Pictured from left to right are: Melba Saxman, Patricia Van Scyoc, Amee Vance, Larry Geib, Deborah Buckfelder and Susan Strano.
The next year was not as fortunate for me because there were no math vacancies in
Palmyra or surrounding districts.
I chose to begin a second career with Hershey Foods Corporation as a programmer
analyst. I wrote COBOL code to support, maintain, and develop the software for the inhouse
payroll and human resource programs.
In 1988, I was contacted by Palmyra asking me if I would be interested in a middle
school mathematics position. I accepted the job, and have had a wonderful, fulfilling 25-
year career as an eighth grade mathematics teacher. Additionally, I have been a coach for
the middle school cross country and track programs. I want to extend a big thank you to
the 4,000+ students who I have had the pleasure of teaching and coaching.
I look forward to continuing with my hobbies of bee keeping, gardening, tap dance,
traveling, and, of course, working out at the gym.
Without a doubt, the best years of my life were spent as a high school history teacher
educating three generations of Palmyra's children. We have the best students and the best
school staff in the world. And for more than 40 years, this was the best job anyone could
ever have. In fact, I thought I would never retire.
As my leg heals, I will do some Civil War reenactments such as the 150th anniversary of
the battle of Gettysburg in July. Until a week ago I had planned to spend a considerable
amount of retirement time riding my horse, Midas. Unfortunately he died unexpectedly,
leaving me to rethink my plans. What I will do is take a lot of one-day historical trips
with my wife, Sandy, and two grandsons, Danny and Connor. Next year we hope to take
a trip to England. Of course, I will play some golf and in the fall watch football (Go
Ravens). Finally, I just might run for School Board.
Something to think about.
Having been employed with Palmyra Area School District since 1973, so many
wonderful memories come flooding into my mind. As I look back over the career that
I've had, I saw the view of myself as that beginning young professional just out of
college, then becoming engaged, married, raising and watching my own children
graduate from Palmyra, and finally retiring from the school district. During those years,
not only have I grown but I have watched a school district grow and change as well.
However one constant always remained and that was the experience of the excitement of
learning from the children I have taught and even their children over those years.
Education is such a rich, life-long journey, and I feel privileged to have been a part of
that journey to the children of many families in this school district.
In retirement I, with my husband of course, plan to visit my family more often for they|are currently at a bit of a distance (Knoxville, TN and Oxford, England). Also, I plan to
stay active with my PIAA swimming officiating and find some new ventures as well. As
for now, reading a good book by our pool is quite a delight. Perhaps I may even try some
gardening. Of course I do hope to be reading books by my favorite children's authors to
my neighbor's grandson and to classes as a guest reader when invited.
Patty Van Scyoc
In retirement, I will be continuing my volunteer job at the Butterfly House in the Hershey
Gardens which I have been doing for 12 years. I also started volunteering last year at the
Harrisburg Area Humane Society where I walk the dogs and will soon be starting to work
in their animal clinics. I volunteer at the Hershey Theatre as an usher, and I chair the
Shawl Ministry at Palm Lutheran Church. My hobby is creating homemade cards so I
look forward to having the time to do that and send cards to my friends and to critically ill people through Share-a-card. The rest of the time I will just relax, read, and spend time
with my family and friends.
After teaching for 35 years, I plan to continue those early childhood skills with my young
grandsons. My husband Ron and I plan to travel to special far away places like Ireland,
for a PSU football game and, of course, our favorite beach destination with ample time to
explore the Eastern Shore. I’ll be helping my parents with various projects along with
volunteering at various organizations and church. When I get the urge, I will ride my
bike, garden, and shop until I drop, without a schedule of ten-minute intervals. I’ll
certainly miss the students and the Palmyra community. (Please continue to support
Palmyra Area Education Foundation as they allocate funds for future projects for our
students.) I am looking forward to a wealth of new experiences as my three sons have
spread their wings, so will their father and I. We will be able to visit them more often in
their new surroundings. Thank you for all of your support and endearing memories
throughout my teaching career.
Melba Saxman is retiring after 16 years with the School District, four spent working in
the cafeteria and twelve years for the Custodial Department. Melba and her husband plan
on doing some traveling now that she is retired.