Mrs. Whitbeck started at Allendale Columbia in 1996 and has been a faithful Fifth Grade Language Arts teacher for 15 years. She continued the tradition of the Fifth Grade Readings, and brought us the fun and creative "Reading Idol" as well as Poetry Slam competitions. We have all enjoyed watching her family grow and wish her all the best!

Dear Mrs. Whitbeck,

"I have to go wayyyyy back and say that your husband, Ernie was one of my all time favorite third grade students, you are a professional teacher whom I have enjoyed working with, but I'm annoyed I never got the opportunity to teach your wonderful children!!! I cannot forgive you! The best to you and your incredible family, Mary Kay! Love, Peg"

– Peggy Hellebush

"Thank you for your firm support in all matters involving fifth graders, making it possible to teach as a team rather than as individuals."

– Gabriel Costanzo

"Thank you for your dedication to the students. They leave you ready to face the challenges of Middle School head on, confident in their abilities. You are an amazing teacher, Mary Kay!"

– Sara Scharr

"Thank you for your years of service at the school. I'm sorry that Joshua will not have you as a teacher in fifth grade. We wish you all the best."

– Maria, Aaron & Joshua Klein

"Thank you for your dedication to excellence! You are an inspirational teacher who models integrity, authority, a love for learning, and compassion in a way in which students can relate. Thank you for being Sarah's teacher!"

– Bob and Connie Moore

"Thank you so much Mrs. Whitbeck, for all you did for me in my fifth grade year! It was fun learning english from you and you also helped me through the tough transition from lower to middle school! Thanks again!"

– Gabby Monti

"Thank you."

– Michelle, Noah, and Nathaniel LaRussa-Trott

"Thank you for a wonderful year! Nathan really loved his time in your class. We will miss you. Love, The Hwangs"

– The Hwangs

"Thank you for being such a great fifth grade teacher!"

– Maddie Moore

"Thank you for Being a warm friendly face who welcomed us to the school!"

– Molly Braiden Cora and Johnathan Waddington/Siggins

"Thank you for making Lower School the best for my children! Patrick remembers 5th grade as the best year of school. Do you remember how nervous he was about going on the Whale Watch? It turned out to be a blast for him and he got over his fear of leaving home for more than one night. Thanks for your patience and wisdom!"

– Lisa Barnes

"Thank you for being such a shining light in the school. I hope we'll still see you around and can keep the kids in touch."

– The Guisto Family

"Thank you for your friendship, and I know that Meredith feels the same. Mary Kay, may your new "at home" career be fun and fulfilling. We will miss you at the schoolhouse, but we wish you the best. Good health to you and your sweet family. God bless. Hugs, Ginny"

– Ginny Gray

"Thank you for reading Alena's class books by Jack Prelutsky! For being so integral to the Garden Project at AC! For putting up with Alena's gang of girls at the Whale Watch! We'll miss you!"

– The Ragan Family Andy, Erica Alena, Andrew Max, and Jonathan

"Thank you for taking care of the 5th grade."

– Ava Douglas

"Thank you for enriching our lives through Alex and Ben!! We are sad that Marissa will not experience your teaching enthusiasm!! We wish you the best of luck in the upcoming months!!"

– The Frenett Family

"Thank you for being so nice. I'm glad I got to know you when you sat at my lunch table."

– Gianna Dandrea

"Thank you for 5th grade readings! And sharing Quinn with me! "The world is round and the place which may seem like the end may also be the beginning", Ivy Baker Priest.

– Christine Masterman

"Thank you for all the things that you've taught me this year. I will always remember how for the first 20 minutes of class we always talk about current events referring to who was on American Idol and who was booted off last night. I was always lost in that conversation. P.S. Is intriguing an adjective?"

– Lauren Browning