Verbatim Interview: Ms. D’Alleva Part 1


Recognized as the “Women of Distinction” among the 17 districts, Bethpage has the honor of having an excellent educator like Ms. D’Alleva. After 23 years of dedication, Ms. D’Alleva ensured the success of thousands of students attending Bethpage High School. 

The Eagle’s Cry: Growing up, who was one person who inspired you?  

Ms. D’Alleva: I can think back to a math teacher that I had.. I went to an all girl Catholic high school in Queens and this was a math teacher who had the job of teaching all of us young ladies the in’s and out’s of geometry, which is not an easy thing to do. I remember sitting in his class to this day, marveling at his humor, his energy, his real desire to help us learn this material, and taught even as a student, that when I am an adult, will I ever be able to show the same characteristics and qualities that I thought were so wonderful? I hoped that I was able to achieve that. If he even knew today how much i thought of him, I always wish I can do that and go back and say to him, “ you were really a real inspiration for me.” 

The Eagle’s Cry: What’s one of your favorite memories from college? 

Ms. D’Alleva: I started college at the University of Connecticut and I was very happy there. I thought I had made a good college choice for myself. Unfortunately during my studies, my mom became seriously ill and when i needed to return to care for her while still attending a local college. When she passed on, I was able to return back to UCONN, had some reservations, but I found that the great Athletic atmosphere was very therapeutic for me and it really helped me a lot personally in overcoming a big loss. So to me, the energy the college provided to me was wonderful and Ive been able to tell students that I’ve been teaching of what a greater program UCONN has and a number our students have actually gone as a result.

The Eagle’s Cry: What did you major in and why did you choose that? 

Ms. D’Alleva: When I started in the University of Connecticut, I was going to go to school there for a degree in physical therapy and maybe because there were several changes in my life during my college years, I did decide to consider moving into education as a history teacher. As it turns out, I did find the best combination by fusing my passion for science into my desire to be an educator. And that’s how I finally winded up in my teaching degree of science. 

The Eagle’s Cry: What led you in the direction of being a teacher? 

Ms. D’Alleva: That’s a great question because now that I’ve already answered several of the other questions, you know that I had a terrific source of inspiration when I was a high school student. With that being said, pairing that with a terrific college experience, I think the path of becoming an educator was mapped out for me, when I myself was a high school kid. So that probably would explain where I was here today and how I got here. 

The Eagle’s Cry: What’s a place that holds the most significance to you?     

Ms. D’Alleva: I’ve been very fortunate to travel to a lot of places, so I think my answers are gonna have to be in two parts…

I think as Americans, we really have to appreciate the beautiful national parks that our country has. A lot of us are just so used to living in a certain place here, let’s say in New York, and we deny ourselves the opportunity to see what the great Out West has to offer us. So I’ve had the opportunity to visit a number of different national parks, each one of them, although they may look like they’re all the same, but they truly aren’t, and if you would ever have the chance to invest time and travel to them, you would as amazed as I am, To see how beautiful our country is. 

The second part of the question is my being able to visit Iceland last summer. It was a remarkable experience, and to be able to travel to a part of the world in Summer and be able to to visit a part of the world where it’s always dark, and then have snow falling on me in June or early July, it was just really amazing. That happens to be a country that I hope all of you have a chance to see. It truly is a remarkable place. 

The Eagle’s Cry: What’s the one place on the top of your bucket list that you haven’t visited yet? 

Ms. D’Alleva: I had spoken to my travel agent at the beginning of the school year to look ahead to next summer because sometimes if I plan a trip, I can start saving up for it during the school year. I can offset the expense, so I’ve met with her and we’ve talked about my going to Scotland so I could see Loch Ness so I could see if there is any truth to the Loch Ness monster. She says there’s not a whole lot to do there when you get to Loch Ness, so shes suggesting I add a couple other things to my visit. Right now, it looks that Scotland is definitely part of my journey. Maybe Ireland too.

The Eagle’s Cry: What’s  your favorite thing about traveling? 

Ms. D’Alleva: Seeing new things, being on my own. A lot of people look at me like I’m Crazy for wanting to travel by myself, but when I travel to someplace new, i wanna have the time to see what I set out to see and do what I set out to do. Sometimes when you travel with your family or even other friends, your interests are not the same. I remember traveling with my daughter and I love her to death, but she’s not as ambitious as I am. She won’t hike, or she’ll hike only a little bit, and then she’ll be tired and I’m looking at the rest of our path thinking ‘I wanna see what’s at the top’ I don’t wanna go back knowing that I missed something. So what I love about traveling is the new experiences it offers, seeing new cultures and I get to appreciate them and learn about them and know what makes us all work together. I love that freedom that traveling to a new place gives me. It’s exciting.  

The Eagle’s Cry: Which location did you go to had the best cuisine? 

Ms. D’Alleva: London.. Does not have good food, that i will tell you. You will be very hungry when you visit London. Even though you might see a McDonald’s and go like ‘oh at least there’s some good American food,’ they have their own way of preparing it. I had traveled to London with Ms. Martino years ago and we are very similar in our likes and we wanted to see a lot of things, but we were starving. We never found anything that satisfied us. We were always on the look for something else that would taste better. Iceland always was not very good for food because it’s an island. I was starving for a good salad, but because its an island and its always dark over there, they don’t have enough of the natural vegetables. Now best food… that’s a really tough question. Iceland has good dairy… so if you like yogurt, that would be something to consider. But i’m sorry, i don’t have any memory of any good food. 

The Eagle’s Cry: Out of the 11 other women nominated to hold the title of the “Women Of Distinction” among the 17 districts, what went through your mind when you received the title? 

Ms. D’Alleva: What a funny question that you’re bringing up, and I gotta tell you I’m a little embarrassed about this because I myself do not see myself being in that category. I work in a building where there are many women who could have easily received that same award. What made it work for me is that, someone who I still don’t know about, nominated me. When I got a letter in the mail, I was so surprised and stunned. I didn’t even know this was something that a person could win. When I went to the ceremony in early September, I met the assemblyman who I never really knew until that day. He told me he was sworn to secrecy about those who nominated me, so there was more than one, had strictly said that their identity should be kept a secret. but, I wanted to thank them. I was just so blown away by what a nice ceremony it was. I got flowers, I got this huge plaque. They read something so beautiful about me, that I get emotional when I think about it. I had to sit on the stage, and they start reading about what they said about me, and the audition is facing me. I looked at my husband and I’m thinking I couldn’t believe what the write about me.  I’m not a person like that. I don’t go around carrying my big plaque. It’s just amazing to think that people are thinking of me in that way.