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PPS Retirees Honored at June 7 Ceremony

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PPS Retirees Honored at June 7 Ceremony
Posted on 06/07/2022
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Thirty-four Portland Public Schools retiring employees were honored by the Portland Board of Public Education and the district in a ceremony on Tuesday, June 7. Those recognized were teachers, educational technicians, bus assistants, custodians and maintenance workers, a secretary, cafeteria workers, a community coordinator, a mentor coordinator, the district’s facilities coordinator and the executive director of Portland Adult Education.

“Whatever your role,” Superintendent Xavier Botana told the retirees, “you have all worked to make a difference in the lives of our students, and we can’t thank you enough.” He noted that the retirees have collectively given more than 800 years of dedicated service to the Portland Public Schools.

“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,” Botana said. “Inevitably, every year during our budget process we hear 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 ultimately 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.”

The retirees’ length of service ranges from six years to 45 years. Most are retiring now, some retired earlier this school year and a few will continue with the district a few more weeks before formally leaving. The ceremony was an opportunity to formally recognize the retirees as a group. View the ceremony HERE.

Here is a list of retirees honored at the June 7, 2022 ceremony, with their most recent positions and years of service:

      Ardito, Barbara: teacher, Longfellow Elementary School, 28 years

      Ayers, Brian: head carpenter, Maintenance Department, 23 years

      Burek, Shelley: technology teacher, Lincoln Middle School, 27 years

      Carten, Laura: educational technician, Rowe Elementary School, 16 years     

      Chatterjee, Roy: mentor coordinator, Deering High School, 6 years     

      Cooper, Kathleen: teacher, Lyseth Elementary School, 32 years

      Coughlin, Susan: educational technician, Deering High School, 9 years

      Dimauro, Janice: secretary, PATHS, 13 years      

      Doane, Susan: educational technician librarian, Talbot Community School, 28 years

      Eacret, Diane: bus assistant, Transportation Department, 13 years

      Fournier, Debra: teacher, Deering High School, 39 years          

      Gillespie, Mike: head custodian, Central Office, 20 years

      Gillies, Mary Ellen: cafeteria worker, Talbot Community School, 28 years

      Goodson, Jean: custodian, Lyseth Elementary School, 31 years

      Hampton, Sarah: educational technician, King Middle School, 23 years          

      Haskell, Anne Marie: educational technician, Ocean Elementary School, 28 years

      Hey, Phyllis: community coordinator, Lincoln Middle School, 24 years

      Kazilionis, Deb: cafeteria worker, Lyman Moore Middle School, 16 years

      Keller, Suzanne: educational technician, Presumpscot Elementary School, 34 years

      Kem, Veasna: educational technician, Lyseth Elementary School, 36 years

      Kerkhof, Janny: educational technician, Reiche Community School, 24 years 

      Korthy, Laurie: educational technician, Talbot Community School, 26 years  

      Lindsay, Robert: teacher, Lincoln Middle School, 30 years

      McKenzie, Merita: teacher, Lyseth Elementary School, 45 years          

      Nichols, Larry: teacher, Deering High School, 36 years

      Piasio, Laurie: teacher, Lyman Moore Middle School, 18 years 

      Roast, Bonnie: cafeteria worker, Food Service Department, 10 years

      Ross, Melissa: educational technician: King Middle School, 29 years

      Scala- Nordstrom, Anne: educational technician, Rowe Elementary School, 34 years           

      Sherwood, Doug: facilities coordinator, Central Office, 21 years

      Simpson, David: teacher: Lincoln Middle School, 27 years        

      St. Onge, Anita: executive director, Portland Adult Education, 6 years

      White, Roland: bus assistant, Transportation Department, 11 years

      Yarmaloff, Stephanie: educational technician, Talbot Community School, 40 years

The Portland Public Schools is Maine’s largest school district, with approximately 6,500 students, and is also the most diverse. About one-third of the district’s students come from homes where languages other than English are spoken—a total of more than 50 languages. 51 percent of the district’s students are white and 49 percent are students of color. Approximately half of PPS students qualify for free or reduced-price school meals.