By Natasha Clark,Assistant Managing Editor
(bottom center) Richard Juskalian and Beverly Steele are flanked by Kris Kirwan, former PTO president, and Amie Singh, PTO director. (left to right, top row) Beckie McKittrick, PTO president, Pam Donahue, PTO vice-president and Wendy Turer, PTO secretary. |
Reminder Publications photo by Natasha Clark
Retirees will never leave Mountain View thanks to legacy gift
EAST LONGMEADOW Beverly Steele and Rich Juskalian have dedicated a good portion of their lives to children -- a good 64 years combined.
Last week the Mountain View School Parent-Teacher Organization (PTO) honored the retirees with two legacy trees as a symbol of the growth and flourishing the students have been exposed to during Steele and Juskalian's 24-year and 40-year tenures, respectively.
"It pleases us to be honored this way," Steele said. "I think it's wonderful."
Steele, who is retiring from her fourth grade teaching position, said the dedication was a wonderful surprise. The PTO approached her and Juskalian with $200 each and told them they would like them to leave a legacy gift. The PTO created the gift idea as a way to give teachers gifts that would also be beneficial to the school. Steele and Juskalian chose to pool their cash and purchase two trees from Graziano Gardens, which were planted and will soon be accompanied by plaques with their names.
"Everyone has been very supportive," Juskalian, of the physical education department, said. "From the families to staff to the administration."
Though their careers have spanned the Pioneer Valley, with years of teaching spent in towns such as Southwick, 90 percent of their career has been spent in East Longmeadow.
Both said while they will miss their colleagues, they will miss the students the most. Steele joked that she has been working with her church's Sunday school class and still gets her "kid fix."
Past PTO President Kristin Kirwan described Steele and Juskalian as committed to the children and their job and said both always have done their best put out their all.