It's the end of an area for Briarcliff Manor's , a specialty school for Westchester's emotionally disturbed children.
Executive Director William T. Barnes has been with the school since its Pelham Manor opening—and later Dobbs Ferry location—since Jan. 2, 1968, its opening day.
On May 11, Barnes joined the five senior students and graduated with a diploma and class ring as he headed into retirement.
"Since 1968, Mr. Barnes has helped the Clear View School set a standard of excellence in providing children with mental illness an environment in which they find caring and understanding so they can grow, learn and master their challenges often becoming productive members of society," according to a press release. "This marks the end of a special era for the school, families and children who were touched by his warmth, dedication and kindness over the years."
The students of Clear View School include boys and girls ages three to 21, "who have been unable to progress in traditional educational settings and have had pronounced difficulties in their family and social lives because of their extreme emotional vulnerability."
A May 17 send-off for Barnes had a fitting setting in the school's Julie Harris Theatre, named for the actress who has been on the board of directors since the 1970s.
"After performing there in 1983 she stood on the stage and said, 'This is a special place, a place of miracles,'" the statement said. "'There is a sense of angels at work at Clear View School and it must never stop.'"