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School Board Recognizes Exceptional Staff

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School Board Recognizes Exceptional Staff
Posted on 12/23/2014

At its Dec. 16 business meeting, the Portland Board of Public Education and Portland Superintendent Emmanuel Caulk honored four staff members for their outstanding service. Recognized were teacher and coach Rocco Frenzilli; nurse Becky Bell; speech therapist Lisa Downey; and special education teacher Ted Hummel.

Caulk introduced each staff member.

He said that Frenzilli has been with Portland Schools almost 40 years, serving in many different capacities including teacher, athletic director and coach. This past fall, Frenzilli was inducted into the Maine Sports Legend’s Hall of Honors for his commitment to the Portland High School soccer program. He started the program in 1972 and with the exception of his two years as the PHS athletic director and a stint teaching in Biddeford, has led the Bulldogs ever  since. In addition to soccer, Frenzilli has also coached a U-19 rugby team since 1996. Currently, Mr. Frenzilli teaches earth science and physical education at Portland High School.

“He is a true gem, a wonderful mentor who knows how to lead students both on and off the fields,” Caulk said. “We congratulate Rocco on his achievement and thank him for his many years of service to the Portland Public Schools.”

Caulk praised Bell, a school nurse, for “her outstanding service to the Portland Public Schools and the Casco Bay community.” He described her as “a consummate professional who is profoundly dedicated to both promoting student wellness and improving her craft. Becky is a vital member of the Casco Bay Student Support Team. Her wisdom, expertise, caring and follow-through are all crucial in our support for students, especially those most at risk.“

In November, Bell orchestrated Casco Bay High School’s first school wellness fair, including exhibitors and vendors from around the state. Students and parents actively engaged in the proceedings, and it was so successful that the school plans to repeat it. In addition to serving the diverse needs of students of two schools (CBHS and PATHS), Bell is an active leader in the state association of school nurses. “We are so proud and fortunate to have Becky Bell in the Portland Public Schools,” Caulk said.

Downey is a speech therapist at Lyseth Elementary School and Lyman Moore Middle School. Caulk said, “Lisa is a hard-working therapist whose approach is student-centered. She provides invaluable knowledge regarding student needs in speech and language to IEP teams and offers creative solutions to address student concerns, even those outside the realm of speech and language. Lisa also advocates for addressing students' speech/language needs in regular education settings in order to promote carryover of skills learned in individual or small group therapy sessions. Lisa is a collaborative team member and is an essential member of the special education teams at both Lyseth and Moore and is well deserving of this special recognition for her work.”

Caulk described Hummel, aspecial education teacher at Reiche School, as “exceptional.”

“He is highly respected by his colleagues and parents for his professionalism and relentless work to meet the needs of students,” Caulk said. “He is very skilled at providing his students with a safe community while also supporting their unique learning needs. No matter what the challenges his student’s face, Ted goes above and beyond his usual work responsibilities to ensure that each student has a successful school experience at Reiche. Thank you, Ted, for all the work you do for Reiche students and the district.”