New second grade teachers Melissa Maier and Fabiola Vera, both residents of Tarrytown, were busy setting up their classrooms at Dows Lane Elementary School a couple of weeks ago.
Maier and Vera
Both took a small break to sit down for a quick interview.
Maier, a second grade special education teacher, came to Irvington after teaching third grade at Greenwich Academy in Greenwich, CT, for a year. She received her master’s degree in elementary regular and special education and a bachelor’s degree in history and psychology from Manhattanville College in Purchase.
Vera came to Irvington after serving as a permanent first-grade substitute and leave replacement in Edgemont. This is also where she did her student teaching. She received her bachelor’s degree in childhood education from St. John’s University in New York City, and is currently pursuing a master’s degree in bilingual education from Manhattanville.
Q: What are your goals for the school year?
Maier: To have the students learn to the best of their abilities. Carry out each student’s personal goals for learning. To expand their writing.
Vera: Just to have everyone have a good learning experience and really enjoy the year with new materials that we’re going to be learning. Just making sure everybody is happy in the classroom.
Q: What are you most anxious about?
Maier: Just meeting the kids. I want to meet them and get to know them and start. It’s
really what I’m thinking about right now.
Vera: Like [Maier] said, meeting the kids. I can’t wait to actually put the names and the faces together, and get to know them and their families.
Q: What was your favorite thing to do over the summer?
Maier: Kayaking upstate on the Susquehanna River.
Vera: Visiting my niece and nephew in Long Island. I spent a lot of time with them. My niece is three and my nephew is going to be a year in September.
Q: What books have you read and what movies have you seen this summer?
Maier: I read "The Measure of a Man," by Sidney Poitier. That was amazing. And then movies I saw this summer? I’m thinking, did I even go see any movies this summer?
Vera: I spent most of my time doing class work. So I had three textbooks – not anything that exciting. But I did read the last "Harry Potter" book. And movies – I saw "Transformers," "Harry Potter," and "The Bourne Ultimatum."
Q: Do you have a message to give to the parents or students of the community?
Maier: This is going to be a fun and educationally sound year and I’m looking forward to meeting everybody.
Vera: I’m really excited to meet everyone. I know we’re going to have a great year.