Dear Beloved Manorhaven Elementary School:
The Alexander family recently successfully completed almost a ten year residence in the comfort of our
children’s primary school Manorhaven. As I watched the last moving up ceremony as I have watched two times before it felt different. Because that day was moving day from our second home and moving always seems emotional. The original Alexander family began their primary education at Manorhaven in the late 70’s with Donald leading the way and Mrs. Loveland at the front desk. Today might I add Mrs. Loveland is still at that desk. Donald was followed by Stephen in the early 80’s and Suzanne in the late 80’s. Then we made our comeback in 2007 when Johnny Boy entered Mrs. Claudia Levin’s Kindergarten class. Claudia is the perfect fit for those kids but more importantly a perfect fit for those incoming nervous pains like me. The apple of my eye… my pride and joy was going to leave my care and enter into the big bad world!!! There was just something about her that made the transition to big boy school easier than I ever expected. We were lucky enough to have her as Daniel entered the school just about the time her children were going to start Kindergarten and Mrs. Levin the cool calm and collective teacher was then the parent nervous just like the rest of us. Christian’s entrance into the school was a most difficult one as we were struggling with the difficulties parents face when choosing to place their children on medication for his ADHD. We were placed with Shari Salazar and boy were we blessed. She had faced this issue personally and with many of the children in her class. She spent hours of her own personal time with me and held my hand through the process. I am forever grateful for her and her guidance and I am not really sure I can ever thank her enough. Second grade provided the boys with the most energetic woman I know. Bellmann’s bunch and Mrs. Nell’s class were filled with all things fun. I can remember the Circus show where my very un-athletic Johnny was so nervous to be a part of this event. Mrs. Nell knew just where to place my boy as a ring master and still today I have that photo in my room. Mrs. Bellmann well she allowed Lego’s on her carpet at lunch time so therefore that qualifies her as the coolest teacher EVER! Up next were the “Manorhaven Men” Mr. Lennon and Mr. O’Brein, both wonderful male role models for my boys. I often think of them when it’s school concert day… poor guys are fixing ties for kids all day long! Dr. Brevig still to this day is spoken about in my home. Christian was the only lucky Alexander to have her as a teacher. She was the perfect fit for my little man, patient and kind and a she takes great pride in her profession. A new face came into Manorhaven and when I got the teacher letter I asked all around “Who is this Miss. O’Donnell?” Who is Miss. O’Donnell let me tell you about her she is the most organized human I have ever encountered. I will forever admire her spirit and her love for all our children. Christian’s class set up a surprise birthday party for her, each child contributing to the day to make it special for her. You could just tell how much the children loved her! Our final year at Manorhaven each and everyone of my children were the luckiest to have Mrs. Stacey Drucker. I can’t imagine anyone else getting my boys ready for the transition to Middle School and on the right road to maturity. For Christian and Danny specifically children with learning and attention problems, understanding the rules and procedures of the new school seemed like a huge task for anyone to take on. Thinking about them and the challenge of navigating multiple transitions between classes and organizing books and materials for every subject was too much for me to handle. Mrs. Drucker more then prepared them for the move all while she was preparing her own children to enter Middle School as well.
With another set of eyes in class, things often run more smoothly and we can’t thank the educational assistants enough for all they did to help these great teachers all year long. We must also not forget the kitchen staff that helped feed these boys all these years! Oh and who does not love Mr. Clark and staff! These guys always had a positive attitude at the school and kept a clean environment for our children. The list goes on and on, there was Mrs. Utzig (whom was my husbands teacher as well), and Mrs. O who made computers fun! Mrs. Regan whom fostered Christian and Daniel’s love for all things physical education but more importantly allowed John to appreciate her class. John was always a tall kid for his age, decent coordination but as he would say can’t catch a ball if his life depended on it. With John being my first son I thought that if you’re not a star athlete by the age of seven, you were doomed for life. Mrs. Regan taught Johnny that with great effort comes great accomplishments regardless of his fitness level and each child should celebrate their unique style. Mrs. Noone certainly was essential in giving my children the access to all things knowledge! In digital times Mrs. Noone is needed more than ever.
There are names I am sure I missed but please know that each and every one of the Manorhaven family made those almost ten years some of the most wonderful years of my life. To the head of our family Bonnie Cohen we started this road together in 2007 and I can’t believe how fast time has passed. You will always be with me. Thank you for every hug, lesson, smile, and word of encouragement. Thank your for appreciating their uniqueness, understanding their needs and encouraging curiosity. Thank you for being their teachers.
Donald and Christina Alexander