There was a festive mood for the beginning of the North Branford Board of Education meeting on June 14 as six of 2012’s 10 retirees were on hand to enjoy refreshments, hear kind words and receive plaques for their impact on .
Superintendent Scott Schoonmaker noted that between the 10 retirees, they had more the 200 years of service to North Branford and impacted thousands of students throughout that time.
“They have weathered the storms with the changes and withstood the test of time because they are compassionate, caring people who are good at what they do every day,” said Schoonmaker. “We are so fortunate to have you in North Branford.”
Retirees honored included those from every school–, , and –as well as a Central Office employee. The following are the 2012 North Branford schools retirees with years of service at North Branford noted in parentheses:
- Michael Pollio, math teacher at NBIS (39 years)
- Patricia Sieviec, math teacher at NBHS (38 years)
- Sherry Ardine, account clerk at Central Office (27 years)
- Denise Judelson, nurse at TVES (27 years)
- Denise Granucci, paraprofessional at TVES (25 years)
- Lucille Lynch, 5th-grade teacher at TVES (24 years)
- Elizabeth Siena, 4th-grade teacher at TVES (20 years)
- Cathy Dziekan, guidance counselor at NBIS (18 years)
- Mary Kay Fragola, 3rd-grade teacher at TVES (17 years)
- Betty LaPointe, language arts consultant at JHS (12 years)
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Town Council member Rose Angeloni was on hand at the meeting to pass congratulations, thanks and best wishes from Mayor Anthony Candelora and the rest of the Town Council.
Six of the retirees attended the meeting with the principal of the school they last served in sharing thoughts on each before Schoonmaker presented the retirees with their plaques.
Kris Lindsay, principal of TVES, spoke first with memories of Granucci, Siena and Lynch.
“Denise Granucci always had a warm smile for everyone; Elizabeth Siena was active in coordinating field trips and specializing in science instruction and Lucille Lynch mentored and nurtured many beginning teachers and interns who are now mentoring themselves so her influence on teaching and learning never ends,” said Lindsay. “You all have made a true difference year after year. Thank you all for leaving an indelible mark on all of us at TVES.”
Alan Davis, principal of NBIS, spoke to the qualities of Dziekan and Pollio, sharing humorous stories including Dziekan’s fondness for Weird Al music and Pollio being there for the time he caught a seagull while fishing. He also noted that Pollio shifted through North Branford schools seven times in a 10-year span.
“Cathy has had a storied career and has always done her best work pulling people together and helping the school maintain that sense of community and support,” said Davis. “What we’ll miss the most about Mike is his charitable spirit.”
Schoonmaker discussed the impact Ardine has had on the district through her work at Central Office over her 27-year career.
“We are going to miss her and how hard she works each and every day,” said Schoonmaker. “She is a wonderful mother, wife, coworker and friend to everyone she comes in contact with and it has been an honor to have worked beside you for past three years.”