Fallsburg Central School District Hall of Fame: July 2021

FCSD Selects Esther Grossman for Hall of Fame

FALLSBURG, July 2021– Esther Lelah Grossman has been selected for the FCSD Hall of Fame (HOF) by the HOF Committee.

Ms. Grossman taught Physical Education at Fallsburg High School for more than 35 years. During this time, she was the Athletic Director and coach. Esther was a role model to her students and helped many of them obtain college degrees. She coached championship teams in field hockey and volleyball.

Ms. Grossman was very active in the Fallsburg community. She owned and operated Pleasant Valley Day Camp, where many children spent happy summers. Her love of athletics was a life-long commitment to her. She trained and “took under her wing” many other teachers and coaches. She was a mentor to them and to hundreds of students and campers.

The letters in support of her nomination were unanimous in the gratitude for transforming shy young girls with low self-esteem and no sense of any athletic ability into strong young women. In and outside of class, she was always encouraging people, and she did it all with a great sense of humor.

Ms. Grossman’s personal story is exemplary. She was born in Singapore, Malaysia, on August 9, 1931. Her family moved to Calcutta, India, where she attended the Calcutta Girl’s School, excelling in sports and qualifying for the London Olympics in 1948 in Track and Field. Unfortunately, because of the assassination of Gandhi and turmoil in India, the Indian Olympic Team never got to London.

Ms. Grossman immigrated to the United States, with the help of an older sister and brother-in-law. She later received a full scholarship to and graduated from Brooklyn College, where she received top honors in all sports. After retiring from FCSD, Ms. Grossman continued with the day camp. Indicative of her joy of life and physical exercise, she remained active after moving to Florida. She courageously battled with ALS over the last year of her life, and raised over $8000 for the ALS Walk in her local community just before she died in January, 2010. She was 78.

Ms. Grossman’s close friend and protégé as a P.E. teacher and coach at FCSD, Donna Rae Robitaille, nominated her for the HOF. Ms. Robitaille was also responsible for establishing the Esther Grossman Scholarship at Fallsburg High School.

There will be a brief ceremony at the Fallsburg Alumni Association Awards Presentation on Saturday, July 17, from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the front entrance to Benjamin Cosor Elementary School where Esther Grossman’s family will receive the HOF plaque.