Faculty Say Goodbye

As the school year comes to a close, some teachers are saying goodbye to Poly students for the last time.

Kyle Williams, Staff Writer

As the end of the school year draws near, some faculty are saying goodbye to Poly’s Dyker Heights campus. According to graphs assembled by Associate Head of School Kyle Graham with data from the Independent School Data Exchange, Poly faces significantly less teacher and employee attrition than other independent schools: from 2021 to 2023, Poly has had a teacher attrition rate of eight percent and an employee attrition rate of six percent. These rates are significantly smaller than that of comparable independent schools, many of which have teacher and employee attrition rates above ten percent. As Assistant Head of School, Strategic Initiatives Rebekah Sollitto wrote in an email to the Polygon: “When beloved teachers move on to different roles, it can have a big impact on our students and colleagues.” 

Here are some records of their impact at Poly, in their own words, below. This is just a sample of reflections from faculty leaving this year.


Dr. Nash Gyanesh Sharma – Mathematics Faculty; taught at Poly for five years.

“Hopefully, my students learned from me. Not just the math curriculum but felt comfortable sharing their ideas with me, personally and professionally. As for faculty, I have been blessed to be part of the math department, which is more like an extended family for me. I will miss them terribly.”

Sharma will continue to teach mathematics at the Upper School of Nightingale-Bamford.


Maggie Moslander – History Department Chair; taught at Poly for six years.

“I hope students would say […] that as a teacher, I’ve empowered them to feel their agency and feed their curiosity as historians and learners and as citizens in our complex, flawed, fundamentally optimistic democratic project. I also hope both faculty and students would say that I’ve helped expand, both as a teacher and as a chair, the range of histories that they are able to teach and learn here and the range of modes through which students can demonstrate their learning. Finally, I hope students and History faculty would say that I did my best to really see them: to see their strengths, the areas where they could push themselves to grow, the heights to which they might climb if supported and encouraged.

I am going to miss the Poly community deeply, though; the students and faculty have profoundly shaped me both as a teacher and as a human, and I will be forever grateful for the learning and growth that have been such a prominent feature of my time here.”

Moslander will serve as the Director of Teaching and Learning at De La Salle Academy.


Amy Hao – Science Faculty; taught at Poly for four years.

“I hope the students had a good experience in biology and realize that science and the skills that underlie it drive a great deal of the world around us. And I’ve certainly learned more from the faculty (and students!) here than made any impact the other way – grateful for their support, advice, and camaraderie these last few years!”

Hao will be attending medical school as she works to become a physician.


Debbie Van Ryn  – Science Faculty, Former Science Department Chair; taught at Poly for ten years.

“I think my being willing to work with my fellow faculty on new ideas have helped both myself and them to grow as teachers; my hope is that the impact I have had on students is that they now see science as fun, see science as something they each can do, and have learned the joy that comes from discovering something for one’s self.”

Van Ryn is retiring from teaching this year; she intends to move upstate, relax, and pursue outdoor activities.


Alongside Van Ryn, Middle School Science teacher Linda Aponte, Math teacher Rosemarie Izzo, and Upper School Division Coordinator Maureen Sapega are retiring this school year.

via Kyle Graham: “The graph above shows Teacher attrition (Poly is in Orange) compared to schools we share data with as part of the Independent School Data Exchange (INDEX).”


via Kyle Graham: “Here is a graph showing total employee attrition (not just teachers) compared to other schools in INDEX of similar structure (K-12 schools).”