“Thank you for everything you’ve given our students this year.” That was how Superintendent of Schools Stephen Tomlinson bid farewell to the faculty and staff of the Broadalbin-Perth Central School District during the district’s annual employee recognition program on Thursday, June 22. During the program, the district recognized those who are retiring, newly tenured faculty, and employees who reached service milestones during the 2016-17 school year.
Tomlinson also announced the winners of the sixth annual Outstanding Patriot Awards. Each year, Broadalbin-Perth recognizes a teacher, instructional staff member (teaching assistant, guidance counselor, psychologist, etc.) and non-instructional staff member (office staff, custodian, food service worker, bus driver, etc.).
Kelly DiNatale, a middle school science teacher, received the Outstanding Patriot Award: Teacher. DiNatale spearheaded the Splash Into Science Trip, through which two dozen middle school students spent their 2017 spring break in Key Largo, Fla., where they swam with dolphins, visited a turtle hospital, hiked and kayaked in the Everglades, and learned about marine biology and ecology. DiNatale advises the Community Service Club and National Junior Honor Society, and she is working toward her National Board Certification. DiNatale’s nomination was supported by letters from her colleagues, parents, and current and former students, all testifying to her warm and welcoming personality, creative approaches to teaching, and generous spirit.
High school teaching assistant Pam Passino received the Outstanding Patriot Award: Instructional Staff. The colleague who nominated her talked about how Passino connects with students, parents and visitors with her positive attitude, and described her as humble, hardworking and trustworthy. A letter of support from BPHS principal Mark Brooks and assistant principal Adam Barnhart praised Passino for her willingness to help out wherever she is needed, including filling in as the main office secretary during the busiest time of the year, handling the position “like a veteran.”
Jim Garner, who is completing his first year as the district’s director of food services, received seven separate nominations for the Outstanding Patriot Award: Non-Instructional Staff, from faculty, staff and students. Nominators praised Garner for increasing the variety on the menu, serving soup for staff on Thursdays, assisting the Nutrition Club with their fundraising efforts, and hosting fundraiser breakfasts and dinners for several student organizations. Garner has also catered several district-wide events during his first year, including the Senior Citizens Prom, the Father/Daughter Dance, and the Staff Wellness Day. One nominator wrote, “In one year, Jim became part of the B-P family. I see a difference in everyone around him. I love that he gives credit to all the workers. We are so lucky to have Jim.”