2019-2020 Recipients

 
Dr. George Stone, the district’s superintendent for the past ten years, is the June 2020 recipient of the Lakeland Central School District’s Mission Essential Recognition Award.

Board President Michael Daly recognized Dr. Stone with the award during a virtual surprise ceremony held as part of the June 4 Board of Education meeting which was held remotely.

“Dr. Stone has provided everyone in the Lakeland community—staff, students, parents -with a calming voice as we have made our way through this unprecedented time. His community messages have been a welcome guide as the district has made its way through the Covid-19 pandemic.”

“George’s leadership, both recently and during his ten years, has exemplified the district’s mission. He has consistently shown the qualities set forth in the district’s mission: respect, kindness, responsibility, accountability, and honest and ethical behavior.”

“It is only fitting that we present this year’s final Mission Essential honor to Dr. George Stone as he prepares to move onto the next phase of his life.”

The goal of the Mission Essential Recognition Program, which began in January 2019, is to identify and recognize employees who, in their contributions and service to the District, exemplify the district’s Mission, Core Beliefs, and Vision.

These individuals are “Mission Essential.” The district recognizes and appreciates that the Lakeland Central School District is rich with talented and dedicated employees. EVERY staff member has an important role, responsibility, and stake in the safety, security, and success of our students.

Any district staff member, student, and community member can nominate District employees for consideration using the online form. A committee of district stakeholders will meet to consider all nominations and select that month’s honoree. Anyone not selected is reconsidered in the next review. Dr. Stone is the seventh recipient this year.


Benjamin Franklin’s Beth Luft Honored as the District’s

May 2020 Mission Essential Recognition Program Recipient

Beth Luft, the social worker at Benjamin Franklin Elementary School since 2006, is the May 2020 recipient of the Lakeland Central School District’s Mission Essential Recognition Award.

Board President Michael Daly and Superintendent Dr. George Stone recognized Luft with the award during a virtual surprise ceremony held as part of the May 28 Board of Education meeting which was held remotely. Beth will receive a specially developed pin and a certificate mailed to her home. She was nominated by multiple people.  Here are a few of the accolades.

“It is rare to see the kind of selfless commitment to service that has been displayed by Beth Luft.”

 “Volunteering large amounts of time and energy to help ensure children and families have enough to eat is commendable, but volunteering this time and effort in the middle of a very serious health pandemic crisis, goes above and beyond the normal call for service.”

“Beth is the epitome of kindness, always approaching others with a smile and readiness to listen and support.”

“In her role as a social worker, Beth is respectful towards all, ready to listen without judgment regardless of the issue brought to her. Beth is recognized as a skillful, empathetic, and dedicated social worker within Ben Franklin and also among her peers.”


Joanna Staino (March 2020)Mission Essential Joanna Staino

Superintendent Dr. George Stone, Assistant Superintendent for Instruction Dr. Karen Gagliardi, and Assistant Superintendent for Human Resources Dr. Tammy Cosgrove presented Staino with the award in a surprise ceremony held March 4 at George Washington Elementary School. Recipients receive a specially designed pin and a certificate. All winners will be recognized at the Board of Education meeting in June 2020.

“Joanna Staino is the epitome of what it means to be a Lakeland School District employee. She is a true advocate for her students, putting in hours of time well beyond the working day to ensure that each student receives service above and beyond what is required,”wrote her colleague Kristina Vucetic in her nomination.
 
“Joanna is respectful of all of her colleagues in the building. She is kind when guiding others and respectful of her students,” continued Vucetic. “Joanna always has a smile on her face and lends an ear for advice even on her busiest days. She truly cares about those she works with and for.”

“She holds herself and her colleagues accountable for their work. Being in her presence makes you a more educated employee, and individual. Joanna lives by the Lakeland employee code. She is honest and ethical in all of her dealings,” wrote Vucetic. 

“She is the true meaning of a kind, respectful, accountable employee and I can think of no one more deserving of this award than her,” added Vucetic.

The goal of the Mission Essential Recognition Program, which began in January 2019, is to identify and recognize employees who, in their contributions and service to the 
District, exemplify the district’s Mission, Core Beliefs, and Vision. These individuals are “Mission Essential.”

The district recognizes and appreciates that the Lakeland Central School District is rich with talented and dedicated employees. EVERY staff member has an important role, 
responsibility, and stake in the safety, security, and success of our students.

