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Story - News

Jun 6, 2011 10:05 AMPublication: The Southampton Press

Longtime East Quogue School Educator Will Retire This Month

Jun 7, 2011 1:29 PM

Standing in a circle on a worn navy blue rug, Rosemary Enners joins hands with her third-graders at the East Quogue Elementary School and prepares to start the day with the class’s morning welcome.

A chorus of greetings then fills the Central Avenue classroom where Ms. Enners, better known as “Ro,” has taught since 1999 as her 20 students smile and wave at each other from across the circle.

This morning ritual, which has marked the start of the 62-year-old’s day for the last 21 years, will come to an end when she retires at the end of the school year.

“The idea is ‘I know your name and I’m glad you came,’” said Ms. Enners with a smile while explaining the reason for her “Morning Meeting” greetings. “Because you never know what kind of morning they’ve had.”

Ms. Enners will take part in her last morning greeting with her students on Friday, June 24, after spending more than two decades educating—and falling in love with—the children of the East Quogue community.

“I love their spunk,” Ms. Enners said during an interview in her classroom last Thursday, June 2. “I love their curiosity and their conscience.”

Almost 500 students from the hamlet have sat in her classroom—Room 132—during her tenure in the district, according to Ms. Enners, who gasped after calculating the large number of lives she has influenced over the years.

According to School Board President Mario Cardaci—whose three children, David, Zachary and Lucas were all students of Ms. Enners—the loss of the teacher is one that will affect the entire East Quogue community.

“She’s a wonderful person. She is the best teacher we ever had and it’s a tremendous loss for our school,” Mr. Cardaci said on Friday. “Each of my kids had her. It’s an experience that all third-graders should have.”

For Ms. Enners, who now lives in Mattituck, her fast-approaching retirement is bittersweet. She pointed out that even though she’s leaving her classroom in East Quogue, she may return to teaching at her second home in Cape Coral, Florida. Ms. Enners noted that she is certified to teach in the Sunshine State, though she has not yet made a decision about returning to work.

“It’s something I’d been thinking about,” she said, while noting that her third grandchild will be born this summer. “It’s time to rewire. I don’t see myself rocking in a chair.”

After leaving her job later this month, Ms. Enners said she and her husband, Pete, plan to split their time between their winter home in Cape Coral and their home on the North Fork, which overlooks the Mattituck Inlet. The couple raised their family in Hampton Bays before moving to the North Fork several years ago.

The third grade teacher first entered the classroom in the Hampton Bays School District in an effort to be closer to her children, Eric and Beth, when they attended school in the district. After working in Hampton Bays for six years as a teacher’s assistant, Ms. Enners went back to college, enrolling at the then Southampton College, and earned her teaching degree. She took the reins in her first class at the East Quogue Elementary School in 1990, shortly after she did her student teaching there.

“I fell in love with the schools,” Ms. Enners said, adding that she began student teaching in East Quogue with her colleague Jill Stevens, who still teaches the third grade in a nearby classroom.

Ms. Enners has garnered praise from School Board members, School Principal Robert Long and, most important of all, her students. Over the years, she said, she felt her crowning achievements as an educator were the moments that she watched her students mature and comprehend academic subjects for the first time.

Mr. Long said that administrators, parents and fellow teachers alike are all sad to see Ms. Enners’s time with the district come to an end.

“Ro has been nothing short of an exceptional teacher and individual,” Mr. Long said. “It is difficult to put into words just what she’s meant to our school. The kids love her and she’s definitely going out on top.”

He added that in the coming weeks, the district will be interviewing teacher candidates to take over Ms. Enners’s position.

Sitting in the back of her classroom, surrounded by dioramas created by her students, Ms. Enners kept a watchful eye of them as they worked together on a writing assignment, reflecting on her teaching style over the last two-plus decades.

“I tried to keep the creativity in the classroom,” she said. “Teaching is a science delivered through art. I have to maintain that balance.”

