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Mount Pleasant Welcomes, Bids Farewell to School Faculty

THORNWOOD, N.Y. – Because the Mount Pleasant Central School District will soon say goodbye to seven teachers and faculty members, board of education member Francine Aloi reflected Tuesday night on her relationship spent with one teacher in particular.

“When I went to Westlake in the late 1970s, she taught business and I own a business today and she taught me everything I know,” Aloi said of Westlake High School Business teacher Elizabeth Zand, who is resigning after 40 years of teaching in the Mount Pleasant Central School District.  “We’re going to miss her.”

At Tuesday evening’s school board meeting, the district accepted the resignation of seven teachers while also granting tenure to 11 teachers and two administrators.  The resignations come after the district proposed a retirement incentive plan for teachers who were eligible to retire in order to save the district money in the upcoming school year’s budget.

In addition to Zand, Westlake High School psychologist John Petruska, Columbus Elementary School psychologist Catherine Corbin, Westlake High School English teacher Janet Salciccioli, Westlake Middle School science teacher Joseph Smaila, Westlake High School math teacher Duane Hovdestad and Westlake Middle School nurse Rosalie Murray will all be retiring this upcoming summer.

“In a way this time of the year is a little bittersweet because although we’re granting tenure to teachers we’re also accepting the retirement of teachers, some of which have spent as many as 40 years in our district,” Superintendent Susan Guiney said.  “I think it speaks to the dedication that these teachers have to our students.”

Mary Elizabeth Murray-Wilson, director of curriculum and instructional services, and Donna Pirro, athletics director, were among the 13 people granted tenure by the district.  The others included Ethel Anastasiou, Cami Maffei and Daniel Smith from Columbus Elementary, Jennifer Campbell and Kurt Thomas from Hawthorne Elementary, Theresa DiLeo, Vincent Iovane, Tricia Oliveras and Mary Knopp from Westlake High School, Nicole Donovan Lloyd as a district-wide school psychologist and Mary Skwarek as a teaching assistant.

“Each one of these teachers and administrators started their road within the district and they endured their probationary period and being awarded tenure is one of the most important things that the board can grant,” Guiney said.

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