When Jim Hilepo learned that his former science teacher William Voges, now an assistant principal at IS 61, was being honored at the annual District 24 Scholarship Dinner Dance, he made sure he was there for the April 24 event at Russo’s on the Bay in Howard Beach, Queens. Hilepo cites Voges as the teacher who inspired him to become the kidney specialist he is today. Voges is himself a graduate of District 24 schools and has worked at IS 61 for his entire 51-year career, with no thought of retiring. IS 61 Chapter Leader Joseph Natale cited the bond between student and teacher as “a testament to what’s best about the school system, and this event celebrates what’s most positive.” More than 375 guests dined and danced the night away at what PS 88 Chapter Leader Susan Stark described as “a celebration of the great things everyone does.” The event recognized eight educators, along with retiring PS 88 PTA President Mike Adams, for their outstanding service to the district’s educational community. Stark said Adams lived up to his motto, “What can we do for you?” Two students were each awarded a $1,000 scholarship. District 24 Representative John Harrington, the chair of the event, said UFT Vice President Karen Alford was honored for her years of ensuring equity and access for all the city’s public school students. The evening’s other honorees were Patricia Wingfield, a special education teacher at PS 7; Celia Hanney, a school counselor at IS 125; Maureen Ciuffo, a school nurse at PS/IS 113; Barbara Marchese, a paraprofessional at PS 153; Yolanda Fazzalari-Forcina, a school secretary at PS 71; and Tina Silvestri, a school aide at PS 19.
‘What’s best about the school system’
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