Born and raised in the village of Lambaye, Senegal, Mr. Seck as he is known by his students, is a AP and Regents Level Chemistry Teacher at Mamaroneck High School. He has a degree in chemistry from NYU and has been working at MHS for over 10 years.
BY LIZZIE CLARKE AND LIV GOLDEN
Source: MHS Globe, May 8th 2013
Most teachers at MHS teach five classes, with approximately 25 students a class. This means that each of our teachers is introduced to, on average, 125 new students a year, only about 8% of our high school population. One teacher has gone above and beyond, influencing far more than 8% of our student body…
Amary Seck came to Mamaroneck High School in 2001, with a master’s degree in both education and chemistry, as well as an inspirational past that fascinated his students.
Seck was born in Lambaye, a small village located in Western Senegal. Growing up, he didn’t have a television or the newest toys, and sometimes not even enough food to eat. One thing he did have was determination to be educated and make something of himself. In order to receive the education he was yearning for, he had to leave his village. Staying with relatives in nearby towns, Seck graduated high school as an enlightened individual.
Upon graduating, he studied statistics at the National School of Applied Economics and spent a year as a statistician. Although this was a steady job, working in an office was not the fulfilling life Seck had dreamed of. So without enough money or a concrete plan, Seck flew to America accompanied simply by his longing for a better life and a greater education. Seck settled in the US, finding a job at Mamaroneck High School in 2001, but he managed never to forget his Senegalese roots. He explains, “I was always taught to give back to my family and community and to do well, so one day I can come back and be able to do something good. I think it’s important for people to hear that they can do something bigger than they ever thought they could.”
When Seck’s chemistry students at MHS were told of his amazing tale in 2009, they began what is now one of the largest clubs at MHS, Students for Senegal. It commenced as a cultural exchange between students in Mamaroneck and students in Lambaye. After a group of students visited Seck’s hometown, the students became even more determined to bring accessible education and a better way of life to those in Lambaye.
The club has grown immensely. Recently, architects have been working to build a learning center in the village. This year the club held its annual gala on Wednesday, April 10 at Molly Spillane’s. It was a huge success, with raffles, a presentation from the architects, and native Senegalese drummers. The gala helped to raise close to $31,000 in revenue, steering the club much closer towards their goal of building the Lambaye Learning Center.
Seck’s influence has left an indelible impression on the students at Mamaroneck, a miraculous impact on those in Lambaye, and has proven how one man’s dedication can make a significant difference in people’s lives. No matter what lies ahead for Seck, it is safe to say that he has achieved much more than his initial goal of giving back to his homeland.