Our Lady of Mercy Tops On LI

Voted best private school, best teacher for Spaventa

Ask any educator why they do the work that they do and you’re unlikely to hear “recognition” as an answer, but public praise nonetheless acts as reassurance for teachers that they’re doing their best work possible. Our Lady of Mercy School in Hicksville received that reassurance in a big way as it was recently named the number one private school on Long Island in the Best of LI contest. Principal Jane Harrigan credited the hard work of her faculty as well as the support from the school’s parents for making the honor possible.

“For the teachers, it validates how hard they’ve worked, and it spreads throughout the school,” Harrigan said. “It’s good as an administrator that the teachers are being recognized and great that parents think that we’re deserving of the honor. It’s a revalidation of support from them. It means that we’re putting out the product we say we are and that the parents who volunteer are seeing what they hope their kids are getting.”

Additionally, kindergarten teacher Karen Spaventa was selected as best teacher, an honor that Harrigan noted was well deserved given her ability to connect with students, something that’s all the more important in today’s education system given the competitive nature of the modern world.

“It’s so hard for children with the world we live in now,” Harrigan reflected, before praising Spaventa.This [honor] shares the great job she does, with the community. If children have been through the kindergarten program and been in her class, they already know what she does. But for the outside community, they can see now that the kindergarteners get a strong foundation to move up to the older grades. [Spaventa] is creative, engaging, good at identifying children’s needs and good at channeling their energy into productive work. She keeps on developing.”

Harrigan also noted that the recognition received by Our Lady of Mercy this year could help the school continue to improve in years to come, believing that it provides momentum and something to build upon.

“We revisit yearly [to discuss ways to improve], but this is a sense of enthusiasm for the whole school, and it’s reinvigorating for all of the students and teachers,” Harrigan said. “We did this and now we have to continue. We want to maintain this and prove that we’ve earned this honor. We appreciate the support of the Hicksville and Plainview communities.”

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Joseph Catrone
Joseph Catrone is the former editor of Farmingdale Observer, Hicksville News, Levittown Tribune and Massapequa Observer.

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