From Patricia "Tish" Maceyak, Special Education teacher, :
It has been a pleasure to come to work at Sleepy Hollow for the past 30 years. I am so very grateful to the Board of Education (present and past) and the Administration for giving me the opportunity to grow as an educator and to experience leadership during my years as Department Chair of Special Education. These roles have permitted me to form close relationships with students and their families that have continued long past graduation. I am thankful to the many parents who were such a support to me in my efforts to guide their children to become their personal best.
In the early years of my career, the notion of Special Education was one that was often misunderstood. As a result, the stigma of being a classified student was a difficult burden for a high school student to carry. I take pride in the fact that, in those first years, I was instrumental in forming partnerships with general education teachers who shared a philosophy of inclusion. Together we laid the groundwork for our present comprehensive program that fully integrates Special Education students into the school community. I am proud to work with colleagues who embrace the fact that students learn differently and who are eager to share ideas about how best to meet individual student needs.
Outside of the classroom, I spent seven years as Advisor to the Student Government. During those years we lost our long time football rival, Ossining High School and along with it went the "Ossining Hall" class competition. Along with class advisors, I coordinated the transitional shift to "Spirit Week". Many will remember the resurrected "car smash", pep rally, community parade and bonfire. These are wonderful memories of strong community involvement that I will cherish. Another event that stands out is the "Albany Run". I joined a group of staffmembers that escorted our track team, running in shifts overnight, to Albany in protest of Stateaid cuts to education. What a spectacular moment when our kids ascended the steps of the State Capitol Building.
It is hard for me to believe that my time at Sleepy Hollow is coming to an end. I am blessed that I spent 30 years living out exactly what I dreamed of doing since I was very young, this, all because I had a great teacher in my life. I will be spending my retirement traveling, gardening, hiking, kayaking, and reading. I might even develop a decent golf swing! My husband and I are in the process of moving back to Tarrytown where we will spend time enjoying our family.
I send this message to my students: “I don’t believe you have to be better than everybody else. I believe you have to be better than you ever thought you could be.” - Ken Venturi