BRONXVILLE, N.Y. There are two new kids in first grade at Bronxville Elementary School but they are not students.
Stacy Bilgoray, of Croton, and Louise Lebrini, of Eastchester, are new first grade teachers this year.
Lebrini has been substitute teaching in Bronxville for the last four years.
Before teaching, Lebrini spent 17 years in a career in corporate finance. She went to the College of New Rochelle, where she earned an undergraduate degree and a dual Master's degree in early childhood development and special education.
"I love math," Lebrini said. "In first grade, it is so important to begin to build a sense of numbers and how math is incorporated in every day life."
A veteran of the Chappaqua School District, Bilgoray also taught in White Plains and Dobbs Ferry schools before coming to Bronxville.
After receiving an undergraduate and graduate degrees in early childhood education from St. Thomas Aquinas College in upstate New York, Bilgoray spent several years teaching fifth grade before coming to teach first grade in Bronxville
"I love teaching, but teaching first grade is my passion," Bilgoray said. ""It is so important in so many ways."
Both Bilgoray and Lebrini agree that first grade is where kids develop their love of learning, experience the joy of school and develop a sense that school is a safe environment.
Bilgoray and Lebrini are part of a team of six first grade teachers.
"I love it here," Bilgoray said. "It is so nice to have teachers who are open to sharing ideas and to be part of a team that is as passionate about teaching as I am."
Bilgoray said that just before school starts she gets just as excited to go back to school as the kids.
"Every September I fall in love with my class," she said.
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