This is the fifth recognition for the 2019-2020 school year and the ninth award given in the program.
Any district staff member, student and community member can nominate District employees for consideration using the on-line form. A committee of district stakeholders meets monthly to consider all nominations and select that month’s honoree. Any nominee not selected one month is then reconsidered in the next review.

Michelle Cooke (February 2020)Michelle Cooke

Michelle Cooke, a third grade teacher at George Washington Elementary School, is the February 2020 recipient of the Lakeland Central School District’s Mission Essential Recognition Award.

Board President Michael Daly and Superintendent Dr. George Stone presented Cooke with the award in a surprise ceremony held today, February 5, at George Washington ES. Recipients are given a specially developed pin and a certificate. All winners are then recognized at the year-end Board of Education meeting in June 2020.

“I honestly cannot say enough positive things about Mrs. Cooke. I am sure she goes to work each day and fully knows that many people rely on her to do her best. This is effortless for her,” said GWES Parent Christine Goh in her nomination. “Teaching, her school, and her students are 100% in her heart…She turns her classroom into a family. She fosters a positive environment in which eight-year-olds  support each other,” she continued.

“Mrs. Cooke takes her responsibility as a teacher very seriously. She knows that children and parents rely on her to be fully present each day,” explained Mrs. Goh.

“Mrs. Cooke fosters a very inclusive classroom environment...She encourages all of her students to do their best, and reiterates that they can do anything if they try and never give up. She fully accepts her role and responsibilities to our school community and executes them to the highest standards,” added Mrs. Goh.

This is fourth recognition for the 2019-2020 school year and the ninth award given in the program.


Stephanie Consolo (January 2020)

Mission Essential Stephanie Consolo January 202Stephanie Consolo, an Office Assistant at Lakeland Copper Beech Middle School, is the January 2020 recipient of the Lakeland Central School District’s Mission Essential Recognition Award.

Board President Michael Daly and Superintendent Dr. George Stone presented Consolo with the award in a surprise ceremony held January 15 at the Middle School. Recipients are given a specially developed pin and a certificate. All winners are then recognized at the year-end Board of Education meeting in June 2020.

“Ms. Consolo treats everyone from the youngest student to assistant principal and guidance counselors with the utmost respect and kindness, modeling the behaviors we all wish to see in our students, which is ethical, honest, respectful, and kind,” explained Catherine Pascucci, who nominated her. “No matter how chaotic the 7th grade office may become, she is serene, patient, and funny,” she added.

The goal of the Mission Essential Recognition Program, which began in January 2019, is to identify and recognize employees who, in their contributions and service to the District, exemplify the district’s Mission, Core Beliefs, and Vision. These individuals are “Mission Essential.”


Greg Coen (November 2019)

megregcoen

Greg Coen, an Assistant Director of Technology, is the November 2019 recipient of the Lakeland Central School District’s Mission Essential Recognition Award.

Board President Michael Daly and Superintendent Dr. George Stone presented Coen with the award in a surprise ceremony held December 4 at the Administration Building. Recipients are given a specially developed pin and certificate. All winners are then recognized at the year-end Board of Education meeting in June 2020. Greg has been with the district in the technology department since 2007.

“Greg exemplifies Lakeland's Mission Statement's practices and policies: respect, kindness, responsibility, accountability and honest and ethical behavior,” wrote the nominators. “Greg takes his responsibilities seriously and is always performing with dedication and boundless energy. No problem is too difficult for Greg to handle. He is extremely respectful to everyone from administrators to parents.”


Lesile Portnoy (October 2019)Leslie Portnoy, a Math AIS Teacher at Benjamin Franklin Elementary School, is the October 2019 of the Lakeland Central School District’s Mission Essential Recognition Award.

Leslie Portnoy, a Math AIS Teacher at Benjamin Franklin Elementary School, is the October 2019 recipient of the Lakeland Central School District’s Mission Essential Recognition Award.

Board President Michael Daly and Superintendent Dr. George Stone presented Portnoy with the award in a surprise ceremony held November 6 at Benjamin Franklin Elementary School. Recipients are given a specially developed pin and certificate. All winners will be recognized at the year-end Board of Education meeting in June 2020.

“Mr. P. is an incredible educator and an even more incredible human being,” read the nomination. “He cares so much for each and every student, and for those kids that really struggle he somehow knows EXACTLY what they need to succeed.”

