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Norwalk teachers, staff honored for outstanding work

Wolfpit Elementary School teacher Anne Beluk, center, is honored Thursday by (from left) Norwalk Federation of Teachers President Mary Yordon, Norwalk Superintendent of Schools Steven Adamowski and Norwalk Education Foundation (NEF) Executive Director Marge Costa, during the 2019 Excellence in Education awards at the Shore & Country Club. (Harold Cobin)

NORWALK, Conn. – Forty-one Norwalk Public School teachers and 18 support staff were honored for outstanding work at the annual Excellence in Education banquet.

Anne Beluk is a cornerstone of the Wolfpit Elementary School community, “the Pollyanna of the school,” event emcee Marge Costa said.  Costa is Executive Director of the Norwalk Education Foundation (NEF).

Norwalk Federation of Teachers President Mary Yordon described the Thursday ceremony at Shore and Country Club as “one of the best days in the Norwalk Public Schools.”

Video by Harold Cobin at end of story

The event was a joint production of Norwalk Public Schools, the Norwalk Federation of Teachers and the Norwalk Education Foundation.

Retiring Norwalk Community College President David Levinson received special recognition.

“Norwalk Public Schools has benefitted enormously and very specifically from Dr. Levinson’s leadership,” Norwalk Superintendent of Schools Steven Adamowski said, citing the development of Norwalk P-Tech, the Norwalk Early College Academy (NECA). “Norwalk is a far better place as a result of his leadership and vision.”

Levinson said he’s “honored” to see the great work done by NPS and promised that NCC would forever be part of it.

Among the many award recipients was Kendall Elementary School Special Education paraeducator Louis Diaz, cited by Costa for his “big heart.”

“We teach our students that showing kindness is an important part of developing to a well-rounded citizen. Louis demonstrates the type of love and patience that we know our students need to possess if they are able to achieve their college and career goals,” Costa said.

Nicole Stockfisch coordinates the Brien McMahon High School International Baccalaureate diploma program and approaches her work “with thought, creativity and an eye to the needs and overall experiences to the students,” Costa said.  Stockfisch noticed her students were feeling stressed so she planned a hike to get them out of the building so they could simultaneously relax and bond.

Jefferson Elementary School head custodian Neo Rosario was nominated by 25 people, including students, Costa said, one of whom reported that ‘Neo is not only a custodian, he is a friend.’

Norwalk High School science teacher Glenn Couture prepares each lesson as if it were a scene in a play, coordinates the school’s graduation ceremony and put in thousands of volunteer hours on the annual Candlelight show, and  NHS head security guard Eric Lewis leads his team to go above and beyond, talking to students about their goals and behavior, Costa said. The NHS security staff sit on Committees, mentor students, establish programs and clubs, give out scholarships, coordinate fundraising events, plan college tours and initiate coat drives.

“We really have come around to serve our students in extraordinary ways, in ways that show, as people have complained lately in the press, that we are not just test management experts,” Yordon said. “We are educators and education goes so much deeper than that. It takes a lot of people and it takes a lot of creativity. Tonight is a night to celebrate all the work that is done among all those people that make it possible.”

The honorees:

Brien McMahon High School

  • Teacher Honoree: Nicole Stockfisch
  • Support Honoree: Connie Libertino

Norwalk High School

  • Teacher Honoree: Glenn Couture
  • Support Honoree: Eric Lewis

Ponus Ridge Middle School

  • Teacher Honoree: Rafael Tejada
  • Support Honoree: Jennifer Rolinson

Roton Middle School

  • Teacher Honoree: Laura Czegledi
  • Support Honoree: Tim Thorne

West Rocks Middle School

  • Teacher Honorees: Sara Golding, Demetria Walters, Brian Ruther, Kelli Hibbard, George Albano, Sheila Chimento
  • Support Honoree: Doniashay Tyner

Nathan Hale Middle School

  • Support Honoree: Kathy Gamcsik

Brookside Elementary School

  • Teacher Honoree: Stephanie Difebo
  • Support Honoree: Sarah Amato Mills

Columbus Magnet School

  • Teacher Honoree: Misty Hofer
  • Support Honoree: Terry Lakin

Cranbury Elementary School

  • Teacher Honoree: Doris Rios
  • Support Honoree: Regina Vaughan

Fox Run Elementary School

  • Teacher Honorees: Kara Weiss, Katheryn Wasowski, Edwin Carvajal, Catherine White, Robin Gredinger, Inva Donohue, Emily Haire, Melissa Rosenberg, Martina Pepin, Alyssa Martina, Ryan McKinney
  • Support Honoree: Lanette Green

Jefferson Elementary School

  • Teacher Honorees: Monique Bartling, Amanda Perez, Shonna Mitchell, Julie Signore, Jennifer Hodge, Diana Walker
  • Support Honoree: Neo Rosario

Kendall Elementary School

  • Teacher Honoree: Randall Austin
  • Support Honoree: Louis Diaz

Marvin Elementary School

  • Support Honoree: Deborah Benn

Naramake Elementary School

  • Teacher Honoree: Dan Lucia
  • Support Honoree: Monica Witherspoon

Rowayton Elementary School

  • Teacher Honoree: Alexandra Kemeny
  • Support Honoree: Geraldine Gabriel

Silvermine Dual Language Magnet School

  • Teacher Honorees: Jill Picaso, Frank Dipasquale, Elizabeth Becker, Kate Curran, Maggie Brewer, Caryn Whalen
  • Support Honoree: Frantz Gourege

Tracey Elementary School

  • Teacher Honoree: John Sincerbeaux
  • Support Honoree: Karen Giannitti

Wolfpit Elementary School

  • Teacher Honoree: Anne Beluk
  • Support Honoree: Regina Bethea

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