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A look inside Summit School from the staff's perspective

Jonathan Neiderman, Physical Education Teacher

Kelly Cignarella, Special Education English Teacher

Kristina Freshour, Registered Dietitian

A series of quotes taken from each of the different interviews and conversations we’ve had with the staff this school year.

The underlying benefits that students gain at Summit is knowing that there will always be support available to them as they pursue their path in life.”
— Mike Siegel, Music Teacher
NYACK, NEW YORK, UNITED STATES, February 25, 2022 /EINPresswire.com/ -- At the start of the 2021-2022 school year, we asked staff across our Nyack campus to share their perspective of the work they do. We discovered that at the core of this institution, there is a true understanding of why Summit School exists. This shared vision is what comes together to create a truly remarkable experience for all students.

What you will find below are a series of quotes that we were able to take from those conversations. This perspective offers crucial insight for anyone interested in learning more about our special school.

"So many enter Summit with little to no direction, confused and unsure of their future and themselves. Many of those students leave here completely new people; having transformed into someone who is more confident in themselves and determined to succeed."
- Robert Kahl, Physical Education and Health Teacher & PE Department Lead Teacher

"…I believe the most consistent preparation we provide each of our students is a foundation of acceptance, patience, being valued, given structure, and the constant reminder that growth and change take time, space and support."
- Maryanne Lombardo, Creative Arts Coordinator

"We create a world here that protects them, allows them to fall and pick themselves back up as many times as they need. Sometimes that creates a false sense of reality but for many it provides them the opportunity for growth and perseverance."
- Jacqueline Kinsley, School Counselor & CDOS Coordinator

“Any institution can only be as strong as its personnel, starting with leadership, and already I have felt the enormous strength that drives this team, from nursing and therapists to teachers and support staff.”
- Dr. Veronica Fellman, D.O., Child, Adolescent & Adult Psychiatrist

"Once a student is able to see that they are truly supported by you and how successful they can be when they learn to embrace that support, is what drives me because it is so incredible what strides you can make with that student from that moment forward."
- Kelly Cignarella, Special Education English Teacher

“I work at Summit because the community here is incredibly inclusive, kind, supportive, and inspiring. The nursing staff is so helpful and attentive to the students, the kitchen staff is extremely accommodating and it is clear that all staff cares deeply about making this a safe space - for all."
- Kristina Freshour, Registered Dietitian

"If you look at how the students enter and leave Summit, it’s been a complete change for most of them. From maturity to respect a lot of my former students have changed. I’d like to believe that we all have had our input in helping these struggling students become young adults."
- Jon Neiderman, Physical Education Teacher

"Although our kids have specific problems that most teenagers do not have, the way our school is structured is something, I believe, all teenagers would benefit from. Summit offers our students a support team of adults."
- Amelia Bainton, Special Education English Teacher & English Department Team Leader

“Being in the classroom, I am able to get so much hands-on experience with students. Especially at the Summit School, I feel as though I can build a strong level of trust with my students which makes me feel like I am so much more than just a teacher.”
- Samantha Legath, Special Education Teacher & Math Department Team Leader

“I think the relationships that the students build with staff goes a long way to helping them navigate the real world.”
- Charlie Mannino, Ceramics Teacher

“I used to see myself as a Science Teacher that could teach to all students. Now I see myself as a Special Educator that teaches science, but also so much more- life skills, emotional first-aid, how to manage difficult situations to name just a few.”
- Marie Meore, Special Education Teacher

"There is so much variety here and it’s a great way to serve the community and the students. Plus these kids keep me up on the latest trends and technology. :) I also really like how there is an importance to bring together all of the staff & students in support of each students' achievement and well being. It’s pretty awesome!"
- Lisa Mingone, Special Education Teacher

“We value the input of all team members, recognizing that it could be anybody in any position that has the strongest relationship with a particular child. We can see that each staff member comes with their own skill set and strengths, so Summit strives to integrate those strengths in various duties and roles here.”
- Dr. Barbara Baker, Director of Clinical Services

“My role here at Summit is a dream job for me as it allows me to be part of an amazing team of individuals helping to educate, advocate and prepare students to successfully meet a big milestone in their lives.”
- Judy Harrington, Transition Coordinator & Vocational Counselor

"I do not think most of our students would have gotten a high school diploma without Summit. And with that diploma they can do almost anything in life, perhaps not right after graduation, but sometime later in life. That is why graduation is my favorite day."
- Gail Karazin, Social Worker & Therapist

Jennifer Robertson
The Summit School at Nyack
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