Log In

Reset Password

2024 Profiles In Professionalism Honorees Recognized At BOE Meeting



Text Size

UPDATE (June 3, 2024): This article has been updated to reflect the correct occupation of one of the honorees.


The twelve Newtown School District Profiles in Professionalism honorees were recognized at the Tuesday, May 21, Board of Education meeting.

According to Board of Education Chairman Alison Plante, who opened the meeting, the award is given to teachers or other staff members who are recognized by their colleagues for the “incredible work that they do.”

Superintendent of Schools Christopher Melillo called each honoree up one by one and presented them the signature apple Profiles in Professionalism award. He then detailed their history and experience within the district and read the comments from their colleagues who nominated them.

The first person recognized was Reed Intermediate School behavior therapist Jennifer Brodtman. She was nominated by her peers Kerry Iocomini and Suzanne Stephens for being “extremely hardworking and talented in her position. She continuously thinks outside the box and uses creative solutions to keep the students engaged, working and motivated. She demonstrates endless patience, dedication, and continuous effort that she puts in to ensure her students make progress.”

Newtown Middle School special education and Rise Program teacher Kerry Iacomini was recognized next. Suzanne Roe nominated her for “epitomizing exemplary professionalism. One only has to look at her dedication to integrating her Rise students into the fabric of the NMS community … Not only do these well-run programs she leads give rise to opportunities for students to sparkle and demonstrate their talents, but they also foster a spirit of giving and learning about differences on the behalf of peer mentors, faculty, and staff.”

Newtown Middle Gate Elementary School special education and PAL Program teacher Carola Amb was nominated by Claire DeSisto for “being hardworking and committed to making a positive impact on her students. She makes accommodations and provides support for her students with intuitive accuracy. Her care reaches to the very heart of each student.”

The next person nominated was Facilities Department Executive Administrative Assistant Susan DaPra. She was nominated by Archie Paloian and Mark Pirozzoli, who stated, “It is a pleasure to work with Sue over the past few years. She goes above and beyond to make sure that we have everything we need … Sue always looks out for us, and lends a hand when we need it, all while maintaining her positive, cheery attitude.”

After that, Middle Gate kindergarten paraeducator Lauren Nash was recognized. She was nominated by Alexa Calo, who stated that Nash is “someone who knows the kindergarten team and is always there to support her students. She attends support team meetings, gives input when it comes to progress reports and academics, and strategizes to help everyone … She went above and beyond her duties because she loves her job and her students.”

Technology Department technology coordinator Cindy Aponte was nominated by Anne Dalton. She stated that, “the technology department is the central hub for student operation in our school district, and Cindy’s friendly voice is the one that greets all who reach out for technical support … Week in and week out, she handles every manner of technical challenge and directs staff to help where it’s needed.”

NMS Executive Administrative Assistant Suzanne Zimmerman was nominated by Jim Ross and Brian Walsh, who stated, “Sue is one of the first to arrive at school, and will not leave until all work responsibilities are completed. She is an amazing colleague to all; an ultimate team player always willing to help anyone in need of assistance no matter what the request may be.”

The next person honored was Technology Department technology support specialist Nelson Santos. He was nominated by Cindy Aponte and Kellie Kyle, who stated, “Nelson’s dedication to his work and to providing the best possible support to staff and students is unprecedented. No matter the task, he approaches everything and everyone with kindness and patience.”

NMS special education paraeducator Susan Burbank was honored next and was jointly nominated by Ingrid Rousseau, Laura Bautista Casaos, Stehanie Ham, Pal Esposito, and David Halliwell, who stated, “Susan brings a positive, can-do attitude to every class that she supports. She frequently comes in early and stays late to make sure that she is prepared for every class that she attends.”

Newtown High School Lead School Security Officer Michael Delvecchio was nominated by Tony Paz, who stated, “Lead school security officer Delvecchio exhibits professionalism and goes above and beyond to ensure a safe and secure teaching and work environment for all students and staff at Newtown High School, before, during, and after regular school hours.”

Next up was Middle Gate first grade teacher Andrea Martinnetto, who was nominated by Lisa St Louis. She stated that, “Andrea has the heart, professionalism, and patience of a saint. She never breaks character, never raises her voice, and yet has total classroom management … She is the utmost example of a true professional.”

The last person nominated was Hawley Elementary School Language Arts Consultant Patricia Vitarelli. The BOE set things up to have a special surprise visit from her son online over Google Meet. She was nominated by Chris Moretti and Deborah Lubin, who stated, “Patty’s role as our language arts consultant is everyone’s lifeline … Her love and dedication for children in this profession is apparent in everything that she does. Her knowledge, expertise, and passion have become an invaluable resource at Hawley.”

A short reception followed after all the honorees were announced, with everyone breaking off to grab water and black and white cookies provided at the meeting.

Reporter Jenna Visca can be reached at jenna@thebee.com.

Twelve Newtown School District staff members stand alongside Superintendent of Schools Christopher Melillo (far right) for being recognized as the 2024 Profiles in Professionalism honorees at the Tuesday, May 21 Board of Education meeting held in the Reed Intermediate School library. —photo courtesy Donald Ramsey
Board of Education Chairman Alison Plante (left), alongside BOE members John Vouros, Donald Ramsey, Shannon Tomai, Christopher Gilson, Doria Linnetz, and Brian Leonardi discussed the 2024-25 education budget adjustments among several other topics during the meeting.
Comments are open. Be civil.

Leave a Reply