During the Board of Education meeting held on Jan. 26 at the James A. Dever Elementary School, the district introduced its first celebration of excellence with an inaugural Board of Education Commendations Award Ceremony. Outstanding students, staff, Board of Education members and community representatives who have gone above and beyond to positively represent the district were recognized for their contributions.
“It is my privilege to present this program this evening that has been specifically dedicated to recognizing the outstanding achievements of our students, staff and community members within and beyond our classroom walls,” Superintendent of Schools Constance D. Evelyn said. “We commend your efforts and want you to know that we highly value your level of commitment. Thank you for continually inspiring us to do our very best for you.” The first honorees were the 10 students, representing Howell Road and James A. Dever schools, who participated in the All-County Peak Festival at Molloy College. Students took part in a variety of workshops, including Australian Stick Dancing, Hand Chimes, African Drumming and Bollywood-style dancing.
Those honored included the following:
• Benjamin Banchiero
• Imani Brockington
• Emily Dahl
• Chamille Malcolm
• Mathew Olivencia
• Nicholas Ottomanelli
• Swaraj Pandit
• Sasha Persad
• Elijah Peterson
• Christopher Pierre
The next honorees were Matthew Ricchiuti and Christopher Rakeman, from Dever and Wheeler Avenue, respectively, who took part in the All-County Jazz Ensemble. They were part of an elite group of student-musicians throughout Nassau County, and participated in the All-County Division II concert on Jan. 17.
Three commendations were presented to educators in the district, including Johanna Land, a teacher at James A. Dever for continually securing grants to support the school’s music program through Donors Choose.org, Roxanne MacDonald, a librarian at James A. Dever for securing grants to support the school’s Preschool Lending Library and Hands-On Reading Workshops and Guy Jacob, a teacher at Wheeler Avenue for increasing science, technology, engineering, the arts and math (STEAM) education at Wheeler.
Superintendent Constance D. Evelyn also presented the AAA Safety Patroller of the Year award to district alumna Sumaiya Ramsaroop, a former student at Howell Road School. She was the first student in the district’s history to ever be honored with this award.
Two Board of Education members and two community members were recognized as well. Board Trustee Dr. Frank Chiachiere earned the New York State School Boards Association SCHOOL BOARD U in recognition of Lifetime Achievement. Board Vice President Patricia Farrell was honored with the Board Excellence Award. Farrell was honored again, along with long-time community member Jerilyn Lewis, for their many years of dedicated volunteerism and service to the district by the Nassau Region PTA.