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Congratulations, 2019-20 BC retirees!

Filed in Archive by on May 29, 2020

Every year at the end of May, the school district celebrates longtime faculty and staff who have or will be retiring before the end of the school year. This year, 28 employees, with combined service totaling more than 520 years will leave BC after long careers serving the children of the Bethlehem Central School District.

Due to the COVID-19 public health emergency, the annual retiree reception that was scheduled for May 28 was canceled. The slideshow that would have accompanied that ceremony, in the presence of friends and family, can be viewed below. Please join us in wishing them all the very best in retirement!

They have made BC proud.

Kathleen L. Buckley, Eagle Elementary Art Teacher – 32 years

“Joy is watching Kathy teach. Kathy loves people for who they are, for their failures and their successes; for their hits and misses. She is truly a unique and passionate teacher.”

Melissa DePaoli, High School English Language Arts Teacher – 29 years

“Ms. Depaoli connected with all of her students year after year through her dynamic personality and witty sense of humor. She is viewed as a strong, independent female role model by all, and has inspired countless students to pursue their ambitions.”

Mythili Divakara Murthy, Elsmere Elementary Aide to Students with Disabilities – 15 years

“Consistently calm and good-natured, Mythili has the rare quality of never being flustered. The students she works with require a most thoughtful, gentle adult who maintains expectations and believes in the students. Mrs. Murthy perfectly fits this bill.”

Mary Dugas, High School Registrar – 23 years

“Mary is passionate about equity, fairness and justice and is a fierce advocate for others who may need support. Her infectious smile, professionalism and determination to do what is right for individual students are obvious to all who know her. She will be sorely missed.”

Sally A. Fitzpatrick, Middle School Library Aide – 20 years

“Sally has been like a family member to those of us at the middle school. The impact she has made simply from being a model of professionalism has been a tremendous value to the schools she has worked in.”

Catherine A. Fredette, Elsmere Elementary Teacher – 32 years

“Mrs. Fredette’s easygoing approach belies the countless hours she put into developing a program that is both fun and challenging for students. Cathy is creative, spontaneous and down-to-earth, making her classroom an enjoyable place to be.”

Kimberly A. Ganley, Glenmont Elementary Teacher – 32 years

“Every single year, Kim loved her students. This was evident in the way she spoke to them, how she encouraged them, how she cared for them. And without a doubt, Mrs. Ganley’s students loved her right back.”

Loretta Jerome, Glenmont Aide to Students with Disabilities – 27 years

“Loretta has one of the biggest hearts in the world. She cheerfully greets the students and helps them start their day on a positive note. Loretta loves the children and she works hard to help them all be successful.”

James Josey, School Bus Driver – 12 years

“Twelve years of making a difference in transportation and with the students he has served. James has not only been a valuable asset to the transportation department but an enjoyable presence in the garage as well.”

Ronald Kuklis, Maintenance Mechanic – 17 years

“Throughout Ron’s time with the district, he was always looking to learn, taking many courses to update himself with new technologies. In doing so he carved out a niche in his department as an expert on  refrigeration systems.”

Mary F. Landry, Middle School Remedial Speech Teacher – 21 years

“One of the joys of working in Bethlehem is that we are home to the best and most qualified and that’s certainly true of Mary. Add equal parts humor, positivity, instructional genius, and love and you’ve got a good start on the recipe Mary uses to engage students .”

Virginia Lawler, Eagle Elementary Teacher – 25 years

“Virginia’s commitment to students and education is outstanding. Her connection with children and the ability to see each child for who they are will be greatly missed at Eagle as will her smile, positive energy and giggly laugh.”

Pamela Lopienski, School Bus Driver – 16 years

“Pamela proved to be a great team player during her tenure in transportation. Her care and concern for the many students she served over 16 years is gratefully acknowledged and appreciated.”

