Diane Bernstein has worked in the Plainedge School District as a reading specialist for 17 years. During her time in Plainedge, Diane has spent her career educating children in multiple buildings including Eastplain, Schwarting, and the Middle School. In retirement, she is looking forward to relaxing on the beach with a good book and spending time in NYC taking in many of the cultural events and sights not yet seen. With all that in mind, the thing that Diane is most looking forward to is beginning a new and exciting phase of her life as a grandma, when she welcomes her 1st grandchild towards the end of June. In her role as grandma this summer, she will be reacquainting herself with changing diapers, bottle washing and rehearsing some lullabies. When time allows, she hopes to do some more traveling. On her bucket list is Australia, the Galapagos Islands, parts of Central and South America, and a revisit to Italy.
As Barbara embarks on the next part of her life's journey, she would like to leave her colleagues with one final thought. "I have always found baseball to be analogous to life in many ways. I think this quote from National League Baseball Hall of Famer, Pat Gillick,helps explain, 'Baseball is about talent, hard work, and strategy. But at the deepest level it's about love, integrity and respect.' Thank you to my colleagues for your love, integrity and respect!"
Nancy Hennessy has enjoyed working at John H. West Elementary School for the past 27 years. She has had the pleasure of teaching so many wonderful students in kindergarten, third grade, and fifth grade. In addition to teaching her yearly classes, Nancy has enriched the lives of her students and school community by redesigning and writing curriculum, teaching the Kindergarten Enrichment Summer Program, and the former Safety Town program for incoming kindergarten students.
In retirement, Nancy plans to enjoy life with her husband, daughter, and grandchildren. She hopes to travel, read, swim, golf, and may even try to write, gathering inspiration from her many students.
Joanne Kaplan has been an educator for 30 years, 15 of those in Plainedge. As a teaching assistant, she found it very rewarding to work with children in both the self-contained and inclusion settings. The majority of her assignments were at Schwarting, but she also spent three years working at West. Her fondest memories are from the staff and administration who generously shared their friendship, support, humor, and compassion. When asked about her long career Joanne stated, "I feel fortunate to have met so many caring people. Special memories were also created by the children, who always made me smile. Since my husband and I are empty nesters, they filled the emptiness and brought me much joy. It was most rewarding to make a difference in their lives."
In retirement, Joanne and her husband are moving to Fairfax, Virginia to be closer to their two sons. Her empty nest will soon be filled by a grandchild, whom she cannot wait to hold. Although she has mixed emotions about leaving Schwarting, she is very much looking forward to being near family. As Joanne begins to look forward to retirement, she would just like to wish everybody a happy and healthy life, with time spent doing what you enjoy.
Rose Mirasola is leaving Plainedge after 16 years of math education. She started her career teaching 7th grade at Packard Middle School and then moved to the new Middle School when it opened in 2004. Rose's fondest memories of Plainedge stem from working with her team of teachers and all other educators in the school. Rose shared, "We had a lot of fun together and I enjoyed planning and socializing with so many different teachers. All of the teachers that I met and started out with at Packard were very supportive and I remember that I enjoyed going to the faculty room where all of the teachers congregated and exchanged ideas."
In retirement, Rose plans to travel and spend more time with family. She is most excited about finally being able to book trips in September, which she could never do during the school year. Becoming a teacher was a second career, and she has thoroughly enjoyed all of her interactions with her colleagues and students. As Rose leaves Plainedge to spend time with family, she reflects on her career with some departing thoughts and gratitude, "We all know the importance of teaching and through teaching I feel that I have become a better person and a better parent. Thanks to all."
Kathy Morris has been a part of the Plainedge School District for 33 years. For the most part of her long and distinguished career, she taught mainly 2nd and 3rd grade at Schwarting. Her fondest memories include collaborating with colleagues to create exciting lessons that children loved. In retirement, Kathy plans to travel, take classes, read more, exercise more, cook more, and to just relax! Schwarting has been her second home for 33 years, and she will miss working and socializing with her colleagues. As Kathy leaves Plainedge to start the next part of her life's journey, she would like to leave the following message for all of her friends, "I wish all of my PFT colleagues the best of luck in the years to come. The days may sometimes seem long, but the years go by so quickly!"
Tom Pisani has been an educator in Plainedge for the last 33 years. Throughout his long tenure in the District, Tom has been located at both the High School and Packard, and has served in many roles including physical education teacher, dean of students, and coach of multiple sports. The one thing Tom is most proud of is the relationships that he forged with all the student athletes he has worked with over his long teaching and coaching career. It is quite an accomplishment that out of 99 possible coaching seasons, Tom has coached 94!
While reflecting on his long career in education, Peter states, "I have been lucky enough to work with a department that is very close and especially helpful to each other. I am also lucky that most of the faculties I have worked with over the past 51 years have been able to deal with and (usually) accept my level of sarcasm and loudness, and seem to actually get along with me. When I first started teaching at PHS, there were many administrators who were more interested in the bureaucracy working smoothly than helping teachers in a substantive way. This is certainly not the case today. The high school administration is primarily devoted to helping teachers in the classroom in a friendly and professional manner. Overall, my 51 year tenure at Plainedge has been an extremely rewarding experience thanks to my relations with students, teachers and administrators, and I am sure that I couldn't have picked a better way to spend my life; teaching and helping bright, good kids!"