For My Father
In this column
we share information and advice on parenting, and how to be
the best advocates for our children. This week, my family and
I said goodbye to our very strongest advocate, my father. Dad
passed away just a day before he was to turn 93. He had a very
I am an only
child, and was definitely the apple of my father?s eye. I never
had to share my parents with anyone. But Dad, and Mom who left
us much too soon, showed me how to love my children and what
was the most important values to give them. He had the pleasure
of watching my three children grow to adults with families
of their own, and he rejoiced in the birth of each of his nine
ask me how my school district has been able to become so outstanding.
I certainly did not do it alone. Parents are an integral part
of their child?s education. They have to be passionate about
wanting the best education for their children and they have
to encourage their children to want it for themselves.
My father was
my biggest supporter. He always encouraged me to do my best
and to accept only the best from others. He valued education
and supported me and my husband in choosing education for our
careers. And he never stopped I lead an active and very busy
life. As superintendent of a district with ten schools and
6,800 students I have a great many responsibilities and challenges.
While my father recognized my abilities to manage my professional
life and raise my family, he never stopped being my father.
I will miss him calling to remind me to take an umbrella when
rain was predicted, and all the other ways he kept me grounded
in the details of life by caring for me so lovingly.
My father was
one of the very lucky people who maintain their minds and their
knowledge throughout a long life. He set an inspiring example
for me, my husband, our three children, and their spouses to
emulate. Watching him age so well and so gracefully has been
a factor in why I am fascinated with the workings of the brain,
and motivates me to foster programs in Syosset that help give
brain development a boost in the early school years, to serve
our students well long after they leave our schools.
we hope to be rewarded for the love we give our children. The
greatest rewards are the love they give us in return and the
pride we feel in their successes and happiness. My father gave
me the greatest gifts a parent can give. He gave me love, support,
motivation, and tenderness. I dedicate this column to his memory.#