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"Sublime" and "Amazing" Farewell Celebration Honors Retiring Murray Principal

by Jane Hoffman with photographs by Joseph Gesick

hug(June 17, 2003) On Monday night, June 16, the Murray Avenue School PTA honored Dr. Elizabeth Dreier and her 17 years as principal at a Farewell Celebration for the Murray Avenue School community.

“Sublime” and “amazing” were comments attendees used to describe the evening. These terms applied just as easily to the guest of honor and her 17 years at Murray, suggested members of the Farewell Celebration Committee.

The evening’s varied program was chosen to reflect the range and depth of Dr. Dreier’s impact and the character of the school community that she has built. There was “Fanfare: A Tribute To Dreier,” composed by Murray alumnus Eric Nathan and performed by the composer along with former Murray parent Jim Miller, and 23 brass players, all of whom are current or former Murray students. And then there was Dr. Dreier and eight students performing “A Brief Demonstration in Cooperation,” led by movement theater artist Neil Intraub.


Parents of current and former students came forward with verbal tributes. Parent Michelle Jenkins spoke of her first meeting with Dr. Dreier. “In retrospect, we now see that for the past 17 years, Dr. Dreier has tried to engender not only academic excellence at Murray, but also a concern about character and respect,” she explained. “As a new Murray parent, it is clear as you walk through this school that she has succeeded on both counts."


Dr. Elizabeth Dreier and Barbara Roque at the Celebration
Carol Dobronyi, another parent, announced the Dr. Elizabeth Dreier Library Collection. She explained that, "Dr. Dreier has always believed that the library is the heart of the school so it seems fitting that the best way to celebrate her 17 years at Murray is to establish a collection of books in her honor. These books, whose themes include friendship, diversity, inclusion, optimism, and respect, reflect Dr. Dreier’s unwavering belief in the goodness of childhood. Truly every aspect of Murray Avenue School reflects these ideals."

Following the formal program, guests enjoyed light refreshments and a stunning four tiered cake (baked by Murray parent Susan Ryan) while they engaged in conversation and were serenaded by a jazz quartet of four Mamaroneck High School students, including two Murray alumni.

hugIn conversation that evening, Randi Kaplan, a parent, described Dr. Dreier as “beloved for her quiet power and soft spoken simple eloquence.” As conveyed in a tribute that Sabrina Fiddelman, a parent, gave that night, “More than anything, the children and their community have always been your priorities. You’ve ensured that they are educated, not only in their academics, but more personally and perhaps more importantly, in how to be good and participative citizens. You have developed an environment in which all the members treat each other with respect. You have graduated a generation of caring and responsible human beings. So now, we need to let you graduate and bring your good heart and wisdom to your next endeavor.”

Jane Hoffman's children attended Murray and she is a member of the Farewell Celebration Committee.


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