The Island Park Faculty Association and Island Park Public Library collaborated in presenting a book dedication ceremony on Nov. 1. This annual event was developed as a way to pay homage to deceased members of the Island Park School District whose efforts will not be forgotten.
The IPFA provided a donation to the library, which was used to purchase a selection of books representing each honoree. This year’s tributes went to home economics teacher Rosalie Karlin Mednick, custodian Albert Miller, elementary teacher Edith Shaw, custodian John Tarantino and physical education teacher Margaret Utech. Their names were inscribed on a plaque that is displayed in the district.
“We are here to honor five former colleagues who, each in their own way, benefitted the students and staff of Island Park,” said retired math teacher Phyllis Baranoff. Other past and present staff members shared reflections about the individuals.
Math teacher Patricia Fernando recounted the contributions of Ms. Mednick, from engaging her students in an annual fashion show to teaching them to cook and set a proper table. She described the beloved educator as an “excellent friend, a loving mother, a role model and a loyal colleague.” Michael Moran highlighted Mr. Miller’s years as a bayman and clammer as well as his commitment to keeping the school buildings in top condition.
“He made his mark in life, and I cannot say enough about him,” Moran stated.
Ms. Baranoff read remarks that were shared about Ms. Shaw. Alumni wrote that she directly impacted their life and career choices by recognizing their strengths and interests. Music teacher Joseph Bonelli commented on Mr. Tarantino and discussed his expertise in carpentry, dedication to working early and late hours and attentiveness to the needs of two schools.
Nurse Barbara Gould spoke about Ms. Utech. She highlighted her involvement in the launch of Sports Night, which has grown to become a tradition, as well as her positive impact on students in the adaptive physical education program. “She took such an interest in her children and will be truly missed,” Ms. Gould said.
Members of the district’s board of education, Superintendent Rosmarie Bovino and staff, along with families and friends of the honorees, applauded after each acknowledgment. Special thanks was extended to IPFA President Pat Collins and
Ms. Baranoff for coordinating this significant celebration. All attendees had the opportunity to view the books and enjoy refreshments.