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Sayreville honors education support professionals

SAYREVILLE – Support staff members in the Sayreville School District have been honored for the 2017-18 school year.

During a Board of Education meeting on May 15, recognition was given to the district’s education support professionals of the year.

At Emma Arleth Elementary School, the Education Support Professional of the Year is Laurie Aich.

“She currently is working in one of our kindergarten MD rooms and just does an amazing job dedicating her time to support our students, giving them all the help that they need,” Principal Robert Preston said.

At Dwight D. Eisenhower Elementary School, the Education Support Professional of the Year is Linda Kudrak.

“[Kudrak] always had a smile on her face, greeted our families and children with warmth, and she is sorely missed at this point,” Principal Scott Nurnberger said. “She retired in December.”

At Harry S. Truman Elementary School, the Education Support Professional of the Year is Donna Marra. Marra not present at the meeting.

At Woodrow Wilson Elementary School, the Education Support Professional of the Year is Marleen Lewandowski.

“First day on the job and I stand outside, I want to meet everyone,” Principal Carmen Davis said. “I want to see the children, the families. Here’s Marleen, she knew every single person coming to the school. Every father, every grandparent, and I thought I could really learn a lot from this lady. And I have. Wonderful, such an advocate for the children. That’s really what it’s all about. Children first.

“I love your [Lewandowski’s] children-first attitude,” Davis continued. “I love the fact that you mentor other parents. I love the fact that you help support teachers. I love the fact that you support me. I love the fact that you’re in our building.”

At Samsel Upper Elementary School, the Education Support Professionals of the Year are Beth DeMaio and Samantha Attardi.

“I’ve been extremely fortunate over the years to work with many dedicated child study team members and related service providers, but Beth is truly amazing,” Director of Special Services David Knaster said. “If you want to keep up with Beth, you need rollerskates, particularly because she’s a long-distance marathon runner. She has the amazing ability to service all of our physical therapy needs throughout the entire district almost single-handily. So we really applaud her for her dedication.

“If you’ve sat with Beth in an IEP [Individualized Education Program] meeting, you will see that she is able to break down some pretty complicated and complex medical terms into language that we can all understand, as we service the most medically-fragile children in the district with Beth’s assistance,” he said.

“Samantha dedicated her life for many years to some of our disabled children in the district,” Principal Stacey Coglianese said. “She was a mom, a sister, a friend to many of the students, but also to her colleagues. She was a true definition of team player.”

At Sayreville Middle School, the Education Support Professional of the Year is Marie Basile.

“Mrs. Basile has been in the middle school cafeteria since 1996 and whenever we have special days and when things need to be made for the faculty, Mrs. Basile is right there,” Principal Donna Jakubik said. “That’s when [former teachers and twin brothers] Mr. [Anthony] Malara and Mr. [Joseph] Malara used to run down the hallway to get to the recipe that Mrs. Basile made.

“In addition to her contributions to the cafeteria, she’s also made a contribution to our staff at large at the middle school. Mrs. Basile has two daughters and a son, and one of her daughters is now one of the guidance counselors at Sayreville Middle School, Ms. Antonietta Basile,” she said. “So we thank you very much for raising such a wonderful young lady who’s such a great asset to our school.”

At Sayreville War Memorial High School, the Education Support Professional of the Year is Patricia Wlodarcyk.

“The most kind person in the world, works extremely hard at what she does and very adamant about every task that she takes on every day,” Vice Principal Richard Gluchowski said. “She ultimately [has] been around for approximately 16 years [and] she is on time every day. She ultimately has a great work ethic, which I absolutely love, because she does a lot of good stuff for me and [vice principals] Ms. [Megan] Romero and Mr. [Dale] Rubino.”

The Education Support Professional of the Year for the district’s transportation department is Joanne Leon.

“As a superintendent, I get a lot of phone calls and a lot of emails from our clients, our parents,” Superintendent of Schools Richard Labbe said. “You can imagine that a great majority of them may not be very positive. However, I tend to collect the positive ones.

“There were times where I felt like I was going to go crazy, but then every once in a while, I would get this amazing feedback from a parent with regard to one of our bus drivers. And the same name kept popping up. How this one particular bus driver knows all the students on her bus, is always on time, is always personable with the parents at the bus stop and demonstrates day in and day out how much pride she takes in the importance of her role in this district, and how much she truly loves and adores the children that she serves so well. So it’s our pleasure to introduce Joanne Leon.”

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