October 10, 2012
I recently learned that my friend and mentor, Carol Varsalona will be retiring at the end of this school year, and I am heartbroken.
For years, Carol has taken me under her wing, entrusted me with projects, provided me with professional development, shared her own personal books, been a collaborator, and passed along every tip and opportunity that came her way. She's invited me to every conference, luncheon and book discussion that she thought worthwhile. Her whirlwind energy and work ethic have been infectious. (There were times when she was so enthusiastic about her latest idea for improving literacy instruction, that although in my head my answer was, "No way," by the time she was done talking, my mouth was saying , "Yes! I can try that.")
Much more than that, she has been a friend, calling at all hours to inquire about my health and well-being. She has shared personal stories, ups and downs, family photos and plenty of advice. While most people only saw a polished professional who would be working and emailing past midnight, I saw a kind friend, a caring mother, and a quick sense of humor hidden behind an elegant exterior. I feel blessed that she has been such an important part of my life, and I know that I will be fortunate to maintain a friendship with her. I am sad for the West Babylon community however, because I know there will never be a classier or harder-working Director of Language Arts, than she.