by Ariana Wiseman
Driving by the tall mountains, sand dunes and open fields, physics teacher David Chason and his wife enjoy their days driving in their RV and exploring the places in the country they have never visited.
After working at Ardsley High School for 32 years, Chason left and took a job at The Leffell School and has been working there for three years. Chason’s wife is a teacher at another public school as well.
“I had a change of heart and my wife did as well,” Chason said. “I didn’t renew my contract at Leffell and we’re going to kind of experiment with retirement and see what it feels like. People my age now are passing away and getting sick even at 60 and I just feel that now is the time to explore. We love exploring, whether it’s biking or hiking, and we cannot wait to have time to explore the national parks, cities and mountains that we have never been to in this country.
“I want to go up into Canada and go across it, coming back down to explore the West Coast more. We haven’t really settled down on the specific plan. I think a lot of it is going through a change of heart and see where it kind of leads us. That’s a good part about this [trip]: we will not be in a hurry.”
Chason decided not to take a plane to different areas around the country because it has always been a dream for him to travel around in an RV. Chason said that it is more of an adventure.
“I’m thinking of leaving by August 1 and [by that time, hopefully] Covid will settle down,” Chason said. “Truthfully, being in the van is safer.”
Traveling by RV is not the only thing for which Chason is ecstatic.
“I’m excited to see all these places with my wife, exploring and hiking, eating locally and meeting people.” Chason said. “We’re very sheltered in terms of living on the east coast so there are different people out there who are so nice and different from us.”
Although Chason is starting this new journey of a lifetime, he describes the transition as a bittersweet jump.
“One of my favorite things about Leffell is the kids because they are so nice and respectful and aimed to please me by working so hard.”
Chason is not the only teacher who will be departing. After a year of teaching at TLS, science teacher Joseph Bennett-Heymann announced he will be taking a job at a school near his brother in Mexico, and will be moving there this summer.
“My contract is to stay in Mexico City for two years while staying with my brother,” Bennett-Heymann said. “The school teaches a curriculum that I’m really interested in teaching: the IB curriculum. I have been hoping to start teaching that curriculum for a few years now so it was a win-win because I will be able to be with my brother and I will get to teach the curriculum I wanted to [teach].”
Before making his way to TLS, Bennett-Heymann spent five years teaching in South Korea, so this is not the first time he is moving to a completely new area.
“The sense I get is that everyone at Leffell is very nice and it’s a very community-oriented school,” Bennett-Heymann said. “Everyone really cares about how everybody feels but I do wish it were a different year that I spent at Lefell and I think I would have gotten a lot more out of it [without COVID-19].”
Bennett-Heymann did not expect to leave after one year, as he hoped to see his students graduate and he wanted to be there when the seniors come back to visit next year.
“I still had an amazing time and I had great students that I really enjoyed teaching,” Bennett-Heymann said.