Meera Srinivasan, Reporter
As the 2017 school year comes to a close, many students and teachers must say a painful goodbye to some of the many retiring faculty members this year. Looking back, the retiring teachers reminisce on their favorite memories from their years of teaching.
The assistant principal at NCHS, Dr. Veronica LeDuc, is retiring after 38 years of working in education. Initially a research chemist studying cancer, Dr. LeDuc began teaching when her former high school, Notre Dame Academy, was looking for a chemistry teacher. Ever since then, she has held a strong passion for education that has carried on into New Canaan High School.
Dr. LeDuc recalls her appreciation for the respect students show for the faculty. . “The families and the students value education so much and the adults that provide it, are almost always gracious and fun to be around which I love,” she said. LeDuc expressed her sentiments on how much she’ll miss the positive atmosphere here at NCHS.
Out of all her memories from the years, Dr. LeDuc says her fondest is when the Rams took over the Wave in the 2013 football state championship. “I’d have to pick the day New Canaan beat Darien in the State Tournament,” she said, “It was just such an exciting time to be a part of NCHS.”
According to Principal William Egan, Dr. LeDuc has always been a warm and guiding presence within the office. “She is always willing to share her thoughts with me,” he said, “she’s been a mentor to me, a colleague and a friend.” Principal Egan and many other faculty members will miss the guidance Dr. LeDuc has provided them over the past 6 years.
After 38 years working at NCHS, Joe Ditolla is retiring from his work as a special education teacher. As one of the most influential teachers in the special education program, staff and students had a lot to say about his departure.
In addition to working as a teacher, Mr. Ditolla has put time in and outside the classroom. From working as a defensive football coach to helping organize Saturday Sports Buddies, he has worked countless hours to help kids in any way he can. During the summers, Mr. Ditolla used to work at Sprite Island Yacht Club in order to give students job opportunities.
Amongst the NCHS staff, he is widely known for his dedication in supporting student education and exploring their opportunities. William Tesbir, the Special Education Administrator, said, “You can see his genuine caring for kids. To him, it isn’t about grades or what classes the kids take, but it’s about how he can help them.”
In addition to Mr. Ditolla, the special education department is also saying goodbye to Joyce DiDia who has been working at NCHS for the past 6 years. While she originally began her career as an administrator at Arizona State University, DiDia went back to school to pursue teaching. “I wanted to give back and work with kids.” she said, expressing why she chose to go back to school.
Out of all the aspects of NCHS, Ms. DiDia will miss her students most of all. “I’ll miss my students the most and my connections kids who are just wonderful,” she said. “I’ve just loved impacting lives here.”
Mr. Tesbir reflected on when he first met Ms. DiDia. “She really was a go-getter, I knew she’d be a valuable addition to the NCHS staff because she always had a smile on her face and was ready to support any student in need of help.” he said.
Mr. Tesbir acknowledges Ms. DiDia’s accepting attitude of all students and adults. “There was always a warm embrace for all students when you open the door to her office, she always has a smile on her face,” he said.