School board honors two
for 23 years of service

Two longtime elementary staffers, lauded for bringing out the best in students, were recognized last week as Rome school district employees of the month for February.

Amy Surrette, a music teacher at Stokes and Denti schools, and Mary Vincent, a teacher assistant at Gansevoort school, heard several testimonials from administrators and others at the Board of Education meeting. Both have been with the district for about 23 years.

Surrette is "the hand that reaches out to everyone in the school," and "she goes out of her way" to meet students’ needs, said Stokes Principal Judi Mullin. She is "very well respected" for the "dedication and enthusiasm" she brings to her work, said Denti Principal Sherry Lubey. Board member Louis Daniello credited Surrette for inspiring his son’s love of music, while district Superintendent Jeffrey P. Simons recalled seeing the "discipline and preparation" of Surrette’s students when he was an elementary principal.

Vincent, who works with kindergarten students, helps them "reach fullest potential" and is "able to see the very best in every child she works with," said Gansevoort Principal Kathy Bragan.

Teacher Nicole Chandler, who works with Vincent and nominated her, praised her many extra efforts including one-on-one sessions with students. Vincent is "a teaching partner more than a TA," and is "vital to the nurturing environment in kindergarten," Simons commented.