Holley honors 6 retiring teachers and staff with 182 years of combined service

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 22 June 2021 at 10:02 am

‘You have reminded us of our purpose, which is to love and care for children. That is why we exist.’ – Brian Bartalo, Holley district superintendent

Photos by Tom Rivers

HOLLEY – The school district on Monday evening honored six retiring teachers and staff who have a combined 182 years of service to students.

The top photo shows Sue Cory (left), junior-senior high school principal, with Kathy Monks, who is retiring after 30 years as a Spanish teacher. Monks also was the Spanish club advisor, a yearbook advisor and put on elaborate Day of the Dead celebrations. The latter is a Mexican holiday on Nov. 1 and Nov. 2.

Cory praised Monks for her dedication to students and an engaging teaching style.

“I loved the kids, and I loved my co-workers and the school district,” Monks said. “At Holley there is a sense of family.”

Sue Morreall retired after 25 years in the elementary school office. She was praised for her organizational skills, a welcoming personality and a deep institutional knowledge of the school.

“I loved it,” Morreall said about the job. “I loved seeing the students’ smiling faces in the morning.”

Roxanne Wagner is retiring after 33 years with Holley as an administrative assistant and a stint as athletic director. She showed an eagerness to help the district and connect with students, including chaperoning many school events.

“These are two great people and workers,” Brian Bartalo, the district superintendent, said about Morreall and Wagner.

He said the two employees and other administrative assistants are critical to the school operations.

“We all know who really runs the district,” he said about the staff.

Karri Schiavone, elementary school principal (left) congratulates Wanda Farrell on her retirement. Farrell has served as a school counselor at Holley, working in both the middle-senior high school and then in the elementary school.

She was compassionate with many Holley families, and helped connect the district with agencies that provided additional services.

“I just like the kids,” Farrell said about her career. “I had a great staff to work with.”

Sheri Viscardi, a fourth grade teacher, is congratulated by Karri Schiavone, the school principal. Viscardi was a very popular teacher who made her classroom fun while pushing students to excel, Schiavone said.

“Sheri loves her children clearly,” Schiavone said. “She puts everything she has into her class.”

Holley also recognized Brandi Zavitz, who is retiring as the middle and high school art teacher. She was unable to attend Monday’s Board of Education meeting.

Bartalo, the district superintendent, congratulated the retirees.

“You have reminded us of our purpose, which is to love and care for children,” Bartalo said. “That is why we exist.”

The six retirees worked 182 years combined for the district.

“I can’t even imagine how many students and lives have been positively impacted by these remarkable individuals,” Bartalo said.

The Board of Education also recognized two BOE members who are leaving after completing their terms. Robin Silvis, the BOE president, presents a gift to Mark Porter. He will continue in an official Holley capacity, representing the district on the board for the Monroe II-Orleans BOCES.

Melissa Ierlan also was commended by Silvis for her volunteer efforts on the BOE. Ierlan seemed to know nearly all of the families and was very student-focused, Silvis said.

“She reads everything and she knows everybody,” Silvis said. “She cares for every student.”