “Because I Had a Teacher,” by Kobi Yamada.Chason

Troy shared this text from the book which she said, “puts into words the many impacts these impressive people have had on their students.”

Because I had a teacher, I love to learn.
I discovered that I can do much more than I thought I could.
I realized it’s okay when some things are harder than others.
I found that challenges can be fun.
Because I had a teacher, I discovered that there are lots of ways of being smart. And I know that mistakes are just part of getting something right.
I realized that some of the hardest things for me to do make me feel the proudest. Because I had a teacher, I know how good it feels when someone is happy to see me.
I know that I can always ask for help.
I feel like I have a friend on my side.
I see that some of the most important things are said without words.
Because I had a teacher, I have whole new worlds to explore.
I discovered that what I can imagine, I can make real.
And now I feel like I can do anything. Because I had you, I learned to believe in me.

She then recognized the following who are retiring at the end of this school year:

I see all of our retirees in the pages of this book. Heathcote music teacher, Katherine Bescherer, has taught our students to love learning through her creative and active-based approaches to instruction and learning. She encourages all of her students to embrace the musical and creative side of themselves.

For many students, Fox Meadow music teacher, Barbara Laman, has shown them that they can do more than they thought they could. Her skill in creating harmony among a crowd of 95 students shows that it can be done. Her skill in helping a student see themselves as a musician at a young age is a gift they will cherish.

becauseihadateacherIn teaching math to our high school students, Shelia Chason has shown them that some problems will be harder to solve than others and that is ok. She challenges them with supports in place so that they find success. They know that the challenge is part of the learning journey.

Bob Draper has challenged his students in his high school physics class and even shown them that those challenges can be fun to solve. His approach to teaching the whole child supports them in these challenges along the way.

Elementary band teacher, Connie Leviatin, has shown our students that there are many different ways to be smart. Some of the students who struggled in learning math and reading, found success in her music class and realized they were smart in a different way.

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Middle School English teacher, Lisa Bryan helped students realize that the mistakes they make in writing are just part of the pathway. Her instruction of the editing process helped them reach this understanding and grow as writers.

Middle school technology teacher, Andy Verboys, has shown students that sometimes successfully completing the hardest task makes a student the most proud. In his technology class, this could be using a screwdriver for the first time or as a football coach, taking on the toughest opponent with courage.

In the classroom and on the sideline of athletic fields, high school special education teacher and assistant athletic director, Joe De Crescenzo shared his happiness with each student who walked into his classroom or onto the field. For many of his students, school brought more challenges than others and he shared a warmth that gave them the support to tackle challenging work.

As an LRC teacher at SMS, Yury Buckler, has always been someone a student can go to for help or assistance. Her colleagues feel the same way as she has mentored and supported many teachers, both new and veteran.

Students know they have someone on their side in the caring and supportive role Jen Batterman has played as psychologist at Fox Meadow. Her student centered approach allows her students to seek her out and lean on her for assistance when needed.

Fox Meadow elementary teacher Beth Kaplan has proven that you can say so many important things without words and she usually uses her bright smile to communicate to students and colleagues that she is happy to be there and enjoys being in their presence.

As a social studies teacher at SMS, Adam Nichols has shown his students that there are worlds beyond Scarsdale to explore including the many ancient cultures that can still teach us something about the world we live in today.

And, finally, Peter McKenna has shown students that if they imagine it, it can become real. From the creation of makerspaces to the Fox Meadow news program to creative technology uses, students use their minds to consider what is next and what could be.

All of you have empowered students to feel like they can do anything and all of you have helped students to believe in themselves. Thank you for your years of service and the care you have provided to our students, their families and your colleagues. You will be missed by all who crossed your paths."