By Mary Pritchard, Contributing Writer
Shrewsbury – The end of school year rituals were a bit different this year for some longtime Shrewsbury Public Schools (SPS) staff members who packed up their tools of the trade as they embark on a new adventure: retirement.
Sue DiLeo has been with SPS for 25 years, the last 16 as a guidance counselor at Oak Middle School.
“I started out as a PE [physical education] teacher,” she said. “Many students would tell me about their problems and I liked talking with them so I decided to get my master's in counseling. It's rewarding when students come back after going to high school and tell me how much I helped them. Most days I went home from school feeling that I helped someone.”
Bonnie L. Narcisi is retiring after 35 years in education, 16 as the SPS director of music and theater.
“What has been most rewarding is when students have gained enough skill to perform beautifully without a director in front of them, or when they have become confident enough in their abilities to teach themselves,” she said. “I have truly enjoyed the relationships with colleagues, administrators and parents, and most importantly, having a hand in providing many wonderful musical and theatrical opportunities and successes for students of all ages.”
Mary Popp, R.N., says the biggest change since she began her career as a school nurse 30 years ago is that major allergies, complicated conditions and mental health issues are more prevalent in children today.
“Watching children come to school?and grow in stature and intellect is amazing,” she said. “I had a fantastic career at Spring Street working with the best educators in the world.”
Patricia Degon, formerly a PE teacher at Coolidge Elementary, is retiring as the director of health, PE, and family & consumer science (FCS) after 32 years in Shrewsbury.
“My most rewarding experience was our recent award of the Get Fit Adventure, Carol M. White Physical Education Program grant for $1.4 million for our district,” she said. “During my career, accountability and data analysis has escalated and I applaud the opportunity to quantify the impact subjects like health, PE and FCS can have on students. These subjects are valued in our community and I deeply appreciate the support and wisdom of our families. I will forever be proud to say I worked for the Shrewsbury Public Schools.”
The following information about the retirees was provided by the SPS Central Office, along with a statement recognizing them for “their commitment and dedication to the children of Shrewsbury.”
Mary “Beth” Bedrosian served 23 of her 30 years in education at Shrewsbury High School (SHS) as a special education teacher.
Georgia Demarky-Anderson, served 38 years as an educator, with all 38 years devoted to Shrewsbury students.? She is retiring as the music teacher at Floral and Paton Elementary schools.
Jane Goddard served 25 years in education, 14 in Shrewsbury. Goddard is retiring as an English Language Arts teacher from Oak Middle School.
Amy O”Leary is retiring after having attained 50 years as an educator, all in Shrewsbury. She has taught various social sciences courses, beginning her career as a sixth-grade teacher. Most of her career has been teaching at the high school level. She is retiring as a social sciences teacher from SHS.
Elaine Fitzgibbon retired after nine years as an instructional aide at SHS; Robert Fitzgibbon II served nine years as an instructional aide at SHS; Colleen Nickerson served eight years as a child-specific aide at SHS and Beal Early Education Center; and Anita Magat served 22 years as a district technology support specialist, supporting Shrewsbury elementary schools.