History and tradition. Two words that fully capture what Dobbs Ferry is all about. From the murals that adorn our hallways to our football games at Gould Park, DFHS holds a proud history that truly sets our school community apart from all others. Our ability to join together in times of need and for important causes that impact the lives of our students, families, and community members is truly what sets us apart! This was especially the case during the pandemic. At the core of the IB Program is the importance of compelling students to “think globally while acting locally,” and during the pandemic our students and staff continued to support one another as each of us was challenged personally due to the fear and uncertainty that was so prevalent during that time. Despite the massive restrictions, we found new ways to stay connected, including the creation of our DFHSVirtualCommons Instagram page, and we found creative approaches for maintaining our traditions, including our annual MAC Day.
So who is Coach Mac, and why do we have this day at DFHS?
In May of 2006, tragedy struck Dobbs Ferry when we lost our football coach, teacher, mentor, and friend Coach Mac. This loss was not only difficult for his football players, but also the student body and faculty of our high school. Coach Mac made an impact on every individual he encountered here in Dobbs Ferry. His personality was infectious. He had a larger than life aura and it was impossible for any person he met to forget him. Many would say it was his unique look and the “handlebar” mustache. Others might say that it was the fact that he would be wearing shorts on a sub-zero degree day in January. Those that knew him best though would argue that it was because he made every single person he came across feel important. He made people, no matter who they were, where they came from, what their situation may have been, feel that they mattered. He represented caring, togetherness, and community. He represented the very best of Dobbs Ferry. He represented what we are all about, and what we always strive to be.
In the summer of 2006, just prior to the start of school, the students of DFHS came together to honor Coach Mac for all that he had done for them and for this school. They decided to name an annual field day in his memory, and the following year, on Friday, September 21, 2006, Fox 5 NY had its morning show Good Day NY broadcast live from our turf during our second MAC Day. The school spirit could be felt everywhere throughout town. It was a fitting celebration of Coach Mac, and a wonderful way for our school and community to show everyone what Dobbs was all about.
Fast forward to present day and our school is now prepared for our 17th MAC Field Day. In past years, our students have used this occasion as a vehicle for supporting an important global cause within our local school community. This year, our students are joining to raise money for “Make-A-Wish” to support young children with critical illnesses. As always, our mission is to promote service learning and civic engagement while emphasizing the development of student driven, student focused, and student run endeavors. Our current students are already part of our school’s rich history, and continue to find new ways to give back while aiming to inspire future generations in the same way that past generations have inspired them.
In addition, our 17th MAC Day will truly have “something for everyone” as the students in our Activities Branch, led by Maria Addona, continue to design new activities based on student interest. In addition to the many traditional “field day” events that we have each year, our 17th MAC Day will also feature a talent show, trivia competition, senior photos, community lunch, and of course our culminating pep rally. This year truly promises to be our best MAC Day yet as we not only unite and celebrate a beloved figure in our school’s history, but also celebrate our own perseverance as we navigated the pandemic by truly supporting one another. There is truly no place like Dobbs, and MAC Day is just one of many examples of what separates our school community from all the rest!