Marsha Neville is retiring. Today is her last day at work. The longtime Washington Primary School principal announced her plans last September. She’s excited to begin a new phase in her life.
“I just need to say thank you one last time,” Mrs. Neville told her staff on the final day of the 2017/18 school year last Friday. “This has been an incredible, so personally satisfying journey that I have shared with each of you.”
A retirement party was held at the Bay Club on June 4 and Mrs. Neville’s career was celebrated at various school events throughout the month. She got choked up each time.
“I again thank you for a beautiful party; for your gifts; for your well wishes and kind words and for the various things that you have done with our children to help me celebrate the closure of an amazing career here in Huntington and to help me celebrate this upcoming new chapter in my life,” Mrs. Neville told her staff.
The veteran administrator came to Huntington in September 1988. Mrs. Neville worked as an elementary grade level classroom music and chorus teacher in the district for 17 years. She served as dean of students at Huntington Intermediate School for one year prior to being named Washington’s educational leader in July 2006. Over the years she gained a reputation as a fine teacher and was involved in a range of school initiatives and interdisciplinary activities.
Mrs. Neville graduated Houghton College in 1983 with a bachelor’s degree in music education and obtained a master of science in elementary education at Dowling College in 1990. She earned a professional diploma in educational administration at Dowling in 2005 and also received training in social and emotional learning and Horizons SRA corrective reading teaching.
During the year she spent working as Huntington Intermediate’s dean, Mrs. Neville served as faculty advisor to the student government organization. As a music teacher she was one of the best and gained Level I/II certification in the Orff-Schulwerk approach to music education. She was a guest conductor for the Suffolk County Music Educators Association all-county chorus and was a clinician at the Nassau Music Educators Association PEAK Festival.
Prior to coming to Huntington, Mrs. Neville taught classroom music, chorus, instrumental lessons and band at West Sayville Christian School for four years. She maintains membership in various professional organizations.
The Huntington School Board has appointed Dr. Michelle Richards as Washington School’s new principal, effective July 1.
“Welcome Dr. Richards like only our Washington family can,” Mrs. Neville told her staff. “Be ready to help and volunteer in whatever capacity that is asked of you. Provide her with the support that will be needed.”
As she enters the retirement phase of her life, Mrs. Neville had some advice for the teachers and paraprofessional staff members that will be returning to Washington School for the 2018/19 school year.
“Be eager to rally behind new things with our constant positive attitude and desire to always do what’s best for Washington students,” Mrs. Neville told her staff. “Support each other, working across grade levels to give that helping hand and get it done spirit that I see in each of you. Set high expectations for yourself and for the Washington students and enjoy watching those expectations be met. Be supportive of our Washington families. Pick up the phone and write that note to make those ever needed parent connections. Get to know each and every one of your students. Love them and give them only your best and enjoy watching them grow and learn.”