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Friday, November 28, 2014
Above and beyond
Baldwin teachers honored for going extra mile
Brian Croce/Herald
Brian Croce/Herald Senior Victoria Wittemann honored three of her teachers, at the Baldwin School District’s 19th annual In Recognition of Excellence Dinner on May 28. From left, Richard Magnani, Christopher Soupios and Nadege Casseus.

Each year, hundreds of students graduate from Baldwin High School and move on to college and careers, having forged bonds with their teachers that shape not only who they are when they leave high school, but what they will become in the future.

As a way to acknowledge these bonds, the school district hosted its 19th annual In Recognition of Excellence Dinner on May 28, at which 10 students representing a range of strengths, including academics, arts and athletics, chose three teachers from their time in Baldwin to honor — one each from elementary, middle and high school.

Senior Caitlin Airey spoke of the life lessons she learned from Debra Dalder, her fourth-grade teacher at Meadow Elementary School; Francesco Iannucci, who teaches biology at Baldwin Middle School; and Ronald Ventura, a global teacher at the high school.

Airey recalled staying after school to help Dalder straighten up so she could be in the classroom longer; joining the Chess Club in seventh grade because Iannucci was the adviser, even though she didn’t know how to play; and devising a secret handshake with Ventura, which the two demonstrated at the ceremony.

Two students honored Gregg Kelley, a teacher in the BHS business department, for making a big difference in their lives. Jessica Pulis said that Kelley was easy to open up to, and helped coordinate her senior internship this year. “I really don’t know what I would have done without him,” she said.

Raymond Bosques spoke of the adjustment he made moving from Texas to Baldwin in eighth grade, and said that Jessica Elias, his first history teacher in the district, really went the extra mile to help him along the way. “Unfortunately for me, in New York the kids learned American history,” Bosques said, “while in Texas, up until ninth grade, we were only really exposed to Texas history.”

He has since become more comfortable in Baldwin, he said, and now serves as the Future Business Leaders of America Club vice president. He credits the achievement to Kelley’s taking him under his wing last year.

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