Mrs. Maiese’s Students Learn the Art of Connection


Photo Courtesy of: HMHS Twitter

English teacher Holly Maiese receives a bouquet of flowers in December 2021 for her selection as HMHS Teacher of the Year.

Helene Usher, Editor

This year, Mrs. Maiese, who was named HMHS’s Teacher of the Year, organized a unique project for her Accelerated English 9 classes- she decided to have each student conduct in-person interviews with a senior citizen at either the Mabel Kay House, Brandywine Living, or Tarditi Commons (all nursing homes or senior living centers located in Haddonfield). After a month of interviews, the students used their notes to write memoirs, which Mrs. Maiese compiled into a book. 


Maiese felt that having an intergenerational project between high school students and senior citizens was important because she “[believes] that the elderly are an undervalued and underserved resource in our community.” Furthermore, she knew that the project would help students to develop their listening, speaking, and writing skills. 


When asked what her favorite parts about the project were, Maiese expressed, “Both groups were excited and proud of this work. [It] helped to dispel any misconceptions teenagers had about the elderly. They were able to see them as functioning, thriving, smart members of our society.” She also noted that many of the seniors showed their gratitude by writing thank you notes and giving small gifts to the students who worked with them. Being that the project was so well-received by both her students and the community, Mrs. Maiese assured that it will return again next year!