By Navrosedip Kundlas
Volume 2 Issue 7
June 13, 2022
Original photography by VSN
In 1985, Tracy Suhovsky entered Valley Stream North High School, somewhere she thought she would never be. Many of you know Mrs. Suhovsky, a favorite chemistry teacher, is going to be retiring this year. We’re all going to miss her so much, but before Mrs. Suhovsky leaves North, she has a few interesting tales to share.
Growing up, Mrs. Suhovsky never wanted to be a teacher. Her mother was an elementary school teacher, and the last thing she wanted was to a teacher. Instead, Mrs. Suhovsky chose to head on the path of being a chiropractor. What is a chiropractor? A chiropractor is a doctor that treats many conditions affecting the nervous system and musculoskeletal system. Just right when Mrs. Suhovsky was going to go to chiropractor school, she didn’t want to go. She wanted a break from school and wanted to take a year off. However, she couldn’t take a year off if she wanted to go to chiropractor school. That’s when her mother told her to try teaching for a year and see how she liked it. So that’s when Mrs. Suhovsky, with no teaching experience or any teaching classes before, decided to work as a teacher at a school for a class of 7th graders.
Jumping from pre-med to teaching, Mrs. Suhovsky had quite a ride waiting for her at her first school. One incident she recalled was, “There was a fire drill, and I heard the bell ring. I ran out of the classroom thinking there was a fire. I left my whole class in the classroom. The teacher right across from my room, said, ‘Where are the kids?’ I just ran out of there, and I forgot I was a teacher. Thankfully, I went back and then left the building.” After one year of teaching at that school, Mrs. Suhovsky came to North where she has taught for 37 years. Mrs. Suhovsky has many memorable moments at North. Back in the 1980s, there was a Science Olympiad team here. She ran the club and in the late 80s, and they won! The team went on to Albany and won 2nd place in the NYS competition for the Rube Goldberg Machine. The machine they built was for breakfast, and it could crack an egg, pour cereal, make coffee, and more.
Talking about this club reminded Mrs. Suhovsky of how different North was back then. Every teacher had their own classroom. Mrs. Suhovsky used to do a lot more hands-on activities such as contests, building bridges, and Rube Goldberg Machines. She even had a bunch of fish tanks! She said that the students had a lot of fun. Speaking about students, Mrs. Suhovsky has taught some of the teachers here at North: Mr. Boyens, Mrs. D ’Alessio, and others. One of the funniest moments Mrs. Suhovsky remembers is when Mr. Boyens came back to teach at North, she thought Mr. Boyens was a student returning to visit. It turned out that Mr. Boyens was returning as a new biology teacher. He looked exactly like a student; he fit right in she said. Mrs. Suhovsky never thought Mr. Boyens would return to become her coworker. “He was one of my best friends. We have shared many great memories. The science department is one big family.”
Adding on to this, Mrs. Suhovsky will miss the faculty staff the most. She says that her sister works in another school district and she doesn’t have the type of relationships that Mrs. Suhovsky has with her coworkers. She remembers that during Hurricane Sandy, her house was hit hard and the whole science department and other faculty members came to help out. Mr. Boyens and Mr. Frazer took down the walls and helped move the heavy stuff. Another time she ruptured her spleen and the whole department helped again. Besides the staff, Mrs. Suhovsky will miss her students, whom she calls her kids. She loves her students a lot. Her favorite group to teach was juniors because it was their most important year and they worked so hard as they were getting ready for college. She also had a lot of fun coaching Junior High Spring Track, which is where I first met Mrs. Suhovsky in 8th grade. One of the toughest times Mrs. Suhovsky has had was during 9/11 when one of her past students died in the Twin Towers. Finally, Mrs. Suhovsky says that teaching as her career was the best thing she did.
One of the things Mrs. Suhovsky is excited about during her retirement is traveling. She’s going to Alaska on a cruise soon. There she will do a helicopter ride (she’s a little nervous about that) to a glacier. At the glacier, she’s going on a dog sled. Mrs. Suhovsky is also going to go to national parks, as well as Greece and Italy. They’re on the top of her list. She says she might teach a college class or tutor. She still wants to educate others in some way. Talking to Mrs. Suhovsky was so much fun, and I learned so many interesting things. Mrs. Suhovsky is a wonderful teacher! We all are going to miss her so much. We love you and hope you enjoy everything you do!