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Mrs. Enners is an outstanding teacher who should be proud of the way she has touched so many lives, children and parents! She will be missed by many :)
By eqresident (4), East Quogue on Jun 9, 11 3:07 PM
1 member liked this comment
and she certainly does not deserve the giant pension she has coming, does she?!
By zappy (54), east quogue on Jun 10, 11 9:12 AM
Why doesn't she? She is a well-loved teacher who worked hard for 21 years. Your resentment and anger are embarrassing and you should be ashamed of yourself for soiling a wonderful article with your nonsense.
By fcmcmann (417), Hampton Bays on Jun 10, 11 9:20 AM
Don't hate the player, hate the game.
ZAPPY - I don't get it. When Lynn Schwartz retired - after 'only' 10 years - as superintendent of the WHB school district you had nothing but good things to say. I'll bet his salary and pension were significantly higer than Ms. Enners after her 21 years of hard work. Ms. Enners worked for 21 years and directly improved the lives of over 500 of our kids - get off her back.
FCMCMANN - It's not the success of those in the private sector that many have ...more
By CoweeDewey (110), East Quogue on Jun 11, 11 10:53 AM
2 members liked this comment
coweeDewey, I believe your comment was meant to be directed to realityfirst and not me. By the way, I could not agree with you more.
By fcmcmann (417), Hampton Bays on Jun 11, 11 10:59 AM
1 member liked this comment
Get off your high horse fcmcmann. You've repeatedly expressed resentment at anyone who makes themselves financially successful in the private sector.

Just because someone works in a "noble" profession doesn't mean taxpayers, predominantly made up of working calss families, should be taxed into bankruptcy to pay the some of the highest teacher salaries and benefits in the world, especially in light of the fact we rank 39th in state hIgh school graduation rates.

There are plenty ...more
By RealityFirst (597), Bridgehampton on Jun 10, 11 1:59 PM
You are a sad, pathetic man realityfirst. Someone who would defend the worst corporate criminal but attack a teacher because you lack the courage to fight real excess. Read the article, you miserable wretch, and see how well-respected and loved she was and how dedicated to teaching her students. You and your cohorts attack anything pure and good in the name of your fascist ideology. And please show me exactly where I attacked someone for making money in the private sector. Lie and exaggerate all ...more
By fcmcmann (417), Hampton Bays on Jun 11, 11 8:21 AM
You are exactly correct, FC! Exactly correct
By razza5351 (551), East Hampton on Jun 11, 11 11:58 AM
Cowardly? I don't fear a simpleton like you.

All you have are emotional arguments, like your braindead liberal cohorts.

Those same children will have to leave Long Island because they won't be able to pay the taxes that will support a pension worth $3,000,000.

I don't begrudge this particular teacher from being paid a fair salary and pension, but $130,000 a year? WE CAN'T AFFORD IT.

How much is enough fcmcmann?

Of course, property taxes doubling again ...more
By RealityFirst (597), Bridgehampton on Jun 11, 11 9:56 PM
Reality first, you are constantly complaining about folks having benefits you and others don't. Instead if being so resentful of others I suggest you expend your limitless energy helping everyone get the same. And stop spewing this "we can't afford it" b s. If our government's priorities were not corporate welfare and war we could afford that and a he'll of a lot more.
By razza5351 (551), East Hampton on Jun 12, 11 7:32 AM
1 member liked this comment
Reality first, you are constantly complaining about folks having benefits you and others don't. Instead if being so resentful of others I suggest you expend your limitless energy helping everyone get the same. And stop spewing this "we can't afford it" b s. If our government's priorities were not corporate welfare and war we could afford that and a he'll of a lot more.
By razza5351 (551), East Hampton on Jun 12, 11 7:32 AM
... all you really have to do is look at the photos and see how Mrs. Enners has these children engaged and enthralled, something she has done throughout her career.

I have seen her do it many times - she makes the world a better place.

By William Rodney (544), southampton on Jun 10, 11 2:50 PM
3 members liked this comment
Congratulations to this teacher. She was clearly well-loved and had a terrific influence on her students over the course of her tenure at the school. She deserves respect and her pension.
By dagdavid (646), southampton on Jun 11, 11 10:57 AM
1 member liked this comment
She is a fantastic teacher and well deserving of everything she has earned, I have the pleasure of seeing her everyday and seeing how she interacts with her students and she is a wonderful loving woman. I will miss her.
By xtina72 (7), East Quogue on Jun 11, 11 9:38 PM
Actually, my comment was purely tongue in cheek as not only am I a teacher, but my children all had Ro as a teacher. None better. Silly me, I forgot that the naysayers would never read a positive article regarding teachers! Good luck to Mrs. Enners. Big shoes to fill!
By zappy (54), east quogue on Jun 12, 11 6:26 PM
Both of my children were in Mrs Enners's class. My daughter is in her class this year. I can say without a doubt that she is as commited to the job and the children now in her final year as she ever was. She is caring, understanding , and tough all in one. She knows how to get the most out of the children. Isn't that what we want from our teachers? She is a a professional. Its time for all teachers to be treated as the professionals that they are. Good luck and thank you Mrs Enners!
By fritzdaddy (34), southampton on Jun 12, 11 9:20 PM
1 member liked this comment
8k run & 3 mile walk, Agawam Park, Southampton Rotary Club fundraiser