Hilton Board of Education recognizes Friends of Education

By on May 15, 2017
The 2017 Hilton Central School District Friends of Education (l-r): Laurie Polatas, Chuck Nichols, John Adams, Frank Thomas, John Corcoran, Sue Raschke, Dr. Michael Fryer, Nancy Guenther, Christine and Charlie Martella and Joe Lee. Not shown, Daniel Butts. Provided photo

The 2017 Hilton Central School District Friends of Education (l-r): Laurie Polatas, Chuck Nichols, John Adams, Frank Thomas, John Corcoran, Sue Raschke, Dr. Michael Fryer, Nancy Guenther, Christine and Charlie Martella and Joe Lee. Not shown, Daniel Butts. Provided photo

Every school year, the Hilton Board of Education honors individuals and organizations in the Hilton school community who have contributed to the education of Hilton students through volunteering or other efforts. This year’s Friends of Education were recognized at the May 9 board meeting.

Hilton High School Principal Brian Bartalo recognized Laurie Polatas for her many years of volunteerism and most recently for her work in establishing and leading the Hilton Parma Drug Intervention and Community Education (HPDICE) coalition.

Polatas has worked diligently to develop and maintain her partnership with the Hilton School District in efforts to raise awareness around the effects of substance abuse. “Laurie’s passion for making a positive difference in the community is contagious and is the driving force behind the coalition’s accomplishments,” said Bartalo.

Merton Williams Middle School Principal Tracie Czebatol presented the Friends of Education award to Dr. Michael Fryer, Hilton optometrist, and his staff for helping a student in need. Dr. Fryer not only repaired the student’s taped-together glasses, but provided an eye exam and new glasses, including a durable pair for sports, all free of charge.

“Above and beyond does not begin to cover the services provided,” said Czebatol. “We are truly fortunate to have such a devoted and caring group of people supporting our students in a positive, loyal and collaborative fashion.”

Sue Raschke is the recipient of the Friends of Education award for Northwood Elementary School. A retired kindergarten teacher, Raschke still volunteers every week. “Sue has the rare gift of really listening to a child with genuine interest and joy,” said Principal Kirk Ashton.

In addition to helping out with special activities, Raschke gives the students input on their writing assignments. “In a kindergarten classroom where there is never enough time to get to each child during a writing lesson, this helps them feel the importance of writing for an audience,” added Ashton.

Interim Principal Karen Spillman at Quest Elementary School honored Nancy Guenther, a.k.a. “Grandma,” who has been volunteering since her grandchildren attended Quest years ago.

“Grandma is a huge confidence builder for students, always encouraging them, praising their efforts and helping them to recognize the best in themselves,” said Spillman. “Grandma” works with students in their literature circles, independent reading and shares her own experiences.

At Village Elementary School, Principal Dr. Ben Rudd honored Parma Historical Society members, John Adams, John Corcoran, Chuck Nichols and Frank Thomas, for their volunteer efforts and sharing their knowledge and expertise. “Our teachers appreciate the work that they do as they bring our social studies curriculum to life through the stories and artifacts they share,” said Rudd. “Their efforts have made a lasting impression for students and staff.”

The HCSD Music Department recognized Charlie and Christine Martella as Friends of Education. The Martella’s have donated money, coordinated fundraisers, provided food for rehearsals, done hair and make-up for musicals, coordinated the 2017 Hilton Percussion Show, and transported instruments. “Charlie and Christine do all of this without being asked to do so,” said Music Department Coordinator Linda Davis.

Michael Giruzzi, director of Physical Education and Athletics, recognized Daniel Butts as the interscholastic sports Friend of Education. Butts not only serves as Sports Booster Club treasurer, but is involved with all fundraising and sponsored events.

This past year alone, the Sports Boosters, with Dan’s input, has generated close to $15,000 worth of goods and services for the athletic program. “Dan does everything with the best interest of the students and he does it with great pride and an outstanding perspective,” said Giruzzi.

The final Friends of Education award was presented by Superintendent Dr. Casey Kosiorek to Village of Hilton Mayor Joe Lee. Mayor Lee has worked with the Monroe County Department of Transportation on improving traffic safety in front of Hilton High School, is working on bringing back the Special Police to help with traffic control at large district events, and provided updates to district officials during the recent wind storm helping with important decisions on student and staff safety – just to name a few examples.

“We are so fortunate to have someone as devoted and caring as Joe to contribute to both our school and greater community,” said Kosiorek.

Provided information

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