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A wholesome meeting in New Haven reunites former students with their retired teacher

L to R - Golda Siegel-Doyle and former 3rd grade students, Susan Dunaisky, Meryl Jacobs and Felice Perry .jpg
Brian Scott-Smith
From left to right: Golda Siegel-Doyle and former 3rd grade students, Susan Dunaisky, Meryl Jacobs and Felice Perry

The power of technology has brought together a former New York teacher and some of her third grade class from 1965.

83-year-old Golda Siegel Doyle, a former New York teacher now living in southeastern Connecticut, got a surprise message through social media, asking if she was their teacher from years ago.

Golda Siegel Doyle
Class photo from 1965 (Golda Siegel-Doyle on the far left)

“Are you the Golda Siegel that taught at PS30 Queens many years ago?” she read. Her former students are all now in their sixties and attended school in Rochdale Village in Queens, a brand-new housing cooperative at the time.

Siegel Doyle smiled, “And I said, ‘That’s me and he said I was in your class. Do you know any other children who were in my class? And he said I do, and he said I’ll get in touch with them and they’ll get in touch with you.'”

Messages from her other former students started to flood in, and — despite the pandemic putting reunion plans on hold for a while — three former students set up to meet Siegel Doyle in New Haven.

“I thought, ‘That's very exciting,’” Siegel Doyle said.

Her students said their teacher hadn’t changed a bit over the years.

“Used to sit around, all of us gathered together, and Miss Siegel would read us a chapter from Charlotte’s Web,” said Felice Perry, who remembers being an eager 8-year-old student in 1965. “But it was beautiful. We all looked forward to that part of the day — it was magic.”

“She made magic in the classroom. She made magic for us.”

Siegel Doyle went on to teach in other states and finished her teaching career at Mitchell College in Connecticut, as a tutor to students with learning differences.

An award-winning freelance reporter/host for WSHU, Brian lives in southeastern Connecticut and covers stories for WSHU across the Eastern side of the state.