Alice Rosanes, a retired W.T. Clarke Middle School teacher from Centerport, died on Aug. 18 from an undiagnosed illness. She was 80.
Rosanes arrived at W.T. Clarke in 1957, then known as W.T. Clarke Junior High School, and later became chairperson of the school’s English and Social Studies department. In 1995, she was named an “Educator of Excellence” by the New York State English Council.
She was an innovator in bringing new technology into the school, said her husband Al Rosanes, including the introduction of a writing lab. The lab allowed students to document their assignments on word processors, making it easier for them to make corrections. “It gave them the opportunity to get all their thoughts out, and I think Alice always thought this really improved their writing skills,” said Al, who, with Alice, celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary in April.
Born in Red Hook, Rosanes graduated from St. Saviour High School, an all-women catholic school in Park Slope, and earned her bachelor’s degree from St. John’s University. She attended Hofstra University to obtain her master’s degree.
She met Al during a Long Island College Club meeting, a now-defunct organization where people of various professions could mingle. Al, a Chicago native, had been discharged from the army’s 26th Ordnance before migrating east, where he worked at the Hazeltine Corporation.
They married at St. Ladislaus Church in Hempstead in 1963. After spending a year in Hempstead, the couple purchased a house in Centerport. They enjoying regular skiing trips, sailing, camping, backpacking and later belonged to a yacht club. They have one son, Erik, an attorney who lives in Huntington.
But Rosanes’s biggest passion was teaching. “She was always innovating,” said Al. “She never reused old lesson plans. She was always trying to motivate the youngsters with new ideas, new approaches, new concepts.”
Even after retirement in 1996, she never stopped educating, teaching English as a Second Language at St. Hugh’s of Lincoln Roman Catholic Church in Huntington Station, and working with Literacy Suffolk.
Al said his wife enjoyed her time in East Meadow, and that she formed good relationships with PTA members and parents over the years. “There were many people who insisted on Alice teaching their second and third kid after she taught the first one,” he said.
Survivors include her husband and son, a daughter-in-law, Amy Jane, and a large number of nieces, nephews and cousins.
A funeral was held at Our Lady Queen of Martyrs in Centerport on Aug. 23.