Last day of school will end McNeil's 41-year career at St. Mike’s

Staff Writer
The Chronicle Express
Suzanne McNeil and her current students.

The last day of school at St. Michael’s School this June will bring an end to an era at the Keuka Street school, as long time teacher Suzanne McNeil will retire from teaching.  

Mrs. McNeil, who teaches third grade, has taught at St. Michael’s for 41 years, and admits that while she will miss her colleagues and the children, she is ready to move on to the next phase of her life.  Mrs. McNeil said recently, “ I can’t believe how fast the time has gone and I have truly loved my time at St. Michael’s.  It’s such a wonderful little school and will always have a special place in my heart.”

Mrs. McNeil came to St. Michael’s in 1969 as a Keuka College graduate, and completed her graduate work at Elmira College.  When she arrived that fall, she began her career teaching fifth grade, and also enjoyed teaching fourth grade for many years as well.  Of course, in those days there were no computers or cell phones, but Mrs. McNeil has kept up with the times, and now uses an interactive smart board in her classroom. All of her third graders have their own laptop computers which they use every day.

Many of her former students are still in the area, and have fond memories of being in Mrs. McNeil’s class.   

Bob Curbeau, (Bob’s daughter is currently in Mrs. McNeil’s class) remembers his days in her room back in the early 1970’s.   

“Mrs. McNeil ran a strict classroom, and she expected us to work hard.  I probably didn’t like it so much then, but I know how lucky I was to have Mrs. McNeil as a teacher. She’s a great teacher, and I’m just glad that both my daughter Jenna and my son Cade have had her too,” he said.

Principal Dave Paddock says, “We will certainly miss Suzy at St. Michael’s.  She has been a great asset to the school and in particular, has helped St. Michael’s be a stalwart for Catholic education.  We wish her the best in her retirement.”

The hiring process for a new teacher has begun at St. Michael’s, and Paddock hopes to announce Mrs. McNeil’s replacement before the end of the current school year.  

St. Michael’s will host a retirement reception for Mrs. McNeil June 4 at 6 p.m. in the St. Michael’s Church Hall.  The public is invited.