Enough years have gone by since 1989 — when Tony Magnelli first began teaching in the — for the sixth-grade teacher to be able to say the school board has been outstanding.
“Our job is to help kids, all kids, reach their full potential. The board has always given us the means to do what we need to,” Magnelli said.
“Thank you for all you do. For the past 23 years, you have been great.”
Magnelli was one of several teachers, administrators, students and community leaders to express gratitude to board members Tuesday night.
A presentation, in honor of National School Board Recognition Month, took place at Elementary School during the monthly legislative meeting, recognizing directors for their commitment to providing students with a first-class education. Prior to the meeting, student flutists performed at a reception honoring the nine-member board.
Superintendent Joseph Clapper said the board was hardworking and deserving.
“They are thoughtful, they are bright, they are willing to challenge the status quo, they are fiscally responsible,” Clapper said.
Clapper read each director's name in alphabetical order while recognizing their years of service. Gianni Floro, affectionately referred to as "long in the tooth," was recognized as the longest serving director, having been on the board since 2001.
Assistant Superintendent Heidi Ondek later presented directors with a proclamation. In addition, art club students under the direction of art teacher Jeff Evancho presented board members with decorative Mason jars that contained homemade chocolate snacks called “Puppy Chow” for adults.
Middle School Principal Sean Aiken introduced about a half-dozen sixth- through eighth-grade teachers, who took turns thanking the board, particularly for making the tough decisions to fix the aging middle school. Teachers expressed gratitude to the board, making it clear they are looking forward to starting out the new school year on Sept. 5 inside the new building. The board approved the 2012-13 school calendar that starts classes for students after Labor Day.
“I think I speak for everybody at the middle school when I say, we’re all very blessed to be here,” said Matt Parrish, middle school counselor.
Board member Kay Wijekumar said she’s served the board for many years, and Tuesday night stood out.
“Today feels ultimately special,” she said.
Meet the board
Danielle Burnette, director since 2009
Gianni Floro, 2001
Sarah Heres, vice president, 2007
Debbie Miller, 2009
Jack Norris, president, 2004
David Pusateri, 2007
Rob Riker, 2007
Mark Rodgers, 2011
Kay Wijekumar, 2005