by Rick Pezzullo –
While many Catholic schools in the Archdiocese of New York have closed their doors in recent years, The Transfiguration School in Tarrytown is thriving as it celebrates its 70th year.
Founded by the Carmelite Friars in 1949, Transfiguration has approximately 160 students from pre-kindergarten to eighth grade with a student/teacher ratio of 15 to 1 and is highly regarded because of its strong commitment to educational excellence.
Principal Margaret Kazan, starting her second year at the helm, was a parishioner when the opportunity arose to lead Transfiguration School. Providing students with a well-rounded curriculum and a strong foundation of values are focal points of its mission.
“We offer a faith-based education,” Kazan said. “It’s not just teaching for academics. We teach to the whole child. We offer a very rigorous education, comparable with the other regional schools.”
“We’re selling something that isn’t quite defined,” she added, noting many students at Transfiguration, most of whom reside in the rivertowns, graduate with top notch test scores and continue their education at prominent high schools and colleges. “Diversity is one of our strengths.”
A few years ago, Kazan said the school transformed its library into a STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) lab and now the STEM program is one of its strongest as students perform “real world experiments.”
Kazan said teachers are very hands-on, encouraging students to do their best. “You are always learning,” she said. “You may not be where you want to be where you are, but you can always achieve what you want. Hard work will get you ahead.”
The school also provides students with a mix of extracurricular activities, including a popular Catholic Youth Organization (CYO) basketball program, soccer, creative writing and drama. Kazan said she hopes to expand the offerings this year.
Kazan attributed the longevity of Transfiguration to a very supportive parish, led by Pastor Father Emiel Abalahin.
“We are extremely lucky,” she said. “We have a really good relationship with the parish.”
Transfiguration is still accepting applications for students for the 2019/20 school year. For more information, visit www.transfigurationschool.org or call (914) 631-3737.