Monday, May 17, 2010

Mr. Capitano is Retiring

Samantha is one of many students who'll have good memories of gym with Mr. Capitano at Robert Mascenik School 26.

I suppose everyone around town has already heard this... but Mr. "Cap" is actually retiring!

Pete Capitano has been the gym teacher at School 26 for EVER. Well, it seems that way. He was my gym teacher when I was in elementary school. He was the gym teacher for both of my sons. And now, after 46 years of teaching, he's decided the time has come to retire. He will be one of many people deciding it's a good time to retire, with all of the politics of the current situation in New Jersey.

I went over to school to talk to him this morning, and found him where he can usually be found - on the playground at Robert Mascenik School 26. As I walked up, he was busy calming down a little girl who had just skinned her knee -- I'm sure that's pretty standard! I only took a minute of his time, but in the short amount of time I was there, I witnessed him solve one playground dilemma after another. "Mr. Cap, I broke my shoe!" He examined it (and everything looked fine). "Mr. Cap, look at me!" He's every kid's favorite teacher, and always was. How can you help but love the guy who lets you go outside and play, giving you a much needed break from sitting still?

Mr. Capitano graduated from Montclair, and got his Masters at Kean. "I could have been a principal, years ago," he said, "But I would have had to change who I am. Wearing a suit and tie every day, you know, that's not really me." And besides, like I said - the kids adore him.

"Mr. Cap, tell them I want to play on THAT side," said a little boy. And with that, I said good-bye. To the kids on that playground, Mr. Capitano is the most important guy in town.

Happy Retirement, Mr. Capitano! We all wish you well, and we'll think of you fondly!


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  2. school 26? the name sounds other-worldly, like something from a chuck palahnuik novel or kurt ("those who believe in telekinetics, raise my hand") vonnegut.
    its teachers with imagination like mr. capitano who make school special. it's a special gift to be able to make a difference in so many somebodys lives.

  3. Mr.Cap taught and mentored my 6 brothers & sisters while at #26.
    The fondest of memories and all the best in your retirement Mr.Cap.
    God Bless

    Neil Dale

  4. Hi Neil! You were in my class! I was Sue DeSanto back then.
    I've heard Mr. Cap is doing well, although I haven't seen him around. I hope retirement agrees with him! :)