The Star Beacon; Ashtabula, Ohio

Local News

May 16, 2014

Conneaut schools give recognition to retirees and workers

CONNEAUT — Conneaut’s Board of Education said a formal goodbye to more than 80 years of teaching experience at Wednesday’s regular meeting.

A ceremony at the start of the meeting honored three teachers who will retire at the end of the school year, and also saluted a handful of district employees with special awards. The board room was filled with family and co-workers of the honorees.

The teachers who are wrapping up careers in the district are Margaret Tate (35 years, speech/language pathologist, Lakeshore Primary School); Judy Coffey (32 years, intervention specialist, Conneaut Middle School); and Ruth Ann Kinney (20 years, kindergarten, Lakeshore Primary).

Each of the teachers thanks their co-workers, administrators and students. “That’s a lot of years walking out the door,” said board member Michael Kennedy.

Tate also was the recipient of the district’s 110 Percent Award, given to an employee who works to improve the district through unselfish efforts that go above and beyond their normal duties. Tate said her service was nothing out of the ordinary for a teacher.

“It’s not our job, it’s our life,” she said.

Two teachers, Marcy Greenfield (third grade guided reading and science) and Sandy Spees (first grade intervention specialist) were given Mirando Awards, named for teacher Agnes Mirando and given to educators who are “hard-working, kind and insightful,” and “positive in thoughts and actions.”

Julene Edwards, a paraprofessional at Lakeshore Primary School, earned the Bev Wadley Award, given to a classified worker who “goes beyond their regular duties to accomplish what needs to be done.”

Michele Cole, a third grade teacher at Gateway Elementary School, received the Lisa Iarocci Award, given to an employee who has “shown great courage in the face of difficult situations, illness or problems.” Cole suffered a serious illness at the start of the 2013-2014 school year. She thanked her co-workers for their support.

“This group got me through,” she said.

Board members were impressed with the dedication of the award-winners and retirees. “It’s hard to find loyal employees who love their job like that,” said Cris Newcomb, board president.

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