Please join us on Friday, June 1st to honor the retirement of longtime teachers Larry Kaplan and Mark Bledstein for their outstanding contributions to the LREI community and to kick off Reunion Weekend.
Friday, June 1, 2018
5:30 p.m. - 8:00 p.m.
Please email firstname.lastname@example.org to RSVP.
We will be compiling a book of memories and special messages for Larry and Mark. Please email us with any notes that you would like to include. You will also have the opportunity to write notes at the reception.
Larry Kaplan started working at LREI in 1983 as a part time physical education assistant. Two years later, he became the middle school’s first full-time P.E. teacher. Larry studied Health Education and graduated from Empire State College with his B.S. He also has a degree in Recreational Leadership. Larrymost recently taught 5th - 7th grades, and coordinated the school’s intramural program. Nearly 70% of 5th and 6th graders playing sports participate in the intramural basketball program, which Larry invented. Larry has coached nearly every team in the middle and high schools at some point in his career winning many championships along the way. He is widely acknowledged to be one of the world’s greatest Simon Says leaders. A black belt in Judo at the Junior Olympics, Larry was head coach of the LREI Judo team and helped to run the school’s Comic Book Club. Additionally, Larry helped start the Little Red Riders Bicycle Club for teachers and friends of LREI. In his spare time, Larry likes to ride his bicycle, read graphic novels, and play with his grandchildren.
2018 is Mark Bledstein’s fiftieth year of service as an educator and classroom teacher at LREI. Over the years Mark has instructed tenth grade students in a survey course in American culture and history, and eleventh and twelfth grade students in East Asian studies, Middle East and African studies, Caribbean and Latin American studies, American cinematic culture and history, and Modern and Contemporary Art history. In Mark’s art history class, students make weekly off campus visits to world class galleries in Soho and Chelsea. His students also tour some of New York’s most renowned museums: the Frick, the Metropolitan, the Contemporary Art and the Museum of Modern Art. As an educator Mark emphasizes the critical historical importance of primary documents – careful reading combined with both classroom discussions and written reflections on the ideas presented in those documents. Free and open classroom discussion has remained for fifty years the centerpiece in Mark’s high school pedagogy. For years, Mark swam at 5:30am every morning in the Asphalt Green pool. Today, Mark works out regularly in the Asphalt Green gym.