Central House Resort was the setting on May 31st for the Wayne Highlands Education Association Retirement Celebration. Four retirees attended and were recognized during the celebration: Penny Friese, Todd D Miller, Tim Wood, and Linda Zimmer. Also retiring, but unable to attend were Mary Iacovino and Tammy Rickard.

President of the Wayne Highlands Education Association Gretchen Israel served as Master of Ceremonies. Gregory Frigoletto, Wayne Highlands School District Superintendent presented retirees with a plaque from the District. President Israel and Celebration Chair Jamie Brown presented honored guests with a WHEA gift and a framed certificate.

Wayne Highlands School District retiring staff member, Donna Branning, an administrative assistant at Lakeside Elementary School, was acknowledged during the evening for her impact on the excellence of the Wayne Highlands School District.

Betty Lawson, of the Wayne County Public Library, was presented with the Friend of Education Award for her work with Wayne Highlands Students. She is the Children’s Librarian at the Wayne County Public Library and fosters a love for reading between children and their families within our community. She runs an outstanding library program for young children to engage not only the child, but the entire family.

Penny Friese, raised in the Wayne Highlands School District, says that being hired by the district was a proud moment for her. She worked in the District 35 years starting in the Preston School a 6th grade teacher, then to a 3rd grade position. She transferred to Lakeside Elementary for its opening in 1996 and spent 22 years teaching 4th grade students. During her career, she has coached basketball, helped with various after school activities, and was a building representative.

Mary Iacovino worked for 34 years in the Wayne Highlands School District. She taught kindergarten, first grade, second grade, and finished as a Title One Reading Specialist.  She has three children and plans to pursue real estate and take advantage of traveling during retirement.

Todd D Miller taught Social Studies for 32 years in Honesdale High School. He was a staple at sporting events, taught summer school, advised six classes, “coached” the Mock Trial Team, headed up the Middle States Accreditation. He also served as an officer of the Wayne Highlands Education Association for 29 years. He does not plan to slow down in retirement he will continue traveling and be involved in the Wayne County Historical Society. He will also continue his advocacy for public education as a university student teacher supervisor and as a member of PSEA Retired.

Tim Wood started his career 35 years ago at Preston School, then Lincoln Elementary School, and then finally, the Wayne Highlands Middle School. He taught 6th Grade for 27 years and served as the Math Department Leader.

Coaching has been a huge part of Tim’s life and career. Most recently he served as the Boys’ Varsity Basketball Head Coach for 10 years. He has coached all levels from Junior High to Varsity in both girls and boys athletics including baseball, softball, basketball, and track.

Linda Zimmer was hired to work at the Wayne Highlands Middle School and taught fifth grade for 11 years and sixth grade for 15 years.

She has taught all subjects, but enjoyed reading and language arts most. During that time, she has served as Language Arts Department Chair, WHEA Faculty Representative and Retirement Celebration Committee Chair, Yearbook Advisor, and Costume Director for both high school and middle school musicals. She is very active in the community as well and plans to start checking items off her bucket list.