By Jed Kaiser
After 32 years of being one of Oyster Bay High School’s most beloved Teachers of Physical Education and coaches, the legendary Mr. Davis will finish his last day, along with the Class of 2017, this Monday, June 12th. After a career spanning a total of 42 years in the Oyster Bay and Levittown School Districts, his numerous achievements would amaze you, but nothing is more remarkable than his unwaivering commitment to the students and teachers of OBHS.
Mr. Davis’ favorite part about his time in Oyster Bay remains clear, stating, “I most enjoyed working with the students, of course, and my colleagues.” When asked about his greatest memory of Oyster Bay, his answer remained similar, stating that he just loved having fun every day with the kids and the staff. He prided himself on his “socialization” between him and his students. I can vouch for that myself, as Mr. Davis has known me from the time I was in 7th grade; I have never walked by him without being immediately greeted, or without hearing the nickname that he created for me, as he has also done for countless other students. Mine’s Jethro by the way (like the band)… I didn’t know them either.
Many students that had Mr. Davis as a teacher or coach will often comment on his stern teaching and coaching style. He has high expectations for all of his students and players. One prominent example is that he only gives 100s to the students that he truly believes go above and beyond. When asked what he hoped his students learned from him over the years, he responded accordingly, stating that he hoped students remembered him as being, “tough,” but “fair,” a feat that most would say he accomplished. Furthermore, when asked how he was going to feel on his last day of school, Mr. Davis stated that his last day will probably feel “bitter-sweet” because “I enjoy doing what I do. I love teaching. I love coaching. So to give that up is not an easy thing to do, but after 42 years, it’s time to, maybe, experiment with some other things.”
Now, the big question that everyone’s wondering: what is Mr. Davis going to do in his retirement? Mr. Davis is looking forward to spending more time with his family during retirement. In fact, he had some news to share, revealing, “My son and daughter in-law are going to have a baby this month, so we’ll be able to enjoy that.” In addition, as Mr. Davis coached three sports for several years, he and his wife want to travel to some of the places on their bucket list that they have been unable to visit up until now.
To conclude our interview, I gave Mr. Davis the opportunity to say his final words to the students and teachers of Oyster Bay. He responded, “Live each day to the fullest. You don’t know what tomorrow’s going to bring. Just live life, and be happy.”
We can all only hope to have a career like Mr. Davis. “Just trying to do the best that I can, Jethro,” he chuckled. Don’t worry, Mr. Davis; you did way more!
By Kyra Tosi
It’s that time of the year when we say goodbye to our beloved retirees. This year, we must say farewell to Mrs. Ellen Rotolo. Mrs. Rotolo has worked as a Special Education Teacher for 39 years, 29 of which were dedicated at Oyster Bay High School.
When asked what she will miss the most about teaching, Mrs. Rotolo responded, “I will miss seeing kids learning something new, which will stay with them forever, and being happy about things that I have taught them.” Mrs. Rotolo hopes that she taught her students to be kind and caring people and that they will continue to support one other. Mrs. Rotolo also stated that she has enjoyed all of the students with whom she has had the chance to work.
The entire Special Education Department will miss their dedicated teacher, as is evident by the following: “The senior ACE class will always remember you for the things that you taught us: from how to cook, to how to cross the street, as well as English, Social Studies, and reading with the RAZ kids.”
When asked to share her favorite memory, Mrs. Rotolo said that she did not have one “favorite” from her time working at OBHS because there are “just too many good memories to name.”
Mrs. Rotolo also stated that she loves how the Oyster Bay-East Norwich Central School District is small and, therefore, everyone knows each other. She went on to say that the people who live in the town really care about one another and look out for one another, which is also why she loves working in this community.
As most people retiring would be, Mrs. Rotolo is looking forward to her future time off. She admitted that that she will miss the staff and students of the school district, but she says it will definitely be nice to sleep later than 5:00 am. Mrs. Rotolo believes that she will still work with students in some way, perhaps in a school setting again. However, for the time being, she believes that she will remain focused on her family, reading and relaxing. And maybe she’ll even take a vacation.
