Sewanhaka Celebrates Excellence


The Sewanhaka Central High School District honored five educators with the Superintendent’s Teacher of the Year Award and recognized staff members with 25 years of service to the district at its Opening Day Ceremony, which was highlighted by unique presentations and student-musician performances.

On hand to welcome teachers back to school was Dr. Cheryl Champ, the assistant superintendent for curriculum and instruction.

“Those who choose to work in schools are special people,” Dr. Champ said. “You define true excellence, commitment and passion.”

Roseanne Mamo, the Sewanahaka Federation of Teachers president and Board of Education President David Fowler also offered words of encouragement.

“You are the front lines of our education system because you believe in the power of education and in the young people of our district,” Fowler said. “I want to thank you on behalf of the Board of Education and our community for all that you do.”

Kevin O’Brien, the assistant superintendent for finance and operations and Cenergistic Energy Specialist Stan Johnsen were also in attendance. O’Brien provided details on capital projects completed over the summer months, while Johnsen described ways the administration and faculty could assist in helping to cut the district’s energy costs.

A highlight of the ceremony was the presentation of the Superintendent’s Teacher of the Year Award for Profession Excellence given several, including: Carolyn Faggioni of Floral Park Memorial High School and Daniel Labbato of Sewanhaka High School.

The district also honored 16 faculty and staff members, recognizing them with plaques for their 25 years of service to the school community.

The ceremony ended on a high note with Superintendent of Schools Dr. Ralph Ferrie introducing five of the district’s incoming seniors to provide an inspirational message to the district’s teachers. The students selected one word that they felt described a good teacher — passion. The students then broke down the word letter by letter to exemplify characteristics they thought their teachers possessed, including patience, attentiveness and supportiveness.

The high school seniors ended their presentation by expressing short affirmations, followed by the question “Who am I?” The teachers provided the resounding response, “I am a passionate teacher.”

— Submitted by the Sewanhaka Central High School District

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