The Waterfront at Ehrhardt's was the setting Friday evening, May 31 for the Professional Recognition Celebration of The Wayne Highlands Education Association (WHEA).
Eighteen retirees, John Benson, Barbara Brown, Linda Bryan, Julie Cerra, Nancy Fritz, Janet Heinly, Nancy Kinsman, Theresa Kovalchik, Jane LaBar, Linda Mains, Deborah Nuernberger, Daniel O'Neill, Dorothy O'Neill, Richard Roberts, Peter Ruvolo, Kathryn Sternburg, Judith Stanton and Sally Wasylyk, were honored.
Together they dedicated over 475 years to the education of children in the Wayne Highlands School District and well over 500 professional years to serving society.
President of the Wayne Highlands Education Association, Todd Miller, served as Master of Ceremonies and Toastmaster.
Gregory Frigoletto, superintendent, also made remarks regarding his relationship and deep respect for the educators, with whom he had worked in many capacities across the district. Miller and Ginny Motsko, celebration chairwoman, presented honored guests with a WHEA gift and a framed certificate from the Pennsylvania State Education Association.
Judith Stanton, RN, CRNP, retires from Preston School and served as the Certified School Nurse since graduating from the University of Delaware with a Bachelors of Science ( B.S.) in Nursing and then from the State University of New York Binghamton with a Master of Science ( M.S.) in Family Nursing. She has worked at Barnes Kasson Health Center and Highlands Physicians, served as Nursing Department Chairperson and on the District Wellness and Safety Committee, the Wayne Memorial Hospital Community Advisory Board and the Children and Youth Advisory Board of Wayne County. She has been her church organist for 30 years.
Deborah Nuernberger graduated from Iowa State University with a B.S. degree in Home Economics with a concentration in Family Environment. She also holds a M.S. in Education from Wilkes University and certificates in Educational Kinesiology. She retires from teaching in the Family Consumer Science program at Honesdale High School.
Nancy Kinsman began teaching third grade at Stourbridge School and transferred to the Wayne Highlands Middle School where she has taught 7th and 8th grade language arts and reading, served as department chairperson for reading and was involved with the Summer Reading Camp and After School Reading Program. She also previously served as wrestling team cheerleader coach and as a counselor/director of Dyberry Day Camp. Nancy earned a B.S. and a M.S. degree from Marywood University.
Page 2 of 5 - Richard "Dick" Roberts came to Honesdale High School to teach Career Math and Algebra II after serving on the U.S.S. Okinawa for a two year tour of duty in Vietnam. He served as a baseball and softball coach, started SADD (Students Against Drunk Driving) and co-chaired the Experiential Psychology Club. For many years he managed the Honesdale pool and served on the Parks and Recreation Committee. He earned a B.S. degree in Psychology and a M.S. in Eastern Studies and other certifications in math and education.
Sally Wasylyk received a B.S. degree in Special Education from East Stroudsburg University and a Masters Equivalency from Penn State, East Stroudsburg and Marywood University. Sally's varied career has included K-4 elementary special education, elementary and secondary partial hospitalization programs and SRA Reading instruction. She retires from the NHS Adolescent-Based Partial Hospitalization Program as the classroom teacher. Sally served on the School Wide Effective Behavior (SWEBs) committee and the Principal's Advisory and Professional Development Committees. She volunteered as a side walker for the therapeutic riding program and was active with Friends of Football and Wrestling.
Theresa Kovalchik earned a B.S. degree in Elementary Education from Penn State and a Reading Specialist Certificate (K-12) from Marywood University. She has worn many hats, from teaching all grades from first to sixth as a classroom teacher to teaching grades second to sixth as a reading specialist. She has served the District as a mentor teacher, on reading and math curriculum development, on teacher effectiveness development and on student behavior programs.
Nancy Fritz initially came to the district as a secretary, but became so enamored with teaching that she earned a B.A. in Secondary Education/English and a M.A. in Reading from the University of Scranton. Additionally, she earned a graduate degree in Latin from Colorado University and a Reading Specialist Certificate. She served as the English Department Chairperson, working through many initiatives in education.
Linda Bryan earned a B.S. degree in Occupational Therapy from Indiana University in Bloomington, Ind., and a M.S. in Occupational Therapy from the University of Scranton. She has worked for 15 years in clinical, rehabilitation community settings and for 20 years in school settings, 15 at Wayne Highlands. She writes, "Occupational therapy services have grown as the children's needs have increased. We provide needed therapy to students with sensory processing disabilities and coordination problems, including handwriting difficulties."
Page 3 of 5 - John Benson began his career at Damascus School and transferred to Preston School where he taught fifth and sixth grade social studies and after one year was assigned to seventh and eighth grade. He has served as a team leader, faculty representative and Wayne Highlands Education Association (WHEA) vice-president. He is a three-time recipient of the Villaume Foundation Educational Grant and is a National Geographic Society for Life Fellow. He has served as a cooperating teacher for Keystone College of Education and was the recipient of several National Endowment for the Humanities American History Grants. John earned a B.S. in Secondary Education from Bloomsburg State College and a M.S. in Reading from the University of Scranton.
Janet Heinly received a B.S. degree in Elementary and Special Education from Millersville University and a M.S. from Wilkes University. She has been an Elementary Life Skills teacher since starting with NEIU #19 and transferring to WHSD. She and her classroom team recently achieved recognition as a "Model Independent Site" for work with the Autism Initiative Verbal Behavior Program, an alternative curriculum designed for children with severe verbal deficits.
Jane La Bar earned a B.A. and a M.S. degree from Marywood University. She retires from a varied teaching career from Damascus School as a kindergarten educator. Traveling with her husband's employment, Jane became involved with soccer programs, serving for a time as Head Coach at King's College and later with programs in Salt Lake city, Utah Valley. She served the District on the Superintendent's Advisory Board, on reading, math and social studies curriculum development committees, on Project Reader's through Leigh University and as a WHEA representative.
Linda Mains retires from Lakeside School as a third grade teacher. She earned educational degrees and certification from Marywood University. Linda studied at the Bethlehem Conservatory of Music and has found time to teach music and piano lessons, become a real estate agent and broker, be a church organist at two churches, be the musical director for community theater productions and school district musicals and assist her husband as band front director and choreographer.
She has also been active in the Wayne County Creative Arts Council, Lamplighters Camping Club and her church, serving as elder and deacon.
Barbara Brown graduated from Mansfield University with a B.S. in Home Economics and holds a Masters Equivalency from Marywood University. She has taught Family and Consumer Science, including babysitting and child care, intergenerational studies, foods and nutrition and finances through the Junior Achievement Program. She partnered with the Headstart Program and held "Generation celebrations" quarterly. Serving as Yearbook Advisor for 32 years, she received the "National Citizenship Education Teacher of the Year Award" presented by VFW Post 351 in 2012.
Page 4 of 5 - Peter Ruvolo has been an English educator at Honesdale High School for 37 years. He was selected as the Jaycees Educator of the Year in 2011. He is a graduate of Rutgers University, New Brunswick, N.J.
Daniel O'Neill earned a B.S. degree in English from East Stroudsburg University and also a M.S. degree in History with a Secondary Social Studies Certification. He began his career in the Alternative Education Program in Math and English under a CETA federal grant program. Dan was later appointed the Vocational Educational Coordinator and oversaw two approved programs at Honesdale High School. Additionally, he coached the golf team for 17 years, served as class advisor for 12 years and served on the WHEA Executive Committee.
Dorothy O'Neill earned a B.S. degree in Social Work from Penn State and a M.S. in Elementary and Secondary School Counseling from Marywood University. She began her career as an elementary school counselor at Damascus School and Preston School and then transferred to Stourbridge Elementary, Lincoln School and the Wayne Highlands Middle School (WHMS), working with kindergarten, fourth and fifth grades. In 1992, she transferred to Honesdale High School and retires from there as a secondary school counselor.
Julie Cerra began her teaching career in parochial schools as a kindergarten and 4th grade educator before joining NEIU#19 as a special education teacher. With the NEIU, she taught grades 7-12, all subjects, and English grades 9-12, and coordinated the Area P Special Olympics for Susquehanna County. She joined WHSD as a 3rd grade learning support teacher and served in that capacity until 2009. In 2009, she transferred to Honesdale High School as the learning support and reading teacher. She holds a B.S. degree from Mansfield State College and a Masters Equivalency from Marywood University.
Kathryn Sternburg earned a B.A. degree from St. Francis University in Loretto and a M.A. degree from Villanova University. She is certified in Elementary Education, kindergarten to grade 6; as an Elementary Principal; as a Reading Specialist and as a Program Specialist, English as Second Language (ESL.) She taught language arts at WHMS and a served as an Instructional Support Teacher, Head Teacher and Instructional Support Team Leader. She was honored as "Northeast Woman" when serving as an administrator at the Children's Learning Montessori School in Scranton. Kathryn is active in the Congregation Beth Israel and a lifetime member of Girl Scouts and a Red Cross volunteer for First Aid, CPR and Water Safety Programs.
Page 5 of 5 - During the evening a special acknowledgement was also extended to Wayne Highlands School District Staff who are not members of WHEA and who have retired within the past year. President Miller stated, "It takes everyone to create excellence within a school system and we thank everyone for their contribution to that goal." Included in this recognition were: John Allbee, custodian; Al Hazen, maintenance: Maralyn Nalesnik, principal; and Ruth Swingle, administrative secretary. WHEA wishes each retiree a healthy, happy and successful retirement.