By Barbara Sutton Masry
Marilyn Hoffman, beloved prekindergarten teacher at the Great Neck Child Development Center at the Baker Hill Annex and the Parkville School, died unexpectedly on Feb. 8 at her home in Great Neck. She was affectionately known by former students as “the Guitar Lady,” for the sing-alongs she led, not just for her own class but for the entire school.
A passionate advocate for the value of music and play in early-childhood education, the songs Marilyn led were not only fun and pleasurable, but were filled with rich vocabulary words and new concepts which served as powerful literacy tools for the children, many of whom were foreign-born.
When she retired from the Great Neck Public Schools, she served as a music consultant for other Long Island schools.
Marilyn was a political activist who promoted women’s rights by participating in rallies and marches. Among her many interests, she loved theater, jazz and traveling. In recent years, she was an enthusiastic member of The Transition Network (TTN), a dynamic community of professional women whose changing life situations lead them to seek new connections and opportunities.
Marilyn is survived by her brother, Norman; sister in-law, Barbara; nephew, Scottie, and his wife, Sheila, and great-niece, Rivka. She also is survived by surrogate sister Marcia and brother Barry and their respective family, all of whom loved her deeply.