Reporting with Hills Pride

The Trailblazer

Reporting with Hills Pride

The Trailblazer

Reporting with Hills Pride

The Trailblazer

Six staff members retire from Pascack Hills

Before the community says their final farewell, each staff member has been interviewed, and they reflect on their time at Hills and what they hope retirement will bring. 
Yasaswini Polamraju
From left to right (top): Jane Conboy, Christine Gorman, and Dr. Martin Edelberg. From left to right (bottom): Sue Bolella, Marnee Rosen, and Scott Ehalt

At the end of the 2023-24 academic school year, six faculty members at Pascack Hills are retiring. Before the community says their final farewell, each staff member has been interviewed, and they reflect on their time at Hills and what they hope retirement will bring. 

French teacher and advisor Jane Conboy has made an impact on the Hills community for 39 years. She has taught Spanish, French, and has been involved in various extracurricular activities.

When asked about her retirement, Conboy explained her unique perspective on the idea of “retiring.”

“I am not retiring, I’m graduating. I’m gonna go off on the next great adventure, just like the kids do. Because to me, retirement has the image of curling up in a little ball and being old. And that’s not what I have planned for myself…just like you guys who are seniors, sad to leave in some ways, but knowing it’s the right thing to do, that’s exactly where I am,” she said.

Despite a positive outlook on the future, Conboy expressed the bitter-sweet feeling of “graduating.” 

“It’s time for the next great adventure. I know the level of expectation I have for myself in my classroom, and I want to be able to bring that passion, work ethic, and teaching ability to my students…I came here when I was 22, and after giving my whole adult life to this place, I cannot leave not giving my kids the best that I can give them,” she said. 

Conboy has given her best in those 39 years at Hills, and has not only taught but learned. When asked what advice she would give to whoever will fill her position, she responded with a saying that any of her students would recognize.

“Bring your ‘Énergie positive’ every day,” she said.

Fellow French teacher Christine Gorman has worked at Hills for 17 years, teaching French and English as a Second Language (ESL). She similarly reflected on retirement as a necessary action to move on. 

“I am retiring because I need to move on to the next step. I have a granddaughter and I’m having a new grandchild who’s going to be born in June. I would like to spend some time with them. So it’s the right time for me to start teaching my next generation,” she said.

Gorman’s first language is French and she learned English as an ESL student. She has brought a special characteristic into the classroom: experience as an ESL student and 25 years of experience as a teacher. In response to what piece of advice she would give to her successor, Gorman considered the students.

“Share with them. Share with the students all the culture and knowledge that you have to give them,” she said.

Biology and genetics teacher Dr. Martin Edelberg has worked at Hills for 19 years, educating students in class, extracurricular activities, competitions, and projects. Similar to many others, retirement simply means entering a new chapter of life, not closing the book. 

“I’m 69 years old. I’m getting old, so I figured that whatever time I have left, I should try to do something that I enjoy. Not that I don’t enjoy teaching, but I’ve been doing it a long time and I’m getting older, so it’s time to find something else for whatever time I have left,” he said.

Whoever may fill this position has only a couple of pointers from Edelberg for a career like the inspirational one that he has led.

“Just make sure every day you come in here, you enjoy what you’re doing, enjoy the students, and have fun,” he said. 

Athletic secretary Sue Bolella has worked for the Pascack Valley Regional High School District for 26 years and at Hills for 24 of those years. Her impact on sports, organization, and school community outreach has made her a well-known staff member around Hills.

Bolella reflected on her position. By establishing expectations and fulfilling them, she can leave Hills with a smile on her face.

“I have always loved athletics and remember how important sports were to me as a high school student. This love has helped me to pay attention to the details of making sure schedules are correct and buses are here when they’re supposed to be so that kids are not disappointed,” she said.

Paraprofessional Marnee Rosen has dedicated her time and knowledge to the Hills community and has exemplified a “team player” throughout her time here.

“The best piece of advice I would tell someone who is taking my place is to be a team player. A teacher assistant…needs to develop many relationships with the students and staff they are working with. Of course, you have to have full learning support to the student and listen to what they have to say. Much patience is needed as well,” she said.

Security guard Scott Ehalt has reached the required age of retirement at 65 years old. With mandatory retirement being the only reason for his absence, he leaves with the well-known laugh and happy demeanor that students know him for. 

To all the students he has known and protected in his years of service, he smiled when he reflected on his time at Hills. 

“My advice to my replacement is to attempt to get to know the students. The better your relationship is with the students the easier the transition will be. This will lead to a more comfortable and trusting atmosphere,” he said.

Leave a Comment
More to Discover
About the Contributor
Paige Geanopulos
Paige Geanopulos, School News Editor
Hills junior Paige Geanopulos is looking forward to being a part of the Trailblazer for another year. She joined the publication her freshman year as a staff writer and edited for the In-Depth section her sophomore year. This year, Geanopolus is excited to cover breaking news stories within the Hills community. Fun fact: Geanopulos loves the outdoors and hikes regularly.

Comments (0)

The Trailblazer Editorial Board reserves the right to remove comments deemed inappropriate, offensive, or threatening.
All The Trailblazer Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *