The second quarter winners in the “Successories” program have been selected for the 2016-17 school year, honoring two special education teachers, a teaching assistant, a school secretary, and a bus driver.
At the close of each quarter, a winner of a $25 restaurant gift certificate is randomly drawn from among the completed “Successories” forms at each school building. Carbon-copy forms and collection boxes to recognize district “Successories” — a combination of the words “success” and “accessories” — are in each of the main offices of Broadalbin-Perth’s four schools. Students, parents, community members and other faculty and staff are invited to fill out the forms to honor faculty and staff members for helping others become a success.
One person from among the completed forms each quarter also is selected to receive a personal day, which Superintendent Stephen Tomlinson will cover.
Michele Marotta, secretary at the Intermediate School, won this quarter’s personal day off. Middle school special education teacher Dan Schulz, intermediate school teaching assistant Nancy Curley, high school special education teacher Michael Ott and bus driver Mark Orlowski all won gift cards.
Marotta received a Successory thanking her for assisting the school nurses with a letter they had to send to parents, something she says she didn’t even think twice about. “It was something I could do in between things,” she said, adding that she didn’t think of helping out as going above and beyond.
Marotta, who is in her fourth year at Broadalbin-Perth, said with answering the phones and the door and helping staff and students alike at all times of the day, her job can be pretty chaotic and overwhelming. However, in the midst of at all, she finds the job very rewarding. “It’s different every day, and I’ve always loved being around children,” she said.
As for her day off, Marotta said she plans to accompany her daughter on the seventh-grade trip to Boston.
Ott, who also is in his fourth year of working at B-P, was recognized with a Successory for his work implementing the Patriot Coffee Cart, a service run by students in the Life Skills class that delivers coffee, tea and snacks to staff at the high school. “Thank you for finding creative ways to help students in the Life Skills class develop confidence and the career readiness skills needed for them to succeed after graduation,” the Successory read.
Ott said that’s exactly what he hopes the coffee cart will accomplish. “It gives purpose to a lot of the things we do,” he said, adding that the teachers and students love it.
Ott said what he likes best about his job is building relationships with students and giving extra support and guidance to students when they need it. Receiving this prize was a welcome surprise.
“It’s nice to be recognized for what you do day in and day out,” he said. “The more we celebrate the small things, the more positive of a school community we will have.”
Like Ott, Dan Schulz also is a B-P graduate who returned to the district as a special education teacher. In his second year working with seventh-graders, he considers it his ideal job. The icing on the cake for Schulz: he also serves as the JV basketball coach, a sport he played through high school and college.
The parents of one of Schulz’s students recognized him for never giving up on their son, thanking Schulz for his “extra support and constant concern for his academic success.”
“A lot of teachers do that, and we don’t see it as going above and beyond. We all want to see them succeed,” he said. “My favorite thing about this job is seeing how much students improve over the course of the year and seeing their confidence grow.”
Curley, who previously spent 10 years in the district and returned last year after working elsewhere, treasures her role as a teaching assistant in the fifth-grade. In fact, it doesn’t even seem like work because she loves the job and the students so much. “I wish I could bring them all home with me,” she said. “I get lots of hugs, and I give them back.”
She received a Successory from a teacher who wrote: “Your giving spirit makes the intermediate school a wonderful place for students and staff to work and learn.”
Curley was grateful for the recognition, saying: “We need more kindness, and I like to do nice things for others.” But she quickly turned the attention back to her students and colleagues. “We have great kids and a great staff. Everything just flows; it’s a very good culture here,” she said.
Orlowski has been driving a Broadalbin-Perth bus for 21 years and received a Successory from a parent who expressed gratitude for his “patience and understanding in helping get our little buddy to start his school day.”
Orlowski said he tries to be encouraging to this particular kindergartener, who has struggled with his transition to school. “I try to get him to calm down and give him a fist bump,” Orlowski said, adding that he’s glad to know the boy’s mother is appreciative. “It makes me feel like at least I’m giving her a hand.”
All members of the B-P community are encouraged to take the time to recognize the good work of others by participating in the Successories program. All employees of the B-P school district are eligible for the day off; though Tomlinson is not licensed to drive a school bus, Director of Operations and Safety Mike Carney will fill in if a bus driver is chosen as one of the quarterly winners.
The next drawing will take place at the end of the third quarter, April 7. At the end of the school year, a grand prize winner of a $100 gift certificate will be chosen from all Successories submitted during the 2016-17 school year.