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The Mount Vernon City School District honored teachers during Teacher Appreciation Week

The Mount Vernon City School District honored teachers during Teacher Appreciation Week

The Mount Vernon City School District honored all of the hard working teachers and their dedication to the District during Teacher Appreciation Week, which began on Monday, May 6, 2024. Throughout the week, schools showed their gratitude for teachers in various ways. 

“I am delighted to acknowledge our wonderful and diligent teachers,” said Acting Superintendent Dr. K. Veronica Smith. “We should not only recognize our teachers this week, but year-round. These teachers are the foundation of our schools, whose commitment and passion inspires me every day. I want to express my gratitude for all that they do for the students.”  

Throughout the week, teachers highlighted the numerous inspirations that led them to pursue a career in education. Whether it was because they were inspired to teach because of a teacher they had, a desire to make a positive impact on a community, a love for a certain subject, or a passion for helping others achieve their goals, teachers bring a unique perspective that is valuable to every classroom. 

“When I was in high school, I had a guidance counselor who went above and beyond to support and encourage me,” said Alexandria Castracucco, a Kindergarten teacher at Edward Williams School. “I was going through a tough time and she cared for me and made me feel important, and I wanted to pay that forward by becoming an early childhood teacher.” 

Teachers bring their aspirations to the classroom every day, striving to create an environment that is supportive and inclusive for all students to excel. Educators help build the bridge between school and home, providing a foundation for scholars to succeed in and out of the classroom. 

“I pride myself on cultivating a classroom filled with joy,” said Christine White, a fifth grade teacher at Traphagen. “I approach teaching and learning from a place of excitement and curiosity. A classroom that is safe and welcoming for all students will also create a school - home partnership with families. One that is caring, and compassionate, and fosters mutual respect. When students and their families become partners in education, the students will take great educational risks and receive ever greater educational rewards.” 

Administrators and principals commemorated their teachers in a number of ways. At Edward Williams, teachers wore their custom made ‘90s-themed shirts to kick off the week with a special breakfast. Hamilton School hosted an empanada truck for staff to enjoy during lunch.  

“One thing I tell my teachers is that this is a difficult profession,” said Marc Anthony Molina, principal at Hamilton School. “We face a lot of obstacles and they don’t hear ‘thank you’ enough. It’s just a small token of our appreciation for all the hard work that they do. The way they show up everyday and try their best to support these students, not only academically; there’s a lot of things that our teachers do behind the scenes.” 

Teachers smiling at the camera.
Teacher giving lesson.
Teachers and principal infront of food truck.


Admin posing with no place for hate signs.

For the second year, all 16 Mount Vernon City School District schools were presented with No Place for Hate (NPFH) banners at a ceremony on Wednesday, May 22, 2024, at NYU Skirball Center in Manhattan. The district continues to be the largest and now is the first school district in Westchester County to have all of its schools designated as Gold Star No Place for Hate.  

Nathaniel Edwards in front of paper planes on wall.

Nathaniel Edwards, a senior at Mount Vernon High School, was recently accepted into Vaughn College of Aeronautic Engineering, Aviation and Technology, where he will pursue a degree in the Aircraft Operations program. 

Judges speaking at panel discussion

Mount Vernon community members visited Mount Vernon High School for an educational celebration of the 70th anniversary of Brown vs. Board of Education on Friday, May 17, 2024. The Mount Vernon chapter of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) held the celebration to recognize figures who fought against segregation and to acknowledge the progress that is still needed.