Friends of Education

2023-24 Friends of Education

Every school year the Hilton Board of Education honors individuals and organizations in the Hilton school community who have contributed to the education of Hilton students through volunteering or other efforts. This year’s Friends of Education were recognized at the April 9 board meeting.

Hilton High School Principal Dr. Jeffrey Green honored Tom Venniro, Hilton-Parma director of Parks and Recreation, and Make a Difference Day chair. “Tom plans and provides programming for events that uplift our community,” said Green. “He always exemplifies ‘Cadet Pride’ in how he collaborates with the district each year for the annual Make a Difference Day event and works seamlessly with various stakeholders to provide the volunteer opportunities that positively impact countless members of our community.”

The Music and Theater Departments awarded the Leeroy Williams Music Award to Mary Pettine for all she has done for the Middle and High Schools’ musicals, supporting the choral program, and as a member of the Music Boosters. “Mary has been such a vital part of the high school musical volunteer network of parents, from ironing costumes to selling concessions, helping backstage and front of the house,” said Christine Blonsky, music teacher. “Mary is always present, always willing to support, and always with a smile on her face.”

Athletic Director Jeff Wheaton presented Kevin Farmer of Cardinal Sports Imaging with the Athletic Dept. Friend of Education honor. “For over 15 years, we’ve relied on Kevin’s professionalism, commitment, and dedication to providing the Athletic Department, yearbook, and families with high-quality photos,” said Wheaton. “It is through the Cardinal Sports Imaging team that we have been able to capture moments in Hilton athletic history that will provide lasting memories for our school community to cherish now and in the future."

Merton Williams Middle School Principal Dr. Marc D’Amico honored Charmy Perry, retired educator. Last year, she donated World War II artifacts to the Merton Williams Social Studies Department. “Charmy gave us living history; a museum’s selection of artifacts that share the story of the people on America’s Homefront and those fighting in the War. She could have brought the artifacts anywhere or kept them for her family, but she chose to share her love with the hundreds of students that will pass through Merton Williams Middle School,” said Anastasia Stamoulacatos, seventh-grade Social Studies teacher.

Melissa Perkowski, Northwood Elementary School principal, named Mishelle Kittlinger, parent volunteer, a Friend of Education. “Mishelle has consistently and frequently volunteered in each of her children’s classrooms,” said Perkowski. “She has shown considerable time and commitment and is often found collaborating with other parents and teachers to ensure events are successful.  Most recently, she has also assumed the role of Northwood VEPTO treasurer.”

Parent Molly Arnold received the Friends of Education Award for QUEST Elementary School for dedicating the past two years to co-chairing the PTSO. “Molly has taken on the responsibility of overseeing PTSO communication, including managing social media output. Molly's efforts have been instrumental in revitalizing the PTSO and fostering a sense of community involvement,” said Principal Derek Warren. “In addition to her leadership role, Molly actively volunteers, and sometimes leads various school events.”

Village Elementary School’s Friend of Education is Ann Donner, who has volunteered regularly since retiring from the District. “Working in classrooms, Ann’s nurturing approach with students and her positive influence as a role model are commendable,” said Principal Dr. Ben Rudd. “Ann connects with students, making them feel valued and successful with her encouraging words and actions. Ann’s flexibility and willingness to assist with whatever tasks arise demonstrate your genuine dedication to our school community.”

Superintendent Dr. Casey Kosiorek presented Jo Anne Antonacci, Monroe 2-Orleans BOCES superintendent, with the District Friend of Education honor. “Jo Anne has played an instrumental role in spearheading initiatives that have significantly enhanced the quality of educational services provided to the component school districts, including Hilton,” said Kosiorek. “As District Superintendent for the past 14 years, her leadership has been marked by dedication to collaboration, expertise, innovation, integrity, quality, respect, and responsiveness.”

Pictured: (l-r) Charmy Perry, Jo Anne Antonacci, Molly Arnold, Mary Pettine, and Ann Donner. Not present, Kevin Farmer, Mishelle Kittlinger, and Tom Venniro.

Pictured: (l-r) Charmy Perry, Jo Anne Antonacci, Molly Arnold, Mary Pettine, and Ann Donner. Not present, Kevin Farmer, Mishelle Kittlinger, and Tom Venniro.