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New Ossining Teacher Hopes To Open Students' Minds

Ossining, N.Y. – Yesenia Peralta wants her Ossining pupils to not only learn but see the opportunities around them every day.

The new Brookside Elementary School second-grade teacher comes to the Ossining School District after filling a leave replacement position in the Sleepy Hollow School District last year. Before working in Westchester, Peralta spent a few years as a middle school bilingual teacher in the south Bronx. She loved teaching in Sleepy Hollow, but she said it was the diversity of the Ossining School District that piqued her interest.

“I worked in the south Bronx because I wanted to teach younger children to think further than what they see every day,” Peralta said. “In Ossining, you have so many different cultures and people from different socio-economic statuses. There are so many different students here who come from different places. But they live in a community where they have access to everything.”

It takes days and sometimes weeks to prepare a new class, but, Peralta said, each year there are surprises.

“The kids don’t know what’s going to happen when they walk in, and you have to be able guide them and have a good idea of what you hope to teach them,” she said. “You don’t know what they’re going to be bringing with them and that can be a challenge.”

Peralta said she has not stopped thinking about the new pupils who will enter Brookside this week.

“I’m excited to get to know them and I want to see what I can teach them and what they can teach me,” she said. “I wonder if they realize all of the great opportunities that surround them.”

Brookside Principal Ann Dealy said the district was fortunate this year to hire new teachers like Peralta.

“We have been working very hard to get this year ready and we are very excited about our new talent,” Dealy said. “We are really lucky to have (Peralta) and a few other new teachers this year. They’re going to do great things with this district.”

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