The Academy Gazette

The Student News Site of Academy of American Studies

The Academy Gazette

The Academy Gazette

    Academy’s irreplaceable secretary

    “I’m 70 and I don’t want to retire, I want to stay here because I like what I do”

    Ever since the Academy of American Studies’ founding in 1996, Secretary Toby Incantalupo has worked diligently with the Academy since April of 1997. Through 26 years, three different principals and new staff, Incantalupo does not ever want to retire, and passionately loves her job as a secretary.

    Incantalupo explains that, ever since attending LIC High School in the old Newcomers building, “…I had an academic program where I learned typing and bookkeeping—-and I loved it. So I knew I wanted to be some kind of office worker.” Following her inspiration, after getting married and having kids, Incantalupo came back to LIC to work for the Academy as a school secretary. 

    “125 kids, now, what do we have? 1400—It was so easy, now it just gets bigger, bigger and bigger… It’s just a big school now,” which hasn’t deferred her love and passion for Academy. “It’s still like a family even—extended family.” 

    Incantulupo’s role as a school secretary has gotten busier because of the growth of the Academy, but she appreciates the relationships she’s able to create with the presence of so many new staff and students. 

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    She recalls one particular experience she had with a student. “There was a particular student who couldn’t get to school on time. I don’t know where he lived, but he couldn’t get here…So because I came in at 6:00, I used to call him everyday and wake him up.” 

    These experiences with students are rare nowadays because of the growth of the school population, yet these memorable moments fuel her passion for her job. She reminisces about the early years of the school, “Just all the kids were always so friendly and close, and we never had any discipline problems. I guess that’s because there were less kids.” Incantalupo finds joy in being able to organize and contribute to the school, even if it means doing extra work at home. 

    When I asked Incantulupo about her favorite part of her job, she replied, “I think it’s just organizing everything so it’s set up correctly. I like to make sure every classroom has a teacher at the time. The organization of that is what I like the best… Some teachers call in at the middle of the night, so I have to set up substitutes and coverages—It’s like a 24 hour day job, which I enjoy, and I don’t think anyone else would want to do that if I retire.” 

    Through her unwavering support and passion for the Academy, Incantalupo is an irreplaceable member of the Academy of American studies staff team. 

    Incantulupo says, “I’m so happy with what I do. Everyone asks me, ‘when do you want to retire’—-I don’t want to retire. I’m 70 and I don’t want to retire, I want to stay here, because I like what I do.” 

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