“Mr. Portnoy understands each and every student’s abilities and respects their needs. He tailors everything he does to the individual's needs and abilities,” continued the nomination. “The respect and kindness that he shows each and every student; the time he takes to understand their needs and figure out what works and what doesn't; the care and pride he shows in his work----all point to one of the most honest and ethical people I have met.” “The goal of the Mission Essential Recognition Program, which began in January 2019, is to identify and recognize employees who, in their contributions and service to the 

District, exemplify the district’s Mission, Core Beliefs and Vision. These individuals are “Mission Essential.”
“We recognize and appreciate that the Lakeland Central School District is rich with talented and dedicated employees. EVERY staff member has an important role, responsibility and stake in the safety, security and success of our students.”

This is the first recognition for the 2019-2020 school year and the sixth award given in the program.

Marilyn Ojeda (June 2019)
Marilyn Ojeda Honored as District’s  Fifth Mission Essential Recognition Program Honoree

Marilyn Ojeda, English as a New Language teacher at Van Cortlandtville Elementary School, is the fifth recipient of the Lakeland Central School District’s Mission Essential Recognition Award.

Board President Denise Kness and Superintendent Dr. George Stone presented Ojeda with the award in a surprise ceremony held June 3 at Van Cortlandtville Elementary School. Recipients are given a specially developed pin and certificate. All winners will be recognized at the year-end Board of Education meeting in June.

“Marilyn always has a smile on her face, regardless of the intensity of the situation. She is kind and nurturing. She can make young children who are new to the country and very scared feel safe and secure with her kindness,” said the staff member who nominated her. “She makes every person and family feel as though they are important, welcomed, and that they matter,” they added.

“Marilyn never hesitates to help and always does so with a smile and welcomed sense of humor. Marilyn's role at Van Cortlandtville is crucial and she is irreplaceable,” they added. “Marilyn is accountable for the needs of many children, as well as their families. She is able to make sure that those who need information get it in a timely manner and is always available to facilitate further communication,” they added.

“Marilyn displays respect to her colleagues, administration, students, and families. No matter the situation, Marilyn treats everyone with the respect that they deserve.”

The goal of the Mission Essential Recognition Program, which began in January 2019, is to identify and recognize employees who, in their contributions and service to the District, exemplify the district’s Mission, Core Beliefs and Vision. These individuals are “Mission Essential.”

“We recognize and appreciate that the Lakeland Central School District is rich with talented and dedicated employees. Every staff member has an important role, responsibility and stake in the safety, security and success of our students.”

Although this is the final recognition for the 2018-2019 school year, the district will resume recognition in Fall 2019.

Any district staff member, student and community member can nominate District employees for consideration using the online form. A committee of district stakeholders will meet monthly to consider all nominations and select that month’s honoree.  Anyone not selected is reconsidered in the next review.


Kathleen McCay (May 2019)
Kathleen McCay Mission Essential
Kathleen McCay, a fourth grade teacher at Benjamin Franklin
Elementary School, was named the fourth recipient of the Lakeland Central School District’s Mission Essential Recognition Award.

Board Vice President Rachelle Nardelli and Superintendent Dr. George Stone presented McCay with the award in a surprise ceremony held May 7 at Benjamin Franklin Elementary School. Recipients are given a specially designed pin and certificate. All winners will be recognized at the year-end Board of Education meeting in June.

“Ms. McCay is the type of teacher every parent hopes their child will have. She always goes above and beyond for the children and families she works with,” said Cristina Roncari, the parent who nominated Ms. McCay.


Dr. Margaret Rogers (April 2019)
Dr. Margaret Rogers, the district’s long-time physical therapist, is the thirdrecipient of the Lakeland Central School District’s Mission EssentialRecognition Award.

Dr. Margaret Rogers, the district’s long-time physical therapist, is the third recipient of the Lakeland Central School District’s Mission Essential Recognition Award.

Board President Denise Kness and Superintendent Dr. George Stone presented Dr. Rogers with the award in a surprise ceremony held today, April 10, at Van Cortlandtville Elementary School. Recipients are given a specially developed pin and certificate. All winners will be recognized at the year-end Board of Education meeting in June.

Anyone who knows or works with Margaret knows that she can be found on the move, running from building to building, as she carries out her duties as a physical therapist for students throughout the district.

“It is a privilege for me to nominate Margaret Rogers; she truly exemplifies all that is good in the world and demonstrates the BEST of Lakeland Central School District,” wrote her colleague Jennifer Kalbfell in nominating her.

