Awards, Hellos and Goodbyes

North Rockland School Board moves through agenda quickly, approves unanimously


The North Rockland Central School district met on Tuesday, June 5 at the North Rockland High School auditorium to honor award winners, welcome new teachers, say goodbye to retiring ones and approve funding and amendments.

Megan Monteith, a first-grade teacher at North Garnerville Elementary, saved one of her students who was choking and got up to receive a “Recognition of Heroic Act” award. “Thank you for your selfless act,” said Superintendent of School Ileana Eckert.

They went on to celebrate those who have served the NRCSD for many years, calling out the names of those who’ve been there for 20, 25, 30, 35 and even 40 years. Nancy Fremont was especially singled out as the one and only teacher to reach 40 years of service this year.

The board also received some awards for the amount of service they have put in. “We’re lucky to have a dedicated board like this,” said Eckert. “These people have jobs too and they do this work voluntarily; there’s no pay. And they make it their business to know education inside and out and always be on top of the latest.”

James Kraus and Robert Masiello received an excellence award for 150 points of work. Mary Romano and Deborah Gatti received an excellence award for 250 points of work.

When Gatti, the president of the board opened the floor up to public participation, the mother of Krystian Santiago who’s batteling Guillain-Barre Syndrome, a disorder where the body’s immune system attacks the nerves and there is no known cure yet, got up to share with the board and audience how appreciative she was of the support and help in raising money for her child. “Thank you for donating to this cause. I am the proud mother of a more special fighter and she is a fighter because of all of your support.”

There were no board member reports, correspondences or old business to discuss. The board moved on to approve the past meetings’ minutes.

The board approved the nomination of Peggy Zugibe to be a member of the New York State School Board Association Board of Directors for a two-year term; the appointment of Pamela Schaefer to be the director of Academy of Finance for $30,000; and the appointment of Randy Fisher as a school district nurse practitioner on an independent contractor basis and paid $12.50 per physical.

The board recognized those retiring with wishes of good health and happiness in their retirement.

Lenore Gavigan, an English as a second language teacher for 15 years, will retire June 23. Antoineta Hegarty, a food service cashier for three years and five months, will retire on June 21. Diana McGannon, a food service helper for 10 years and two months, retired May 14.

The board also recognized those being certified with tenure status.

Sally Harrison, who’s worked for three years, received a permanent certificate of tenure as assistant superintendent for educational services beginning September 21. Jennifer Luongo, who’s worked for three years, received a permanent certificate of tenure as secondary assistant principal beginning June 30. Receiving initial tenure certificates for elementary school teaching, beginning on September 1, was: Jacqueline Batista, Maribel Cespedes and Carla Curran. Tonianne DeSimone will receive a permanent certificate of second tenure area on September 1. Christine Henry will receive a permanent certificate of tenure for special subjects reading teaching. Andrea Tuccillo will receive an initial tenure certificate in academic subjects and world languages. Mary Velez-Torres will receive a provisional certificate of tenure as school social worker.

The board approved the student activity account for the North Rockland High School’s varsity girls’ soccer team.

They also approved the firm The Bonadio Group as the school district’s auditors for the 2011-12 school year. These services require an annual fee of $28,500.

The board approved unanimously the remaining agenda items.

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