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A Changing of the Guards at Scarsdale Schools

SCARSDALE, N.Y. - Karen Brillant, Scarsdale High School alum and Spanish teacher since 1996, cried as Assistant Superintendent Joan Weber accepted her resignation at Wednesday's Board of Education meeting, while others waited with smiles to hear their names announced as new Scarsdale teachers.

Brillant has decided to not return to Scarsdale High School because she has taken a job teaching at the well known private Brearley School in Manhattan, within walking distance from her New York City apartment.

"This decision was not easy to make," wrote Brillant in her June 28 resignation letter. "I have been crying for days because it is hard to leave a job one loves. I gave a great deal but I got back so much more."

As Brillant ends her career in Scarsdale six teachers will begin theirs in September.

- Gregory Apostle, who attended Tufts University and received his master's in secondary math education at Teachers College, will be a high school math teacher.

- Allison Chiarello, who attended Drew University and received her master's in Childhood and Special Education from Manhattanville College, will be a Heathcote special education teacher.

- Alyssa Coleman, a SUNY New Paltz graduate who got her master's at New York University in Spanish education, will be a FLES teacher at Fox Meadow.

- Wenhui Gu, a graduate of Sun Yat-sen University in China and who received a master's in teaching Chinese from New York University, will teach Mandarin at Scarsdale High School.

- Nina Kligman, an Indiana University graduate who has her master's in early childhood special and general education from Hunter College, will be a high school Spanish teacher.

- Robert Siracuse, who graduated from St. Bonaventure University with a degree in physical education, Indiana University with a master's in Kinesiology and SUNY New Paltz with a degree in Educational Administration, will be a physical education teacher and athletic director at Scarsdale High School.

As Brillant and the new teachers filed into the hallway on their way out of the meeting, Brillant put her hand on one of the woman's shoulder and said, "You are going to love it here."

What are some of your memories of Karen Brillant as a teacher? What advice do you have for these new teachers?

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