East Coldenham Elementary School recently celebrated three remarkable community members during its 27th annual Founder’s Night.
Each year, individuals are awarded with the school’s Founders’ Award and the Distinguished Service Award. The Founders’ Award acknowledges a person who has significantly impacted the students and/or staff of East Coldenham and the Distinguished Service Award is given to a previous Founders’ Award recipient who has continued to go above and beyond to support the school.
Mary Pettine, Secretary to East Coldenham Principal, Marianne Serratore, was the 2017 recipient of the Founder’s Award.
Just prior to presenting the award, Ms. Serratore and Tara LaPierre, East Coldenham’s PTA President spoke to Ms. Pettine’s kindness, professionalism and dedication to the children of East Coldenham and the greater Valley Central community, citing her volunteer work with both the PTA and the Montgomery Food Pantry.
“She values this community and is always giving,” Ms. Serratore said. “So now it is so awesome that we can give to Ms. Pettine, because there is no one that is more deserving of this award.”
Jeannemarie Flannigan, VCMS Physical Education Teacher and retired teacher John Bonagura were honored with the 2017 Distinguished Speaker Award.
Mr. Bonagura, a former Founder’s Award recipient who taught in Valley Central for more than thirty years, remains an active part of the EC community as a substitute as well as a volunteer. Whether he is covering extended absences as a substitute teacher, assisting with EC holiday traditions, chaperoning field trips or helping to tally the final counts for various fundraisers, he is a consistent, friendly face to all of the students in EC.
Ms. Flannigan was instrumental in bringing the Special Olympics to Valley Central. After taking the initiative to earn her own Special Olympics Coach certification, she helped to establish a small Valley Central team. Now in its fourth year, the official Valley Central team has tripled its student participation and expanded the number of events that the teams participate. Because of her efforts, VC students of all abilities have the chance to compete in athletic events.
“We are so proud of all of these recipients,” Ms. Serratore said. “Each one’s contributions has had a positive impact on our students and we’re fortunate to have them as members of our community.”