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Scarsdale School District Honors Retirees

SCARSDALE, N.Y. – Monday was a “bittersweet evening” for teachers and staff at the Scarsdale Union Free School District, as the Board of Education honored several faculty members who are retiring and recognized those who have earned tenure.

Marie Tallevi, a special education teacher at Quaker Ridge Elementary School, retired after a 39-year career. She began her career in 1973 as a home economics teacher before becoming an elementary skills and resource teacher. Tallevi spent nearly four decades with the district, and praised it in her retirement letter.

“I was fortunate to spend my entire career in Scarsdale,” she wrote. “I’ve been able to grow professionally and personally from all that Scarsdale has to offer.”

Marie’s husband, Leonard Tallevi, a Scarsdale Middle School social studies teacher and department chair, will join his wife in retirement after a 41-year career. He was hired by the district as a 21-year-old straight out of college, and he went on to earn local, state and national acclaim for his work in the field of psychological types.

Scarsdale Middle School PTA President Judy Stanley said Leonard Tallevi has affected innumerable students over the years with his passion and commitment to his job.

“He’s taught literally generations of Scarsdale parents and children,” she said. “Friends of mine that grew up here still remember him fondly from their own middle school days, and his impact has been just as memorable on recent students.”

Harvey Flisser, who spent the last 20 years of his career as a science teacher at the middle school, will also retire as of July 1. Stanley and Scarsdale Middle School Principal Michael McDermott praised Flisser for his innovation and wealth of knowledge in earth science.

“I come away learning something new every time I’ve been in his classroom,” McDermott said. “His knowledge is that extensive. He was innovative, using primary source documents to understand the history of science, and his use of technology was cutting-edge.”

Marybeth Greco started her career in Scarsdale in 1978 as a full-time substitute teacher for fifth grade at Fox Meadow Elementary School. After stops in Yonkers, Florida and Illinois, she returned to the district 25 years ago, where she has taught mathematics at the middle school.

“She is the heart of the team,” McDermott said. “She is always there for the kids, even if it doesn’t involve her subject. She’s served as an important mentor to many of our new teachers.”

The final teacher retiring from the Scarsdale school district is Kenneth Holvig, the longtime computer and technology teacher. Holvig has been responsible for helping the district keep pace with technology since 1990. He plans to move to Minnesota, where he will be a consultant to Apple Inc.

Stanley praised Holvig for the way he has integrated technology into the classroom.

“His style is very, very different than the chalkboard teaching our kids grew up with, and our kids love it,” she said. “He’s a native in this new land. He’s continually suggested new ways technology can support learning.”

With the old guard riding into the sunset, the board also welcomed several staff members who have completed their mandatory probationary period and were granted tenure.

Duncan Wilson, Leila El-Chehabi, Sydney Lipez, Caitlin Saladino, Kevin Blake, Bethany Unterberger, Maria Vasconez, Jennifer Banash, Cristal Edwards, Jessica Slotwinski, Jessica Williams, Vanessa Blood, Sheilah Chason, Nicola Minchillo and Nancy Thompson will each be appointed as of Sept. 1.

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