Harriet B. – Spanish Teacher, Humanitarian, Public Servant


Harriet moved into the Kendal on Hudson continuing care retirement community a number of years ago when she was in her middle-70’s—but she’s as active and energetic as she ever was: She continues her work as a Spanish teacher in the Dobbs Ferry school district as she has for decades; she teaches English as a second language to Kendal’s Spanish-speaking staff; and she teaches Spanish to Kendal’s senior staff leaders, so they can converse more easily with Spanish-speaking staff.

Harriet was living alone and had lost electrical power during a snowstorm when she realized that the timing might be right for her to pursue living arrangements at Kendal on Hudson:

“I understood the vulnerabilities of continuing to live on my own,” she says.

“But when I walked into the wonderful library here I knew I was home. I knew this was the place I wanted to live and these were the type of people I wanted to live with—well-educated and smart, but not terribly formal,” says Harriet.

“Everyone here is very friendly, so you never need to be alone—but you can be alone too, if you wish to be,” she adds.

Harriet loves that a resident-driven council determines which artwork gets hung around campus, much of it created by her fellow residents. One of the committee members helping to put exhibitions together is even a retired professional art curator, and another group of individuals is in charge of placing beautiful potted plants in windows and other conspicuous areas throughout the campus.

“I love living here and I love the Hudson River; I’m glad I didn’t delay the decision to move here too long. Things change rapidly as you get older despite how many times you tell yourself, ‘I’m not ready.’ When a lot of my young visitors come here they like it so much that they ask if they can move in now!” says Harriet.

Harriet is a lifelong educator and compassionate human being: “I’ve always been drawn to teaching—I taught my dolls, I taught the other kids in the neighborhood, I taught elementary language programs throughout the county after I got married. It’s my passion to help Spanish-speakers to read and write English and I’ve found additional opportunities to do so here at the Kendal on Hudson community.”

Most recently, Harriet was tapped for her expertise to serve on a New York State Council steering committee that addresses aging and education issues by New York State Senator Terrence Murphy.