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Rotarians Honor Local Students, Teachers

Tuesday, May 11, 2009

Pics from this event

At its Tuesday morning meeting at Café 322, Sierra Madre Rotary Club honored two students from La Salle High School, and teachers from six local schools, presenting them with certificates, plaques and checks. 

Receiving checks in the amount of $500 were students Lauren Schenker and Tracy Sullivan.  Thanks to AP courses, both students have GPAs in excess of 4.0, Miss Schenker at 4.464 and Miss Sullivan at 4.2.  Miss Sullivan, a Sierra Madre Rose Princess, is a CA Scholarship Federation member, received gold honors in multiple subjects, and has volunteered at, among other places, Sierra Madre library, Arcadia Methodist, and St. Rita’s Elementary School.  She was recently awarded the 2009 Sierra Madre Youth Service Award.  Miss Schenker also won gold honors in multiple subjects, is also a member of the CA Scholarship Federation member and the National Honor Society.  She too has volunteered extensively, including at the Pasadena Humane Society, and the Arcadia Recreation Society among several other places.

“It’s absolutely our pleasure, as a club, to have you here as our guests and to recognize the great job that you guys do,” said Rotary president Jeff Porter as he opened the meeting.  “Obviously, this part of Rotary is near and dear to my heart, teachers never get enough recognition, obviously you know they don’t get back one tenth of what they deserve as far as an hourly wage for what they do, so just the opportunity to say thank you is fabulous for me,” added Alverno Principal Ann Gillick, who was on both the Student Scholarship Committee and the Teacher Recognition Committee.

Principal Gillick presented Cynthia Cales to the Rotarians. Ms. Gillick praised Cales for her tireless enthusiasm and for overseeing two theater productions at the school this year, noting that “it was the life lessons that were learned by Cynthia’s students that made all the difference.” 

Bethany Christian School principal Jim Lugenbuehl then introduced Colin Johnson.  Mr. Lugenuehl spoke about the different types of teachers there are, the role players and the leaders, and lauded Johnson as one of the leaders, willing to take on teaching any of multiple subjects, and able to not only recognize when something is needed, but able to fill those needs.

Patty Patano of Gooden School recognized Andrea Haan. Principal Patano noted that as principal of an elementary school, she walks around looking for “the hum” in a classroom, because she knows that that’s where the best learning is taking place.  She says that when she walks into Ms. Haan’s classroom, she can hear and see the hum, as the students are collaborating, working together and bouncing ideas off each other. 

La Salle Principal Bonacci brought Jane Osick to the stage, and praised the “marvelous job” Osick had done this year in helping the school through hits accreditation process while continuing to teach English and foreign language, and chairing the English Dept.  He noted that she had been selected to receive the Rotary award because her colleagues had selected her as La Salle’s Educator of the Year award.

Alison Snow of Sierra Madre School was introduced by former principal Ty Gaffney and current principal Gayle Bluemel.  Principal emeritus Gaffney thanked Snow for her always calm demeanor, noting that she seldom raises her voice, and the students respond in kind, that they love being in her class.  He added that as a principal he knew that he could always count on her support and her loyalty.  Bluemel spoke of the wonderful spirit of individualism that is living and thriving in Snow, and how she brings that spirit to the classroom.

Ryan Hagen was introduced by St. Rita Elementary principal Joanne Harabedian, herself a winner of Rotary recognition as a teacher in 2004.  She stated that Hagen is a native born Sierra Madrean and a St. Rita and La Salle alumnus who has returned to teach at the school where he first “began his love of learning…in the kindergarten class.”  She praised him for being the ultimate gentleman, a student, interested, and non-judgmental. 

Student Scholarship Committee:             Ann Gillick and Pete Siberell

Teacher Recognition Committee:            Carmen Thibault, Ann Gillick, and Lynn Cirino


Rotarians Pete Siberell and Ann Gillick of the Student Scholarship Committee and the Teacher Recognition Committees

Siberell, Gillick, Tracy Sullivan, Lauren Schenker, Rotary Pres. Jeff Porter

Lauren Schenker (L) and Tracy Sullivan (R) of La Salle High School with their principal Patrick Bonacci

Principal emeritus Ty Gaffney and Principal Gayle Bluemel of Sierra Madre Elementary (not pictured Alison Snow), La Salle Principal Frank Bonacci (not pictured Jane Osick) Gooden School principal Patty Patano and teacher Andrea Haan, Bethany principal Jim Lugenbuehl and teacher Colin Johnson, Alverno Principal Ann Gillick and teacher Cynthia Cales, St. Rita teacher Ryan Hagen (not pictured principal Joanne Harabedian) at Rotary Teacher Recognition meeting.  The missing individuals had left to return to their duties at their schools before the picture was taken.

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