Retiring SHHS History Teachers: Suzanne Davis and Olivia Wiener

It's a larger than usual class of retiring faculty this year; Patch is posting their stories, in their own words.

Two great history teachers will now be a part of Sleepy Hollow High's history. Here are their parting words: Q&A-style with Suzanne Davis (not pictured) and a short essay from Olivia Wiener (pictured).

From Suzanne Davis, Social Studies, teacher of 25 years, :

Patch: What would you call your "signature" as an educator--the thing makes you unique?

SD: I set the bar high for all my students. I expect them to give me their best and I won’t accept anything less from them. I’m consistent in my expectations of them.

What do you think or hope students most remember about you?

SD: I hope I made Global History interesting for them and that I was fair in dealing with them.

What was the most rewarding part of this job?

SD: Watching the students grow and change from September to June and hearing from those that really enjoyed the class. I am also happy when I hear that someone who once hated social studies came to enjoy it in my classroom.

Is there something you accomplished in the school system that makes you proud?

SD: Earlier in my career at Sleepy Hollow I was a special education teacher. Kim Kaczmarek and I taught the Social Development Program which was recognized as a Best Practice program by NYS Dept. of Ed. We travelled around the state and presented our program to other educators and districts. It was a proud time for the district and us.

Is there a message that you'd like to give students and parents as you say farewell?

SD: Set reasonable goals, and stay the course.

What was your favorite part of the job?

OW: Teaching! I know that sounds like a “duh,” but with everything else educators are required to do in these times, the joy of teaching gets “lost in the sauce”!

How has educating changed you? What did you love about it?

SD: I love being with young people because they keep me connected to the heartbeat of society. They are the next shakers and movers and it all starts in their teens.

What will you do with yourself after the last bell rings?

SD: Join my husband in retirement. He’s been waiting for me and now it’s our time together.


From Olivia Wiener, Social Studies, teacher of 19 years, :

I love telling stories and to me history is just one big amazing story. I think what made me unique as a teacher is that I truly loved sharing my knowledge of the past with my students. I wanted to make it fun and relevant and interesting, and I think I did. Over the years students have come back to tell me how much they loved my class.

What I hope my students will remember about me is that I really cared for each and every one of them as if they were my very own children. I was demanding when they needed it, not accepting anything less then the best they could do. I was encouraging when they needed that, always there to help them see that they could do it. I was loving when they needed it, who doesn’t need a hug every now and then?

I haven’t thought about the last bell ringing but now that I have been asked I think that when that happens I will have many mixed feelings. I will be sad thinking about all the wonderful students and staff I will miss, but I will also feel proud that I have served this community the best I could for the past twenty two years. I thank you all.


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– thanks also to the contributing reporting of Kim Gaudin de Gonzalez

Jean Michael June 13, 2012 at 01:46 PM
I will happily witness to Ms. Wiener's love of teaching as well as her impact upon students. My son went off to take the Global Studies Regent's exam today with confidence due in large part to her. He has gained from her class a true insight into world history.
Estefani Santana November 30, 2012 at 05:21 PM
Olivia Wiener, is well loved I am sure by alot of her students. She made school fun and she made us smile, it was one of the best classes in school. I love you Olivia Wiener, I love hoe how you made my days in school so much fun and I always remember you when ever I have a JOLLY RANCHER. I feel so sad that due to my health I left it all and did not get to graduate, as I did not finish school =(


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