“Margaret shows respect to all. She is caring and respectful of her students’ needs, making herself available to students when they need her assistance. She does not create a schedule that works for her, she always puts the needs of her students first,” said Kalbfell. “Margaret is one of the kindest people I know. She extends this kindness to both students and staff of the district. When students reach goals, she is their biggest cheerleader.  She is so exuberant and makes students feel like they have won a gold medal.” And her efforts extend to the students’ families and staff.

“Margaret has a strong sense of accountability and she strives to help students meet their PT goals in order that these students will be able to fully access their education, community, and home,” added Kalbfell.

Her work extends beyond the school day and has included running an after school fitness program for middle school and high students and creating an after-school yoga program at the middle school and George Washington ES. In return, she only asks for a donation which is then given to a charitable cause within the district.


Susan LaCalamito (March 2019)
Susan LaCalamito, second recepient of the Lakeland Central School District's Mission Essential Recognition Award
We are excited to announce that Susan LaCalamito, a long-time school monitor at Lakeland Copper Beech Middle School, is the second recipient of the Lakeland Central School District’s Mission Essential Recognition Award.

Board President Denise Kness, Board Vice President Rachelle Nardelli, and Superintendent Dr. George Stone presented LaCalamito with the award in a surprise ceremony held this morning, March 13, at the middle school. Recipients are given a specially developed pin and certificate. All winners will be recognized at the year-end Board of Education meeting in June. Annie Scarola, a Senior Office Assistant in the Pupil Personnel Services Department, was the first honoree in February 2019.

If you have ever been to the district’s middle school, Sue’s smiling face is the first one you typically see upon entering the building. A district employee since 2003, Sue began her time in Lakeland as a school monitor at Thomas Jefferson before taking her current position at Lakeland Copper Beech Middle School in February 2009.

“There are so many times every day I watch her display the district's mission, vision and goals,” explained Kim Cardillo in nominating Sue for the award. “She looks to ensure the safety and security of students and the building at all times…If she sees an upset child or a family in need, she directs them to the proper channels or the proper channels to them.”

“Sue takes her job very serious. Safety and security is her number one priority at the front. She follows protocols with safety and security always, but is quick acting and thinking when an issue arises that needs judgment calls. She not only does her job well at the front desk, but she has it mastered,” said Cardillo.

“Sue is an exemplary employee that always goes above and beyond her job description to help others or do what is asked of her. You will never hear her say it is too much. She is beyond being a team player. She is highly deserving of this recognition. She is an asset to this district,” concluded Cardillo.

The goal of the Mission Essential Recognition Program, which began in January 2019, is to identify and recognize employees who, in their contributions and service to the District, exemplify the district’s Mission, Core Beliefs and Vision. These individuals are “Mission Essential.”

“We recognize and appreciate that the Lakeland Central School District is rich with talented and dedicated employees. EVERY staff member has an important role, responsibility and stake in the safety, security and success of our students.”

Any district staff member, students and community members can nominate District employees for consideration using the on-line form. A committee of district stakeholders will meet monthly to consider all nominations and select that month’s honoree.  Anyone not selected is reconsidered in the next review.


Annie Scarola (Feburary 2019)
Annie Scarola

Annie Scarola, a Senior Office Assistant in the Pupil Personnel Services Department, is the first recipient of the Lakeland Central School District’s Mission Essential Recognition Award.

Board President Denise Kness and Superintendent Dr. George Stone presented Scarola with the award in a surprise ceremony on February 8, 2019. Recipients are given a specially developed pin and certificate. All winners will be recognized at the year-end Board of Education meeting in  June.

Annie began working in the district in 2003 and came to the Pupil Personnel Services Department in January 2008.  In nominating her, Dr. Catherine Le Blanc cited the many ways that Annie meets each of the district’s core belief statements of respect, kindness, responsibility, accountability, and honest and ethical behavior.

“Each and every day Annie comes to work to help children and families. She interfaces with hundreds of providers, parents, administrators across 2-3 counties, and approaches all relationships with an open and honest attitude,” wrote Le Blanc. “She is the first staff person that our parents encounter. With each and every parent, from the youngest non-English speaking parent to great grandparents acting as guardians for their young family members, Annie listens to all parental concerns with patience and respect, wrote Le Blanc.  “In sum, please give attention and recognition to…a face that exemplifies the mission, vision and goals we all hold dear,” concluded Le Blanc.