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PPS Retirees Recognized June 16

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PPS Retirees Recognized June 16
Posted on 06/17/2020
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More than 40 Portland Public Schools retiring employees were honored by the Portland Board of Public Education and the district in a virtual ceremony June 16. The event was held via Zoom due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Although this year's retirement celebration is a virtual one, … our gratitude to all you retirees is very real,” Superintendent Xavier Botana told the group. “Collectively, you have given more than 1,100 years of dedicated service to the Portland Public Schools. That’s amazing!”

The 44 retirees recognized at the ceremony included many longtime teachers, ed techs, secretaries, a social worker, a guidance counselor, a custodian, and a bus driver. Also part of the group were two longtime assistant principals – David Turner at Riverton Elementary School and Peter McCormack at Lyseth Elementary School – and Deborah Mullis, the district’s director of student support services.

Botana said that whatever the retirees’ role, “you have all worked to make a difference in the lives of our students. We can’t thank you enough.”

The retirees’ length of service ranged from four years to 39 years. Some of the group are retiring this month, some retired earlier this school year and a few will continue with the district a few more months before leaving. The ceremony was an opportunity to formally recognize them all as a group.

One retiree, Lisa Hollis, school secretary at Deering High School, was honored posthumously. She officially retired in August 2019, but returned to Deering on a temporary basis this school year. She passed away in May, after giving five years of dedicated service to the district. “She will be missed,” Botana said. “On behalf of the Portland Public Schools, I extend our deepest condolences to her family.”

School leaders or other supervisors gave a brief presentation about each retiree at the ceremony. As a small token of thanks, the district provided retirees with the gift of a clock.

Botana said, “This is always a bittersweet event as we combine our gratitude for your years of contributions with the realization that as you leave, we are losing a wealth of knowledge, expertise and commitment. Sometimes we hear surprised comments about the fact that 80 percent of our budget goes to salaries and benefits for our staff.  Those of us who work in schools know that it is because we are a People business.  Without the greatest team of people, we wouldn’t be able to do any of what we do.  Our Portland Promise recognizes that People are our greatest resource.  And this group is further evidence of that … you have made us what we are and we are forever in your debt.”

To see a YouTube video of the June 16 retirement ceremony and learn more about each retiree’s career at PPS, go to: https://youtu.be/xlWaSUwv9ck

Here is a list of retirees honored at a ceremony June 16, 2020, with their most recent positions and years of service:

·      Adams, Gerri: guidance counselor, Deering High School, 34 years

·      Alexander, Tambria: teacher, East End Community School, 17 years       

·      Bellot, Pamela: school secretary, Peaks Island Elementary School, 25 years

·      Carmichael, John: teacher, PATHS, 35 years 

·      Cohan, Diane: ed tech, Reiche Community School, 32 years

·      Cohen, Carolyn: PE teacher, Ocean Avenue Elementary School, 28 years 

·      Conley, Margo: educational technician, Deering High School, 20 years     

·      Conroy, Kathleen: teacher, Rowe Elementary School, 31 years      

·      Deniso, Graham: teacher, Portland high school, 33 years               

·      Evans, Julia: administrative secretary, Deering High School, 21.5 years

·      Feijoo-DeWitt, Juanita: teacher, Ocean Avenue Elementary School, 19 years

·      Fisher, Kathleen: teacher, Riverton Elementary School, 23 years  

·      Hanifi, Zarmina: teacher, Portland High School, 37 years   

·      Ho, Chi: custodian, Lincoln Middle School, 27 years

·      Johnson, Cynthia: teacher, Riverton Elementary School, 32 years

·      Lippert, Timothy: teacher, PATHS, 14 years

·      Loring, Barbara: teacher, Portland High School, 36 years

·      Lowell-Riley, Judi: teacher, Ocean Avenue Elementary School, 17 years 

·      Martin, Cynthia: teacher, Portland High School, 33 years

·      McCormack, Peter: assistant principal, Lyseth Elementary School, 36 years

·      McGraw, Clinton: bus driver, Transportation Department, 22 years

·      Michaud-Rolfe, Audrey: teacher, Deering High School, 38 years

·      Miller, Robert: custodian, Deering High School, five years              

·      Muccino Salzberg, Annemarie: transition strategist, Central Office, 35 years     

·      Mullis, Deborah: director of student support services, Central Office, 15 years

·      Peison, Esther: ed tech, Lyman Moore Middle School, 30 years     

·      Priesser, Denise: PE teacher, Lincoln Middle School, 17 years       

·      Quinn, Michael: teacher, Portland High School, 29 years    

·      Reburn, Kristen: teacher, Riverton Elementary School, 32 years

·      Rhinehardt, Peter: teacher, BREATHE program, 19 years   

·      Rogers, Steve: teacher, Deering High School, 23 years

·      Ross-Papke, Leslie: teacher, Lyseth Elementary School, 33 years

·      Russell, Susan: teacher, Lyseth Elementary School, 34 years

·      Santiago, Blanca: social worker, Multilingual & Multicultural Center, 4 years      

·      Sherry, Sandra: teacher, Rowe Elementary School, 37 years

·      Shmitt, Sarah: teacher, Deering High School, 20 years         

·      Smith, Loretta: ed tech, Ocean Avenue Elementary School, 34 years

·      St Clair, Katherine: teacher, Rowe Elementary School, 39 years    

·      Stimpson, Linda: teacher, Lyseth Elementary School, 20 years

·      Taylor, Cynthia: teacher, Rowe Elementary School, 31 years

·      Tomshick, Carol: secretary, Portland High School, 29 years

·      Turner, David: assistant principal, Riverton Elementary School, 26 years

·      Wing, Judy: teacher, Presumpscot Elementary School, 37 years

Lisa Hollis, school secretary at Deering High School, was honored posthumously at the ceremony for her five years of dedicated service to the district. She officially retired in August 2019 but had returned to the school on a temporary basis this school year. She passed away in May. The Portland Public Schools extends its deepest condolences to her family.