On Friday, May 5, Gaynor hosted an event in conjunction with the Gaynor Alumni Network to honor legacy faculty and staff who have served 10, 15, 20, and 50 or more years. Dozens of alumni from a range of class years returned to campus to connect with each other, their former teachers, and celebrate the honorees.
Dr. Scott Gaynor made the first remarks of the evening, welcoming staff, faculty, and alumni alike to the celebration.
“Gaynor is a very special place to work, and just among the people we are honoring tonight, we have over 400 years of collective experience,” said Dr. Gaynor. “Each one of you carries the torch forward every day to carry on the traditions of Stephen Gaynor School,” from the original location on West 74th Street to the current facility.
Dr. Gaynor then presented gifts to those celebrating 10 years or more (John Beich, Joan Persky, Lauren Bookin, Adam Gaynor, and Wendy Peters) as well as those who have served 15 years or more (Chris Meyer, Anna Friedman, Donna Logue, Anne Cudjoe, Carlvin Delfish, Ariela Weisenberg, and Roberta Hirsch).
Jill Thompson, Assistant Head of School, went on to recognize those who have served 20 or more years at Gaynor: Joseph Kaufman, Debra Adams, Ellen Simon, Dr. Scott Gaynor, Yosefa Kizelnik, Ruth Rachlin, Mindy Stern, and Sloan Shapiro.
“I just started at Gaynor this summer so I’m one of the newest members of the community,” said Jill Thompson. “I’ve been fortunate to learn from the veterans, and I’m grateful for the history, experience, and passion that each of you brings to Gaynor every day.”
Honored with the highest milestone of the evening, a remarkable number of more than 50 years, were Gaynor’s co-founders, Dr. Miriam Michael and Yvette Siegel-Herzog. Recognizing Yvette Siegel-Herzog with a speech was Henrietta Jones-Pellegrini, President of Gaynor’s Board of Trustees.
“I have the distinct pleasure of honoring Yvette Siegel-Herzog. Her vision and her life’s work has impacted all of us in this room, and it goes without saying that none of us would be standing here without Yvette and Dr. Miriam Michael, who unfortunately could not be here today. Yvette’s enthusiasm and her love for the 2,500 students that she has helped educate in the past 54 years has changed the life of all of them, and it has changed the life of all of us in this room.”
With the heartfelt speeches, the celebration, and the combined number of years that so many have chosen to serve Gaynor, it became clear that the community shared the same sentiment: Gaynor is a special place to be and it is so because of the incredible people who work here.