Committee recognizes award-winning educators for ‘job well done’
The Warwick School Committee took a break from its business agenda Oct. 9 to recognize recent honors bestowed on administrators, teachers and staff.
Lynn Dambruch, principal at Robertson Elementary School, is the recipient of the New England Reading Association Special Recognition Award.
Robert Bushell, director of elementary education, introduced Dambruch, saying the award recognizes “an outstanding literacy person, whether a teacher or principal,” adding that Dambruch supports literacy in both her school and the district.
“She’s always there when you need her, but especially in literacy,” he said. “This award is duly earned and it’s a pleasure to bring her up and say, ‘A job well done!’”
Dambruch said it was an honor to receive the recognition but she wanted to share it with her colleagues.
“I want to share this with Mr. Bushell and Kathleen Desrosiers [supervisor of English language arts] because they are wonderful resources and provide professional development [opportunities]. I also share this with my colleagues, who utilize the best practices while working well together,” she said, before having members of her staff stand to be recognized with applause. “I have a great staff who works very hard and gives 100 percent.”
Following Dambruch’s recognition, it was Peter Kiley’s turn. Kiley, a music teacher at Winman Junior High School, has been selected as Warwick’s nominee for Teacher of the Year. Winman Principal Joanne Pelletier said a few words before handing the microphone over to Kiley.
“It was very difficult to pick one teacher, as there are a lot of outstanding teachers at Winman,” she said. “Peter Kiley stands out because he takes students from very little to no experience and takes them to winning awards at competitions and performing in the community.”
Pelletier said Kiley is one of the most dependable people in the building.
“His work ethic is superior and he’s always looking to help others,” she said.
Kiley recognized his fellow teachers at Winman and in Warwick.
“They help elevate my game every day,” he said. “They are role models and friends and I couldn’t do this without their support. I appreciate this honor.”
Kimberley Markarian, an art teacher who works with students at Hoxsie and Norwood Elementary Schools, was selected as the Rhode Island Elementary Art Educator of the Year 2012.
Dr. Anne Siesel, assistant director of curriculum and supervisor of music and art, introduced Markarian.
“Kimberly Markarian was selected as the outstanding elementary visual arts educator of the year for her exemplary leadership in art education,” she said. “She’s written grants and has brought great projects to both schools. She is an extremely creative teacher and is an outstanding pick for [art] teacher of the year.”
Markarian said it was a pleasure to receive the award.
“I look forward to work every day. I have a wonderful faculty and great leadership,” she said. “I love the kids, I love what I do and I love working for Warwick. I’m very honored.”
Finally, Dr. Richard D’Agostino, director of special education and acting superintendent, recognized the efforts of Kathy Gage, a nurse at Pilgrim, for her role in the Vaccinate Before You Graduate program, which aims to ensure all students are vaccinated with a flu shot before they graduate.
In other committee action, a resolution exempting newly elected School Committee members from being eligible to participate in the Warwick School Committee Employee Retirement Plan and receive a pension was approved for second passage by a 4-1 vote.
Committee member Terri Medeiros, who voted against it, said she wasn’t comfortable making a decision for a committee member that comes after her.
According to the resolution, the policy change will not affect the rights of current or previous school committee members as it relates to receiving benefits and participating in the plan.
“I congratulate the School Committee for passage of this,” said Eugene Nadeau, sponsor of the resolution, following the vote. “No elected official should get a pension and I hope this carries through around the state. This is something we should be proud of.”