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Albion honors teachers and staff

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 2 June 2014 at 12:00 am

CSE chairwoman named ‘Educator of the Year’

Photos by Tom Rivers – Margy Brown, president of the Albion Board of Education, congratulates Paula Shipe, left, on her retirement after 22 years as secretary in the middle school.

ALBION – The school district honored teachers and staff for milestone anniversaries, impending retirements and for attaining tenure during a reception before the Board of Education meeting this evening.

The district also named its “Educator of the Year” and the honor this year goes to Jessica Beal.

She worked as a special education teacher for 11 years for Albion before being promoted to chairwoman of the Committee on Special Education this school year.

She assists about 200 students in grades K through 12, working with teachers, parents and students to identify students’ needs to attain academic success.

“A lot of people can see when a kid isn’t getting it, but the question is why aren’t they getting it?” said Michael Bonnewell, the district’s superintendent. “She is very good at diagnosing a child’s needs and then designing supports to help them succeed.”

Jessica Beal, chairwoman of the district’s Committee on Special Education, was named the district’s ‘Educator of the Year.’

Beal praised a supportive district that she said is very student-focused. Some students may only need short-term assistance, perhaps for speech. Others may need an out-of-district placement, although Albion tries to keep students within the district when possible, school officials said.

Beal was nominated by several of her teaching colleagues for the educator award.

“Jessica is always thoroughly prepared, organized, sensitive and effective in addressing the multiple needs of students, parents, programs and our district,” one teacher said in nominating Beal.

Margy Brown, the BOE president, said Beal has earned a reputation for being professional, articulate and passionate. Albion students have a strong advocate in Beal, Brown said.

The district also recognized the following retiring teachers and staff: Debbie Karas after 32 years as a teacher in the elementary, Sally Grimm after 22 years as a math teacher in the middle school, Patrick Holman after 33 ½ years as middle school science teacher, Paula Shipe after 22 years year as secretary in the middle school, and Maura Pierce after 28 years with the district as an English teacher and in several administrative roles.

The district also recognized Kevin Doherty for his 12 years of volunteer service on the Board of Education.

The following were recognized for attaining tenure: Greta Bohn, a speech pathologist in the elementary school; and Della Morales, a media specialist in the high school.

The following were recognized for 10 years of service: Janie Bentley, Patrick Brawn, Kelli Ciliberto, Kathryn Fischer, Duncan Hughes, Jay Kovaleski, Kim Nesbitt, Chad Owen, Val Pettit, Kristin Roche and Margaret Swan.

Sally Grimm, a middle school math teacher, receives a book that will be put in the library in her name. Middle School Principal Dan Monacelli, right, said Grimm has been a distinguished teacher, devoted to her students.

The following were honored for 15 years of service: Keith Akers, Jennifer Ashbery, Bonnie Baldwin, Carmen Rose Brittan, Lisa Burlison, Theresa Christopher, Deborah Jones, Lizabeth Krenning, Peggy Lemcke, Jeremy Petrus, David Plewinski, Jeff Radder, Debbie Schomske and Gloria Short.

Four people were honored for 20 years of service: Kelly Kovaleski, Kym Metz, Greg Martillotta and Paula Shipe.

Two teachers reached the 25-year milestone: Judy Azzolino and Janet Husung.

Four teachers were recognized for 30 years of service: Annette Pearl, Mark VanDerKarr, Nancy Wickman and Debra Wood.