Paul Lukatschat, Elsmere Food Service Staff – 9 years

“Known as Mr. Paul, he would make Elsmere students feel special while preparing their lunch each day. His dependability was invaluable and when needed, Paul was always willing to help out in other capacities to get the job done.”

Janice Miller, Middle School Aide to Students with Disabilities – 20 years

“Jan demonstrates what it means to be a charismatic educator. When students will do their best even with subjects they don’t like just because they want you to be proud of them, that’s when you know you have made a connection. That’s what Jan brought to our students and we will be eternally grateful.”

Barbara M. Monthie, Slingerlands Elementary Teacher – 16 years

“Building a classroom community was always at the heart of Barb’s program. She has a special gift for making everyone feel like they are the most important child in the room. It’s where you can clearly see the love and joy she feels for the children and they have loved her right back!”

Kimberly J. Muncil, Slingerlands Reading Teacher – 22 years

“For Kim, being an educator has been all about the journey. In the past two decades, Kim has weathered many changes in education. As a reading specialist, she is always taking a positive approach and is eager to serve her students in the most effective ways.”

Patricia Myers, Eagle Food Service Staff – 18 years

“Pat has always done what was needed to get the job of feeding students done each day. Her skill in helping her coworkers learn has been invaluable. Those closest to her know how kind-spirited and conscientious pat is. Her quick wit always made work a little more fun for those around her.”

Kathleen C. Normile, Glenmont Elementary Teacher – 31 years

“With a calm and gentle way, Kathleen has touched the lives of hundreds of children, both with serious academics and also with fun classroom happenings. Her summer camp theme at the end of each school year, complete with a tent and badges, made memories for many.”

John Osterhout, School Bus Driver – 15 years

“With 15 years of service, John served hundreds of bc children as a bus driver. He kept his colleagues smiling with his trademark singing that they say made him instantly recognizable and easy to find at the bus garage.”

Zoraida Pillot, Glenmont Aide to Students with Disabilities – 15 years

“Zoraida just lights up when she sees her students, and they get just as excited when they see their “Mrs. P.” she comes to school with a smile on her face and a zest for life that is unmatched. If you ever need a cheerleader to pull you out of a slump, she is your woman!.”

Sharon Pohl, School Bus Driver – 21 years

“From the first day, Sharon has been a solid pillar in the department. A dependable, positive, joyful, team-oriented colleague! And if that was not enough, in 22 years, Sharon had an amazing 13 consecutive years of perfect attendance.”

Lisa Relyea, Head Custodian – 31 years

“Everyone knew Lisa. As beloved and well-known as Lisa obviously was to our middle school students, she was unanimously beloved by our teaching staff. We will always be grateful to Lisa for all she did for us!”

Anna Salisbury, Bus Attendant – 16 years

“Anna has been a faithful employee for 16 years serving our most precious cargo–the students in our district. Her hard work and diligence have greatly benefited our students.”

Doreen Slingerland, Bus Garage Dispatcher – 24 years

“Doreen is a true professional, a colleague whose smile and presence encourage the entire transportation team. She has a unique talent and skill to pull apart bus routes and piece them back together when needed. She is a solid pillar of the department.”

William Vrooman, School Bus Driver – 36 years

“With over 36 years of service, he has driven three generations of students K-12. His presence and the occasional song has cheered and encouraged so many and the care he has demonstrated for his co-workers is a character trait to emulate.”

Catherine V. Woller, Elsmere Elementary Teacher – 34 years

“Mrs. Woller deserves the highest recognition for her role in shaping generations of community-minded adults. In addition to high-quality education, her students look forward to “tootle time,” when they acknowledge classmates for the positives they see, often with standing ovations or rounds of applause for one another.”

Lisa M. Wood, Science Teacher – 28 years

“If Lisa Wood is not a ‘natural teacher,’ then I don’t know what is meant by the term. Her classroom feels more like a voyage of exploration and discovery than a typical science class. It’s where students hang on Lisa’s every word and she communicates in such a warm, humane, and caring manner that every child feels like she is speaking to them directly and personally.”