"Education is not the filling of a pail but the lighting of a fire."
William Butler Yeats
We recently honored 20 retiring faculty and staff members who represent nearly 360 years of combined service to the children of the Needham Public Schools. During the retirement reception I read aloud from a 4th grader's journal in which the student, Andy, acknowledges his principal's upcoming retirement and his affection for her. I shared his note because it reflects what students feel about their teachers and because it is so earnest, innocent, and loving:
I’m thankful for having a kind and helpful family including my friends, teachers, my mom and dad, my pets, my favorite teacher Mrs. Mukenbeck and my favorite and only principal I know, Mrs. Wilcox!!
But she is now too old to be a principal so she is retiring this year.
Well hope you, Mrs. Wilcox, still remember all of the Eliot school children.
But, sadly, I will still remember Mrs. Wilcox.
Like Andy, we won’t soon forget (or remember?!) our colleagues and friends who have not just filled pails but who have lit many fires over all these years:
Amy Cicala, Hillside
Bruce Cohn, Needham High School
Barbara Collins, Needham Public Schools
Donna A. DeMaria, Hillside
Thomas Dorney, Needham High School
Ann Freeman, , Needham High School
Leslie Hatton, Needham Public Schools
Michael Higashi, Needham High School
Ingrid Hoffman, Needham Public Schools
Laurie Levin, Needham Public Schools
Jane Lockhart, High Rock
Martha Matlaw, Pollard Middle School
MaryLou McCarthy, Needham Public Schools
Sharon Pickering, Pollard Middle School
Robi Richards, Broadmeadow
Sharon Salzbank, Preschool
Jane Streisfeld, Pollard Middle School
Judith Torian, Mitchell
Martha Wells, Broadmeadow
Suzanne Wilcox, Eliot
Thanks to our retirees for their deep commitment to the Needham Public Schools; thanks to them for sharing their lives and believing in young people so that they, in turn, can make our world a more beautiful, just, and peaceful place.