After 29 years at , Michael Simco is ready to go back to being a student himself.
The East House Director is retiring at the end of this week and plans to spend new-found free time pursuing his interests in art, music and travel.
“I am a lifelong learner,” Simco said. “Retirement is going to be an opportunity to take classes, re-visit my roots in the arts and become a renaissance man of the 21st century.”
Back in 1983, Simco came to FLMS as an art teacher, having earned an undergraduate degree in art and a Master’s degree in Art Education. He then spent 17 years as coordinator of the Unified Arts Department at the school—where Simco and a team of five teachers designed a curriculum to teach students art, technology and home/career skills.
“This department was really special,” he said. “It became a place where students could take their academic skills and put them to use in design, manipulation, drawing and problem solving—all crucial skills they will need for the future.”
The Yorktown resident and father of two children said that he ultimately made the transition to a position in the administration, heading up each of the academic units or “houses” at the middle school.
“I truly admire the Bedford Central School District for its commitment to the professional development of its staff and allowing people the opportunity to grow in any role,” Simco added.
And after nearly three decades of overseeing middle school students, the departing director said he feels that it has been a privilege to educate these adolescents, despite the popular belief that this age group is a difficult or challenging one for teachers.
“Middle-schoolers have this inherent energy that we have to tap into,” he said. “I believe the key to success is to keep these students engaged, active and moving and then you’ve won—it is a great age.”
As he heads into this new period in his life, Simco said, he will miss the kids and the dedicated staff at Fox Lane Middle School the most. Retirement plans include staying active with his wife of thirty years—by bicycling, skiing and traveling, along with doing more artwork and continuing to take classes.
“I feel so fortunate to have landed in such a storied place: Fox Lane Middle School is one of the first middle schools in the country and it continues to afford students so many opportunities in and out of the classroom,” Simco said.
“Working at the middle school has really been my calling.”
We weren't able to interview each retiring staff member, but you can comment with your well-wishes for Simco—or anyone on the list of Bedford Central staff retiring at the end of this school year. Post your comments to staff below.
Sandra Cardea, Barbara Wein
Antonia Cambareri, Porsia Cambareri, Don Carone, Sondra Lee Deane, Fran Gomez-Moore, Laura Hunter, Valerie Mellor
Dianna Indorf, Patricia Pitrulle, Michael Simco, Fran Smith
Rosanne Ferrari, LaVerne Lindsay
Carl Gauntlett, Alma Gooden-Stephens, Lanson Hyatt, Carmello Legato, Alexander McGill, Robert Moccia, Alonso Perez, Vernal Reid, Crispulo Zamora, Gabriella Zamora