Above: Lisa McKay with some of her current and former students.
Students, former students and family say thank you to Lisa McKay.
Some teachers have an outsize effect on the students they teach. Occasionally, a teacher can have an outsize effect on the students’ families as well. So it has been with Lisa McKay, the East Greenwich school district’s adaptive physical education teacher since 1999. She also founded Special Olympics North Kingstown, a team many EG residents have joined because of her amazing commitment.
Around 100 students, former students, family members and colleagues came out on Friday, May 20, to celebrate McKay upon her retirement and to dedicate the sensory path at the high school that was built starting two years ago in part with McKay’s leadership.
The Sensory Path is located on the south side of the school and has been one of those Covid silver-lining things, initiated by Unified Volleyball coach Patty Carosotto in the fall of 2020 when her team was unable to practice indoors. There were no competitions that fall either. So the team threw itself into creating a sensory path designed for students of all abilities, but especially for those students who need a little something extra. Needless to say, the path has transformed that side of the campus, opening it up to other students and things, such as the raised beds built by students in Mr. Rath’s AP science classes.
The gathering May 20 was joyful and several people spoke both about the sensory path and about Lisa McKay. EHGS alum Patrick Quinn even sang his own “Volleyball Song,” which he noted McKay liked.
Full disclosure: my family is one of those who have benefited from Lisa McKay’s vast array of talents. Our youngest child, James, has Down syndrome and health problems and sometimes it was hard to think of him participating in athletic activities – James is no athlete. Yet, time and again, Lisa was able to show us how to help James succeed. She was still at work that Friday evening – when James decided to disappear into the school building through an open side door, Lisa was fast on his heels, inviting him to join the rest of us outside.
Thank you, Lisa. There are not enough words….
Sensory Path ….