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MacLean Ends Career With 'Farewell' Tribute

GREENBURGH, N.Y. – Like all good things, the end of an era at Woodlands High School is slowly coming to an end.

When the curtains close Saturday on the drama club’s performance of “Once on this Island,” they also will close on the directing career of teacher John MacLean.

After spending the last 30 years in high school classrooms, 26 of which have been at Woodlands, MacLean, will retire at the end of the school year.

That means Saturday’s performance will be the 22nd, and final, musical he has directed at the high school.

 “It will be sad,” MacLean said Friday. “This has been a big part of my life.” 

The Queen’s native said it was no coincidence he chose “Once on this Island” for his final directing performance.

The 90-minute musical has a message of love and the importance of community, he said, a fitting tribute for the English teacher.

“It’s my farewell to the Greenburgh community,” he said.

Drama club members said Woodlands theatre won’t be the same without MacLean.

“He has such a legacy,” said Jackson Davis, who plays the character of Armand in the show. “You almost certainly can’t live up to it.”

It’s not just his presence on the stage that will be missed, Kashique Robinson said. 

“He is a guy you look up to and listen to,” said Kashique Robinson, who plays Ti Moune, said. “It goes beyond just musicals. It’s his understanding of life.”

And when it is all over, MacLean said the thing he will miss the most is the students.

“I never get tired of seeing the kids' faces when they take the bow and they realize they did a good job,” he said. 

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