The Founders' Day Awards celebrate committed parent volunteers and/or staff members from each school. Each honoree has been selected to recognize his or her service and dedication to go above and beyond for the students of Glens Falls City Schools.
The recipients of this annual award are selected by the Parent-Teacher-Student Associations, based on their devotion, positive attitude, and work ethic, among other qualities. Congratulations and thank you to the 2017 Founders’ Day honorees!
The Jackson Heights school community is pleased to recognize Donnah Digan Lewis as this year’s Founders’ Day award winner.
“Donnah has been immeasurably valuable to Jackson Heights,” says principal Carrie Mauro. “Donnah currently serves as co-president of the PTA. She is a great champion for Jackson Heights. Her warm and loving personality help bring together our school community.
"Donnah is always willing to pitch in and go the extra mile for our kids," Mrs. Mauro continues. "She has organized the Fall Fun Fair, Election Day Bake Sale, Book Fair and even staffs the grill at our Family Picnic! Congratulations, Donnah - we love you and all that you do for us!”
The Middle School is proud to announce Tammy Noonan, Donna Murray, Dan Hopler and Hank Dwyer as the recipients of the 2017 Founders’ Day award. “These individuals are the lunch room monitors and have the Herculean task of keeping over 600 children safe and controlled during the most unstructured part of the school day,” explains PTSA secretary Renee Borgos. “They perform their duties with patience, kindness and a genuine concern for the welfare of the students. It is our pleasure and honor to recognize their dedication to what can sometimes feel like a thankless job.”
“I call her the Queen of the Cafeteria,” says dean of students Kristina Hubert. “She is always putting a smile on the faces of many students. She takes her job seriously but can also have fun with the kids.”
“One word to describe Tammy is ‘ENERGIZED,’ says secretary Nancy Campagnone. “She brings something very special to the middle school cafeteria when she comes to work every day. She always has a huge smile and just an all over happy-to-be-here attitude. She gets along great with the kids and with the staff as well.”
"Donna (or Miss Donna as the kids call her) is the senior member of the Cafeteria Monitors and she knows the drill,” says Mrs. Campagnone. “She is organized and hardworking and knows what has to get done. She loves the kids and you can tell she really enjoys coming to work every day. Always has encouraging, kind words for all of us! She comes in early every day and walks the halls to get her exercise! She always has a big smile and a wardrobe that would make any lady proud. Everything matches from shoes to scarves... she always looks amazing.”
“Donna is the person I go to when I need to find students,” says Mrs. Hubert. “She holds students accountable and is always willing to help when needed.”
“Dan loves the kids too,” says Mrs. Campagnone. “He can often be found out on the field during recess.” He is always interacting with the students, teaching them new games to play,” agrees Mrs. Hubert. “He volunteered to take over the recycling program in the cafeteria.”
“Dan is a world traveler who loves to go on his cruises and vacations to warm destinations with his wife and family – often coming back with a story to share with us,” continues Mrs. Campagnone. “Dan respects the kids and takes a genuine interest in each of them. He tries to get to know them by name, which is not an easy task with over 600 students in the middle school!”
“Hank is a wonderful asset to our cafeteria,” says Mrs. Hubert. “He is always looking out for the students. He helps keep the kids safe but also allows them to have fun.”
“I have had the pleasure of knowing Hank and his family for many years,” says Mrs. Campagnone. “We were neighbors and our children grew up together, and our families have remained close. It was not uncommon to find Hank throwing a baseball in the back yard to our boys when they were little. He never missed a baseball game. As a cafeteria monitor, it is great to see Hank is still playing with the kids. You can tell he really enjoys what he does in his retirement years and the kids love him.... calling him Mr. Hank! He knows many of them by name and if he happens to stop in the office and one of them is upset, he takes the time to ask them how they are. He is encouraging and caring. A great guy!”
Big Cross elementary parent Dusty Fisher has been a volunteer with the PTA for five years, and has served as president over the past two years. “During her five years as a parent at Big Cross, Dusty has volunteered at a variety of events, and has organized and directed many school activities,” says Big Cross principal Debbie Hall.
“Dusty has volunteered to organize and distribute Original Works, a creative arts project that turns student artwork into keepsakes, headed up School Spirit Wear, and coordinated student yearbooks—which are given to Big Cross students free of charge. Dusty has also volunteered to be a homeroom parent, help at Picture Day and the book fair, the Harvest Dance, and the Spring Fair.
"Dusty can always be counted on to go above and beyond for the
students, staff and community at Big Cross. Thank you to Dusty
for all that she has done!!”
Parent volunteer Erin Harrington has been involved with Kensington Road School since the first of her three children started there in 2010. "Whether it's a dance routine needed for the talent show or a leader/cook in the kitchen for the spring fair, she is the one everyone looks to for a helping hand," says KRS principal Jen Hayes.
"Just a few of the activities she's been in charge of or involved with throughout the years include Junior Achievement, Kids on the Move/Girls on the Run, the Giving Tree holiday gift drive, and Odyssey of the Mind.
"In addition to all of this, she is every mom's go-to person when you need someone to pick up your child from school, on very short notice, a wife and mother with three great kids, a teacher at Bluebird’s Nest and yet she still found the time to run the Ragnar Race.
"Erin is an amazingly kind friend to children and adults alike. We thank her for everything she has done for our children!"
The High School PTSA has chosen coach and teacher Stephen Zurlo to be honored this year for Founders Day. "We would like to acknowledge him for his dedication to our students by attending dances and events at the school," says PTSA vice president Terri Surprenant.
"If there is something going on, he is there!!! He is very approachable and well-liked by students and parents. We also appreciate his efforts in obtaining a new PA system for use by the school. (In the photo at left, Coach Zurlo is using the PA system on the first day of school.) His sense of humor and his love of athletics is what makes this year's honoree extra special!"
Coach Zurlo was an honoree during Teacher Appreciation Week in 2015, and his profile can be read HERE.