- Mexico CSD
Proud to be MACS: November 2023
Below are remarks delivered at the November Board of Education Business Meeting at Mexico High School on Nov. 2, 2023 by Board President James Emery.
Margaret Wilson, November 2023
Google says the popular expression “it’s in your blood” is a term used “for describing something that is a very important part of you and seems natural to you.”
To me, I say that “nurturing” would be tonight’s Proud to be MACS recipient’s characteristic that is “in her blood.” Because she possessed this essential characteristic, it is deserving that retired Living Environment teacher, Margaret Wilson be recognized by the Board.
This nurturing began for Margaret on her family farm in Groton, N.Y. Along with her six sisters and one brother, Margaret loved working the soil. The hard work and frustration that often accompanies a farming life never bothered her. Proudly, she informed me that this farm has now passed on to a fifth generation of her family.
After graduating from Groton High School, Margaret attended SUNY at Morrisville before transferring to Cornell University for her undergraduate degree in plant sciences.
While at Cornell, Margaret worked for a professor that was experimenting with plants that could flourish with minimal amounts of fertilizer. It was a real world experience that utilized science to solve the concern of over-fertilization.
Margaret would attend SUNY at Cortland for her Master’s Degree in education. There, she utilized a scholarship grant associated with promoting women in science. This scholarship commemorated Christa McAulliffe, a New Hampshire teacher who tragically died in 1986 in the Space Shuttle, Challenger disaster.
Representing women in science, as well as being, a Religious Education teacher at her home parish, St. Anthony’s in Groton, N.Y., steered Margaret toward making a career in education.
At the time that Margaret was pursuing her Masters degree, she met Mike, who was one of the renters in the 6 room house where she was staying. They would wed and be blessed with sons, Matt, Jimmy, and Joey. Margaret gave much credit to Mike, who for years arranged for substitutes for the District and worked in our Operations and Maintenance Department. Mike was a stay-at-home dad, whose efforts allowed Margaret to pursue her career as an educator.
Following the completion of her Masters program, Margaret and Mike moved to Mexico in 1989 where she accepted a horticulture position with the Oswego County BOCES (now CiTi.)
Margaret worked at BOCES until 2007. At that time, she joined MACS as our Living Environment teacher and would move from nurturing flowers and plants to nurturing students.
Upon joining the science team at the Mexico High School, Margaret noted that all of the science teachers worked in outside fields prior to becoming teachers. Margaret believes having this real world experience, as she had when she worked for her Cornell professor, made her a better teacher, especially when it came to discussing opportunities for her students upon their graduation.
Speaking of her students, it was the interaction with them that constituted her favorite part of her job. She loved the energy that her students brought to class. As colleague, Liz McIntosh noted, Margaret, in one case, curbed some of this energy by turning one of her laboratory tables into a ping pong table. It never hurts to be creative when dealing with our students!
As for Margaret’s “nurturing” skills, Liz recalls that it was on vivid display as Margaret ran the after-school tutoring program. There, Margaret worked with students who were not necessarily enthusiastic about school. Her patience, persistence, and calmness “nurtured” those students to improve their grades. They were her seedlings and she was their water!
As for being a valued colleague, Liz stated that Margaret worked collaboratively with her fellow science teachers resulting in the formation of a solid team. Not that disagreements did not occur, but they were always settled in a professional manner.
I remember a few years ago, I met with Liz and Margaret over a scaling system that was being used for grading. Their concern involved the restrictions that applied to sciences, limiting the opportunities for the achievement of mastery in the sciences. For me, it was very enlightening and it showed the concern of Liz and Margaret. They took the time to analyze this scaling system because they were disappointed with the numbers associated with their students. They wanted to be sure it was not their instruction but some other explanation. They found the explanation.
Liz concluded by saying that Margaret will be greatly missed. She was faithful, hard-working, and committed, characteristics that are sought by many but are possessed by few.
So Margaret, for being a role model for women in science, for exhibiting patience, persistence, and calmness with your after school students, for appreciating the energy of your students, for being a valued colleague, for being faithful, hard-working, and committed to your profession, but, most of all, for sharing the “nurturing” characteristic that seems to be “in your blood” with our students, it is with sincerest gratitude that we, the Board, recognize you as our Proud to be MACS recipient for November, 2023.
So Margaret, for being a role model for women in science, for exhibiting patience, persistence, and calmness with your after school students, for appreciating the energy of your students, for being a valued colleague, for being faithful, hard-working, and committed to your profession, but, most of all, for sharing the “nurturing” characteristic that seems to be “in your blood” with our students, it is with sincerest gratitude that we, the Board, recognize you as our Proud to be MACS recipient for November 2023.