When Arlene Ekis was a child she used to play school with her siblings and cousins during holiday gatherings, so it seemed only natural that she apply to St. John's University School of Education after graduating from high school. After receiving her Bachelor of Science in Elementary Education, she went on to earn her Master's Degree in Education from Dowling College.
After teaching 6th grade for a brief time in the Babylon Grade School, Arlene learned that a 5th grade position had opened up at St. Patrick's School and she was hired just days before her wedding in August of 1983. Arlene has been a member of the St. Pat's faculty for 30 years and alumni often cite her as a favorite teacher!
Mrs. Ekis says that since she has been at St. Pat's for so many years, "I’ve been rewarded with students coming back to visit. I am just amazed by their accomplishments and so honored that I played a part in their education." She explains that students who attend Catholic schools have an advantage because their faith formation is integrated into their daily lives. She goes on to say that St. Patrick's, "has certainly helped us through some very tragic times and helped us rejoice during the celebratory times."
Arlene described some memorable moments in her career at St. Pat's. Of course there are the "Aha moments" when a student grasps a new concept or hands in an amazing project, but there are the funny moments as well that some of our alumni might remember. She spoke about the time when she forgot to close the classroom windows and the class returned to find some birds had moved in! Or the time the classroom doorknob wouldn't open and the class was trapped inside the classroom, requiring custodians to break down the door to get them out! Ever the teacher, Arlene turned those moments into great writing assignments!
Mrs. Ekis has a busy life outside of St. Pat's as well! She enjoys reading, sewing, gardening, decorating her house, and kayaking in Lake Ronkonkoma. When the warm weather comes she enjoys entertaining her large family with her husband, parents, siblings, and 17 nieces and nephews! Arlene says, "It's a busy life, but a great life!" The alumni at St. Patrick's feel blessed to have been a part of her "great life!"