Saying Goodbye to Ms. Yaeger and Mrs. Malandrino


Mrs. Yaeger has been adviser of the Hilltopper for many years!

The Hilltopper staff lovingly knows Ms. Yaeger and Mrs. Malandrino as our advisors. We have seen them every Tuesday, working after school and throughout the day to produce our newspaper. They are retiring this year, much like how they started in 1984, together.

Ms. Yaeger began her teaching career at Knolls and has been teaching for 38 years. Most students have had the pleasure of having Ms. Yaeger as their AP Literature and Composition teacher, a class that holds a special place in her heart. Throughout the years, she has taught just about all English courses. Some of her most memorable classes were Poetry, Fiction, and Creative Writing and World Literature, as literary diversity is still a principal aspect of her courses. In addition to more traditional English classes, Ms. Yaeger has taught media classes and wrote the Art of Film course. Her passion for all areas of storytelling is palpable— she even succeeded in getting her class to appreciate “Citizen Kane”.

For over 20 years, Ms. Yaeger has served as the Senior Class Advisor, which she describes as a labor of love. At Hills, she has cherished working and connecting with young people. One of her favorite things about being a teacher was constantly learning from her students and about their unique personalities. She advises all future teachers to “appreciate your students for who they are, and not who you want them to be.”

For the New Year, she asked her students to write down one word that would encompass their 2023. In her retirement, Ms. Yaeger is respecting her resolution: “open.” She has many adventures planned ahead, some of which include a trip to Europe and hosting friends in LBI. Other goals include subscribing to and having time to read The New Yorker, learning to play canasta and pickleball, and reading through the stack of books she has wanted to finish.

Mrs. Malandrino has taught for 39 years at Hills. She has taught every class in the English department at every grade level except for Drama/Theater Arts and Service Learning. One of her favorite classes during her time at Hills was Television Production, in which she worked alongside her colleague and close friend, Mr. Swanick. Other favorites, although no longer in the curriculum, include the Literature and Language of Popular Music and “any class with British Literature.” Many seniors and juniors at Hills have had the delight of having Mrs. Malandrino as their AP Language and Composition teacher.

While she believes that every school year has had its highlights, Mrs. Malandrino’s greatest pleasure is having taught 10% of the staff. She recalls teaching Mrs. Rome, Mr. Rosenberg, Mr. Ellis, and her yearbook partner, Mr. DiGennaro. Mrs. Malandrino has been the advisor for the yearbook since her first day of work. 

Her advice to future educators is, “Don’t get caught up in the things you dislike. Focus on the teaching of 

your students and enjoy your time with them because it goes by very quickly.” Once she leaves Hills, Mrs. Malandrino plans to travel across the country with her husband, whom she convinced to retire too. Looking ahead, she hopes to possibly become a college professor to further share her love for teaching. 

We wish Ms. Yaeger and Mrs. Malandrino a relaxing retirement. We will surely miss their hilarious sarcasm and, most notably, their passion for teaching the next generation to enjoy words just as much as they do. Thank you for your dedication to the students at Morris Hills.