Great educators do far more than simply teach a subject—their influence reaches beyond the classroom and into the corridors of their students’ lives. Particularly during the angst-ridden, cusp-of-adulthood high-school years, teachers and principals serve as important influencers, helping teenagers to find their passions and mold into their future selves. The proof? Years, and even decades, later, many successful Westchesterites still remember their high-school educators as their main source of inspiration.

Here are the stories of seven Westchester public high-school grads made good, and the teachers and principals who helped jump-start their success. 

NYC Tech Mogul Started At Briarcliff High

Westchester local founded social-event-hosting platform SquadUP.

Mount Vernon High Was The Blueprint For Her Success

She credits the Mount Vernon public school system for her career in Washington, DC.

Operation PROM Founder’s Secret To Success

With educational guidance, Westchester's used dresses are given a second chance to shine.

One Teacher’s Fight Against Spoiled Kids

If there's any 'affluenza' brewing in Westchester schools, teacher Mary Cronin will be there to stamp it out.

High School ‘Party King’ Now Doing Exactly What You’d Expect

As a student, Keith Berardi threw the best parties around—and he says his status as king of school parties was a prequel of his current job.

They Call It The ‘A-School’ For A Reason

The founder of The Digital Arts Experience credits one-on-one tutoring at Scarsdale for his small business’s success.

For 40 Years, Inspiring Westchester’s Students

The veteran teacher says education can't be “one-size-fits-all."

Photography by John Fortunato

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