Huntington School Board members honored retiring faculty and staff members along with fellow Trustee Bari Fehrs during a touching reception and at a later public meeting this past Monday night. Taken together, the group has combined to provide hundreds of years of service to the district and its students.
The contingent includes J. Taylor Finley Middle School Principal John Amato, teachers Diane Grassi, Susan Llanes, Claude Masear, Lynn Hefele, Elaine McKeown, Judy Ann Pazienza, Deborah Quiles, Joan Aurilia, Sharon Holly and Maria Lanzot, librarian Alison Rooney, secretaries Jane DeMarco, Karen Welsh-O’Neill, Joanne Gurrieri and Diane Judd, principal clerk Jill Miranda, purchasing agent Robin Roth and custodians Kenneth Cunningham and Angel Rodriquez.
“I was truly proud to be among the amazing group of colleagues retiring this year,” Ms. Grassi said. “I am looking forward to a new beginning of unknown opportunities and I will take many happy memories of my time here in Huntington.”
A small reception was held for the retirees and their families in the Jack Abrams STEM Magnet School rotunda with light refreshments and desserts. A string quartet consisting of exceptional high school musicians Julien Rentsch, Diya Rai-Gersappe, Kyle Perea and Grace Wildermuth entertained the crowd,
Superintendent James W. Polansky waxed poetic about each of the retirees, recalling personal anecdotes of encounters over the past decade along with a general sense of what has made them so special and effective in their work over the years.
“These individuals have given their hearts and souls to Huntington children and to their schools during their careers in district,” Mr. Polansky said. “They have earned more than our congratulations and thanks for their efforts and commitment over the years, as well as long, healthy and happy retirements. We wish them all the very best.”
During the public meeting of the Huntington School Board that followed, the retirees were recognized individually and presented with an Award of Appreciation plaque along with a bouquet of flowers.
Mrs. Fehrs served many years in PTA executive positions, including a stint as the district’s PTA Council president before being elected to two terms on the Huntington School Board. She has been a fixture in the district for two decades. With her daughter, Cameron graduating in three weeks, she felt this was a good time to step away. The longtime volunteer opted not to seek re-election as a trustee.
The group of retirees are all looking forward to new adventures as they begin the next stage of their lives.