Albion district honors retiring teachers and staff

Photos by Tom Rivers: The following retiring teachers and staff were recognized during last week’s Board of Education meeting, from left: Tim Archer, Joyce Monacelli, Della Morales, Diane Stirk, Karen Spierdowis, Sue Ann McGaffick, Dawn Squicciarini, Mark Vanacore, Laura Marek, Margaret Swan and Nancy Lowery. Other retirees not at the recognition program include Toni Plummer, Stephanie Simpson, Duncan Hughes, Katharine Waite and CarmenRose Brittan. Margy Brown also was recognized for 15 years of service on the Board of Education including eight years as the board president.

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 17 June 2023 at 9:40 am

ALBION – The school district will be losing many long-term teachers and staff to retirement. They were recognized last week before the Board of Education meeting.

“Each has contributed to our district in a unique way,” said Wayne Wadhams, the Board of Education president. “Thank you.”

The following are retiring from the school district:

Margy Brown served 15 years on the Board of Education, including eight years as the board president. She ends her term on June 30.

• Margy Brown is ending a 15-year tenure on the Board of Education. She was elected to three 5-year terms. She served eight years as the board president, and led many of the board committees including wellness, fiannce and audit, electronics and board documents, maintenance operations and safety, board process and protocol.

• Toni Plummer – a middle school health teacher who also was a mentor teacher coordinator, and was instrumental in Albion’s service learning efforts, Community Schools Program and also in student teacher placements.

• Duncan Hughes – A high school math teacher who also taught financial literacy. He is now working as a nurse at a veterans’ hospital.

• Katharine Waite – The high school assistant principal for eight years, she joined Albion after 10 years in Perry as a principal. Waite retired on March 31.

• Karen Spierdowis – She worked as an English teacher in all three school buildings in her career, and also was a new teacher mentor.

Mark Vanacore is retiring as Albion’s technology director. He started his career in Albion as a physics and math teacher.

• Mark Vanacore – He started as a physics and math teacher in 1991 before becoming the district’s technology coordinator in 2007. He developed the MST curriculum guide, hekped design he district website and “has put in many countless hours to make sure our programs are running smoothly.”

• Diane Stirk – The district’s tax collector and accounts payable clerk, she brought an attention to detail to the job in the district office, and worked very well with the public and her co-workers.

• Della Morales – The high school library media specialist, she also led the diversity club and connected students to many service projects, especially at the community kitchen.

• Sue McGaffick – She worked as an aid in the high school library and the Correction Room. She was praised for giving students “love and compassion” and sometimes a “knock it off” response. “She maintains a cooperative attitude in all situations,” said High School Principal Jenn Ashbery.

• Margaret Swan – a cleaner for Albion, she was praised for her dedication and attention to detail. “You have been a silent hero working behind the scenes,” said Tim Mercer, Albion’s director of facilities.

• Stephanie Simpson – a special education teacher in the elementary school since 1998, she was commended by elementary school principal Angela Conway for being “a beacon of compassion” and for her “unwavering dedication.”

Laura Marek, the district treasurer, receives gifts and praise from Rick Recckio, the school business administrator.

• Laura Marek – The district treasurer, she has “expertise beyond spread sheets,” said Rick Recckio, the school business administrator. He praised Marek for a positive attitude, an unwavering work ethic and “a genuine passion for serving others.”

• Joyce Monacelli – A fifth grade math teacher who started as a kindergarten teacher in 2002, she was commended for fostering a love of numbers in her students.

• Carmenrose Brittan – An English as a new language teacher since 1999, she was praised for her “passion for learning and for embracing new cultures.”

• Nancy Lowery – A teacher aide in the elementary school since 1998, Lowery brought “unparalleled dedication” to the job, and principal Angela Conway raised her “for turning ordinary bulletin boards into works of art.”

Dawn Squicciarini, right, is congratulated by Board of Education member Linda Weller.

• Dawn Squicciarini – She started as a long-term sub in the elementary school in 1988 and in 2012 moved to the middle the school as a special education teacher. Besides her “relentless advocacy for all students,” Squicciarini volunteered for many years in the concession stand during soccer games.

• Tim Archer – He started as a part-time public information assistant from 1989 to 1996. He worked full-time in that role in 1999 before becoming a full-time service learning teacher in the middle school 20 years ago, overseeing many service learning projects in the community “that brought local history to life,” said Brad Pritchard, the middle school principal.