By TRACEY O’NEILL
Special to the Standard
NORTH KINGSTOWN–Prior to the North Kingstown School Committee’s scheduled work session on Tuesday evening, members of the school committee, staff, family and friends joined Superintendent Philip Auger in honoring two North Kingstown education workers.
Receiving awards were Toni-Annette Sylveira, named Teacher of the Year and Elizabeth Tully, taking Top Educational Support Worker of the Year.
Awarded with floral bouquets and honorary plaques, the two women were heralded “for their dedication to the children and families of the North Kingstown School Department.”
Mrs. Sylveira, known throughout the North Kingstown school community, has been a music teacher for more than 17 years.
At the helm of the high school jazz bands, Sylveira has nurtured many young musicians, honing their skills and encouraging them to excel in personal goals, as well as team competition. As an additional conduit of learning, the North Kingstown High School graduate also serves as a conductor for the all-state jazz program.
In bestowing teacher of the year honors, Dr. Auger spoke highly of Sylveira’s dedication to the students. “So many members of the community speak glowingly of Mrs. Sylveira - the work she has done with our kids- the love and appreciation they have for music.”
“I am humbled by the award,” said Sylveira who thanked her husband, family and friends for their continued support. “I could not have done this without you.”
Receiving the award for Top ESP Support Professional of the Year was Liz Tully, the front office secretary at Suzanne M. Henseler Quidnessett Elementary School. Ms. Tully, the first face the children at Quidnessett have seen in the morning for over 20 years and very often the last seen before going home, was heralded as “the childrens’ best friend.”
Honored by principal Louise Denette, Tully’s years of dedication were difficult to condense into a few moments. “Liz is the backbone of our school,” Denette said. “There isn’t one aspect of the school that she hasn’t influenced.”
Organizing school activities and events, Tully has left her mark on children and families in many forms. The force behind the annual school plays, coaching, teaching, producing, creating and sewing costumes, Tully has stood behind the curtain as the children put on numerous productions.
“Not only the plays,” continued Denette. “Liz is also responsible for the school yearbook. I could go on for hours.”
Tully, who spoke with emotion, centered her comments around the children of Quidnessett.
“I love the kids, I love my job,” she said. “We have some of the neediest kids in the town, but they are the best kids in the town.”
In a work session Tuesday, the School Committee tackled a number of administrative items, approving the consent agenda and discussing a number of unfinished business items.
Of note was approval of the Administrative Organizational Chart and several amendments to district wide Health and Wellness policies.