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O'Sullivan Helps North Salem Kids Step into School

NORTH SALEM, N.Y. – Anna O’Sullivan is the first person visitors to North Salem’s Middle/High School see. Each day she is there, greeting guests, issuing building passes, taking attendance, handling early dismissals – all while making sure her candy jar stays filled.

“I know all of the teachers and eighty or ninety percent of the students. The best thing about this job is the interaction with the students. I know almost everyone because I know them from middle school onwards,” O’Sullivan said.  “I can usually greet people by name if parents arrive. But when a bunch of kids walk in together I say, ‘Good morning, time to wake up!’”

Most of the students and teachers who mill around and greet her may not know O’Sullivan is one of the world’s top authorities on Irish dancing. She holds a certificate from An Diploma Coimisiuin le Rinci Gaelacha, which means she is a highly competent judge of Irish Dance. She has adjudicated at feisanna - Irish dance competitions - throughout North America, Ireland and Scotland.

O’Sullivan is a founding member of the prestigious O’Sullivan School of Irish Dancing , which teaches traditional Irish dance and offers classes in Croton Falls, Dobbs Ferry and Chappaqua.

To the students of North Salem, however, she is the lady in the hall -- the first and last person they see each day -- the one who is checking them in, or holding the gym bags or the keys they forgot at home.

“She knows me,” said student Lexie Jordan as she passed by. “She sees me every day.”

At the end of the year, most seniors stop by and ask her to sign their yearbooks. Then they often give her a hug and say goodbye and let her know she’ll be missed.

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