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SCOTIA: Board honors outgoing teachers

As the school year comes to an end, the Scotia-Glenville Board of Education took time at the Monday, June 11, meeting to pay tribute to educators who are retiring from the district. In less than two weeks, seven teachers and several administrative personnel will say goodbye.

Board members read aloud biographies detailing the dedication of the seven retiring teacher. Among those honored are: head of the foreign language department and teacher Constance Cunningham; elementary special education teacher Grace Hillers; elementary teacher Barbara Jones; high school math teacher Patricia Johnson; elementary teacher Rosemary Lawless; academic head and social studies teacher Peter Sheridan; and elementary teacher Elaine Wertalik.

Many member of the Scotia-Glenville Teachers Association were present to show their support for the honored teachers.

Board President Margaret Smith said the teachers will be missed by the district.

We are saying goodbye to an exceptional group of teachers who dedicated much of themselves to the students, parents and to their colleagues. We wish them all the best, said Smith.

Smith read a letter honoring Hillers, who started working as a special education teacher at Lincoln Elementary when it was a new concept. Smith said, looking back now, she can see just how ahead of her time Hillers was.

"Grace introduced many to the concept of co-teaching with special education teachers. Her mantra was to never give up on any child. Whether it was through music, baking or dancing, Grace found a way to reach every child that passed through her classroom. She made learning fun all while staying a true professional. She always saw potential in her students," said Smith.

Vice President Pam Carbone paid tribute to Cunningham, who has a lengthy list of accomplishments while with the district, including a nomination for America's Top 100 teachers. She helped create staff development guidelines and reformed the foreign language department that has since received recognition from SUNY Oswego and SUNY Albany.

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