April 7 – Happy Birthday Trish Skeels

283056_1690350517677_5200607_nWhen one of our readers nominated “Mrs Skeels” for the April 7th slot of the Amsterdam Birthday Blog, I have to admit my first reaction was tinged with a bit of trepidation. Not because there was any question she deserved to be recognized because I knew she did. My problem was that I’m Trish Skeels brother-in-law and I knew from experience that her treatment of me as the husband of her sister did not give me the sort of inside-the-classroom-perception I needed to explain to you all why she was such an outstanding elementary educator.

Now granted, I’ve been with her countless times, mostly in Capital District shopping malls when she and my wife would be headed to yet another store and we’d hear someone screech “Mrs Skeels, Mrs Skeels!” Her husband Richard and I would then patiently wait while whoever did the screeching hugged her, told her how much they loved being in her classroom and then discussed what they had been doing during the twenty or so years since. This type of encounter has happened so many times, one didn’t have to be a genius to figure out that Trish Skeels was a much loved teacher, but I needed details.

Then I remembered Michela. She’s my oldest daughter who not only had Mrs Skeels as a fifth grader at Bacon Elementary, she went on to become an elementary teacher herself. I called her earlier today and asked her to explain why her aunt was such a gifted teacher. Michela said it was the…

You can read the rest of my story about this former Amsterdam educator in my new book “A Year’s Worth of Amsterdam Birthdays.” To order your copy, click here.

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