Some of us remember key teachers in our lives.
Usually they’re from high school. Occasionally, middle high.
Elementary school teachers seldom get the love and respect they deserve. We were too young to appreciate them. Often, we forget their names.
Nancy Saipe is not one of those people.
This summer — just before her Staples High School Class of 1971 held its 50th (plus COVID 1) reunion — she hosted a lunch honoring her 2nd grade teacher, Nicky Bleifeld.
Nancy and several other Coleytown Elementary School classmates from 1960-61 — still friends, half a century later — reminisced about Mrs. Bleifeld’s impact on them.
She was there too — in good health and great spirits. It was a wonderful afternoon, for the former teacher and her (now almost-contemporary) former pupils.
But that’s only part of this story
To honor Mrs. Bleifeld, the women made a donation to the current 2nd grade classrooms at Coletown El. The funds will purchase books for the students.
But that’s still not the end.
On Tuesday, Nancy Saipe — and Nicky Bleifeld — visited CES, the current 2nd graders and their teachers.
Principal Janna Sirowich began by reading “Things I Learned in Second Grade” to the students. Then came questions.
The youngsters wanted to know what Coleytown was like, back before some of their grandparents were even born. For example:
- Did you have a Smartboard in your classroom? (No. They didn’t even have computers! This really surprised the children.)
- How many students were in your second-grade class? (30 — wow!)
- How many recesses did you have each day? (2 — the same same as now.)
- What subjects did you teach? (Math, Reading, Current Events, Science)
- Did you have Field Day? (Yes)
Principal Janna Sirowich says, “The students and staff were enthralled as they listened to Mrs. Bleifeld and Mrs. Saipe talk about Coleytown. They had such detailed and positive memories to share.
“Mrs. Saipe also encouraged the students to treasure their friendships and their teachers. She spoke about the lasting impact that Mrs. Bleifeld had on her as a student, reader, and friend, and how she remembers these lessons today.”
The CES staff presented Mrs. Bleifeld with a Coleytown bag, t-shirt and stuffed animal — and an open invitation to visit Coleytown anytime.
“It was a heartwarming experience,” Ms. Sirowich adds. “We are so grateful to Mrs. Bleifeld and Mrs. Saipe for visiting our community.”