Lastly, Mrs. Rotolo wanted to share the following words with the OBHS community: “Goodbye and thank you to all students, staff and parents who have touched my life with your presence. I will miss you, but I will be back to visit periodically.”
By Lena Gluck
“My love for my profession knows no bounds. My primary goal as a committed educator has always been to foster a profound and deep respect for literature. Dedicated to my craft, I have strived to instill a love of English in all of my students, encouraging then to immerse themselves in the lives of each character, while realizing the constancy of the human condition.”
These are the beautiful words of Mrs. Marjorie Vigliotti, Teacher of English at Oyster Bay High School. Mrs. Vigliotti has made the difficult decision to retire this year. She has been teaching English at the secondary level at OBHS since 1979, and she has taught students of all ages, ranging from grades 7 through 12. To say that she will be missed is an understatement.
Mrs. Vigliotti is an irreplaceable asset at OBHS. Anyone who has ever taken one of her classes surely knows she is passionate about every aspect of teaching, and she loves to share her reverence for the written word with all of her students. Her ability to positively impact each and every one of her students does not go unnoticed. One of her past students, Arianna Chetrum, shared, “As a teacher, she always taught me how to have fun with literature.”
Jodi Yeh added, “Mrs. Vigliotti was one of those special teachers who extends her passion for English to her students. After having her my freshman year, I can easily say she was one of the best English teachers I’ve ever had. Her class itself was difficult, but the way she ran her class made it worthwhile: interpreting, but not over-analyzing, Great Expectations and Romeo and Juliet. She turned us all into grammarians and rewarded us with cannoli. I will miss Mrs. Vigliotti. She truly impacted my freshman perspective on English, and she changed Oyster Bay forever.”
Throughout her years here at OBHS, Mrs. Vigliotti has enjoyed teaching classic works such as Romeo and Juliet and Great Expectations. This is no surprise, being that some of her favorite authors include Shakespeare, Dickens, and Hemingway.
Mrs. Vigliotti has always emphasized the importance of grammar in her curriculum as well. She has been adamant about teaching it because she knows that “in order to speak eloquently and write coherently, the basic rules of grammar must be mastered.”
Over the course of her career at OBHS, Mrs. Vigliotti has worked with many wonderful colleagues, all of whom had heartfelt messages for their dear coworker. Mrs. Karen DiMaggio, Teacher of English, reflected, “To an amazing teacher and friend: the lives you have impacted here at Oyster Bay High School will be forever changed. It is so wonderful to know that an influence like that can never ‘retire.’ In the words of Ralph Waldo Emerson, ‘What we have learned from others becomes our own reflection.’”
When talking about what Mrs. Vigliotti enjoys outside of the classroom, she told us that her first love was ballet. She believes that ballet is “beautiful in every sense of the word,” and ever since her youthful days at the ballet barre, she has been on a “quest for beauty, or those aspects of life that elevate the soul.” Mrs. Vigliotti explained that she found it through “pas de deux” from Don Quixote, an Ella Fitzgerald and Louie Armstrong duet, the second movement of a Mozart concerto, Michelangelo’s David, and, especially, the moving, poignant words of Dickens, Hemingway, and Shakespeare. Mrs. Vigliotti revealed, “It has been so fulfilling for me to witness my students as they, too, realize and embrace the beauty in their lives, particularly within the pages of a book.”
When asked for her final words for the OBHS community, Mrs. Vigliotti stated, “I leave Oyster Bay High School with a heavy heart. It is and has always been my home away from home for thirty unforgettable years. Although I look forward to the years that lie ahead with great anticipation, I know that I will never forget each and every colleague, administrator, and staff member with whom I have worked. And surely, above all else, I will never forget my students who have shared the beauty and power of the written word with me. I will carry all of them with me…always.”