The vibrancy emanating from Lindsay Crowley of Saugerties is palpable. Bubbly and quick-witted, she lights up a room when she enters it. She’s the kind of person you would want to sit next to at a wedding, because you’d be in for interesting conversation. You’d want to sit next to her at a funeral, too. She would set aside her own grief to hand you her tissues and wrap an arm around you.
Lindsay is playful, light, soft, strong, a bit goofy and chock-full of heart and soul.
Where were you born and raised?
I was born and raised in Saugerties.
What’s your sign?
Well, I’ve always been an Aries and a proud one at that. But after NASA discovered the thirteenth sign, apparently, I’m a Pisces now. I’m in complete denial about the change.
Where did you go to school, and what year did you graduate?
I went to school at Mount Marion Elementary School and graduated from Saugerties High School in 2001.
What did you want to be when you grew up?
A marine biologist, a photographer, an actress, and a recording artist for Disney.
Where did you go to college and what did you study?
I received my bachelor’s [degree] from SUNY New Paltz in childhood education and my master’s from SUNY Albany in literacy.
Married? Kids? Ages?
I’ve been with my husband for 15 years, and we’ve been married for eight. We have two amazing boys who are two-and-a-half and five. They are the light of my life.
Where do you work?
I work at Riccardi Elementary School in the same district that I went to school in.
Why grammar school? Why teaching?
My beloved uncle Chip was an English teacher. His stories about how he played jokes on his students or how they came up to him years down the road were riveting. When my uncle got sick and couldn’t teach any more, the magnitude of letters from students was mind-blowing. The impact he had on his students was something that I realized that I wanted to be a part of. I was determined to provide that kind of connection with children and make learning as fun as possible.
Teaching young children is the most rewarding profession I know. These foundational years are my favorite because I get to nurture children as they explore the world, and challenge them to take risks as they learn, build friendships, and practice kindness. Everything is so new to them at this age!
Is it awkward to teach and work in the same community where you were born and raised? What are some instances of that?
It is certainly a small town. Everyone knows either my grandparents, my father, or my in-laws. It’s always a conversation starter! “Oh you’re a Squires…”
Now I am beginning to teach children whose parents went to school with me. I don’t consider it awkward but unique. I like the feeling of community and that sense of closeness.
What’s it like to work with kindergartners, versus the older grades?
I’ve taught both age groups, and just recently I’ve realized they’re mostly the same. They all need guidance and reminders on what is appropriate, and they all need to be recognized and appreciated. The main difference I found is that kindergarteners can’t tie their shoes, still want to hold your hand, and don’t have phones yet!
What are challenges that teachers face these days that most people don’t know about?
I think a major challenge that teachers face today is that we’re constantly competing with stimulating electronics and virtual realities. In our classrooms, we can’t possibly provide that kind of stimulation or instant gratification so we are fighting an uphill battle. Our students don’t attend as much as we wish. We must give that much more to our delivery, our lessons, and our day to keep them involved and learning in an engaging way. Don’t be surprised if you see me juggling on a unicycle!
A challenge for teachers is trying to help children know how to effectively communicate, make mistakes, and be compassionate all the while balancing this crucial social learning with rigorous academic standards and assessments.
What is it like to work with young kids all day, and then go home to your own young kids?
Extremely difficult! Most of my patience is gone by the time I get home and my poor children get me when I’m all used up. That is why I savor the weekends. I appreciate my husband for taking over many of the household duties when I’m late at work.
What do you do to stay sane?
Relax at home under my fuzzy blanket with pajamas and ginger tea
What do you do to go insane?
I love going out to a good dinner at one of the many restaurants that I’ve worked..
Do you have any hobbies? Sports? Doll collections?
Going to the gym with supportive friends.
Can you sing, Lindsay? Where did you learn that?
I love singing! I was in the Woodstock Youth Theater from the age of five where I developed a passion for acting and music! I’ve sang with some local musicians in the area, but only for fun. You can always find me singing with my students, too.
What do you think your friends say about you behind your back?
“She never comes out any more, she’s probably home already in bed! Don’t even bother to call her, she won’t answer.”
Where are your fave Saugerties spots for you and your family?
We love Mickey’s Igloo and Cantine Field. My children like Small World playground and I remember playing there myself.
Where are your fave Saugerties spots for just you, or you and your friends?
The Dutch Ale House is a great spot to hang out for food and drinks. When I was young we would go by the river in West Camp. It is so peaceful there.
What was Saugerties like when you were growing up?
Saugerties has always been a quiet small town where everyone knows each other. The streets were filled with antique shops, a bakery, Chinese food and pizza, and random stores that I had no interest in. Of course, I remember events like the Fourth of July fireworks, parades, and going to the Garlic Festival. There were no real hangout spots for young kids, and nothing substantial to do, either. We were left to our own devices. As a teenager… this may not have been the best thing … I was always bored in Saugerties. I could never get away with anything, either, since everyone knew my parents, grandparents or cousins.
How is it different these days?
As I drive down the streets of Saugerties now, it appears the town I once knew so well has morphed. There are hip restaurants and boutiques, coffee shops, music, first Fridays, a wine shop, and chic salons. Saugerties has changed. It’s more fun and you don’t have to go to Kingston for everything now!
There is rarely a time when I drive by and don’t see people walking the streets. What I find exciting is that Saugerties is no longer a few streets filled with everyone who knows me and my family any more.
It’s become so much more. It’s growing. You can even say it’s bustling at times with tourists. Tourists in Saugerties? The population of Saugerties is more diverse and dynamic than ever before.
If you were mayor of Saugerties for a week, what would you change? What does Saugerties need more of? Less of?
If I were mayor, I would implement more community outreach programs for families dealing with addiction, poverty and mental illness. I also think Saugerties needs more resources for at-risk teens. I think this issue is becoming an epidemic and needs more attention in the schools and broader community.
What is a hidden secret or gem about Saugerties that only local people might know?
The Saugerties Lighthouse is breathtaking. While it’s a short walk, the view and the breeze is something that needs to be experienced. There are also great learning experiences that can take place there in terms of ecology and conservation.
Last book you read?
Dark Places by Gillian Flynn.
Favorite music genre?
Five bucket-list items that you want to do before you die.
See the redwood trees, fly over the Grand Canyon (in a helicopter), go snorkeling, get hypnotized, go surfing.