For the fifteenth consecutive year, will honor ten individuals who have made significant contributions to education. Since its birth in 1998, this organization has taken a broad view of the term “education” as it has recognized individuals whose work has enhanced, expanded and facilitated learning. On Tuesday, January 24, 2012, selections for the 2012 Branford’s Education Hall of Fame were made. Ninety- nine individuals participated in the selection of inductees.
The 2012 Hall of Fame inductees are Barbara Cangiano and the Blackstone Library Research Dept.; Joyce Igo, retired Walsh Intermediate School special education teacher; Faith McCarthy, former Branford High school world language teacher; Gus Peterson, Walsh Intermediate school social studies teachers; John Prins, Branford Board of Education; Anna Puglia, Branford High School assistant principal; and Tom Salvin, Sliney School teacher; In addition, Zenia Smolenski, teacher and principal at the Harbor Street School; Nancy Knowlton, education activist; and Edward Hippolitus, Branford High School teacher and Career Education Coordinator will be inducted posthumously. The induction dinner will be held at Woodwinds Restaurant in Branford on Thursday, April 26, at 7:00 PM.
While the Hall of Fame has honored teachers and public school administrators, it has also inducted others. People like Timothy Blackstone, who gave Branford the Blackstone Library; Joe Trapasso, Branford’s former Recreation Director, who expanded sports competition for women and developed the “Golden Agers Club” which was a forerunner to the community’s senior citizens’ organizations; and the Branford Counseling Center’s Patricia Andriole; are only a few of the many non-teachers who have been recognized. Others include Monsignor Cornelius Teulings, the founder of St. Mary School, Peter Borgemeister, an environmental activist, Rev. Timothy Gillett, founder of the Academy on the Green, Janice Gruendel, children’s advocate; and Branford’s Florence Wald, founder of the Hospice Movement in the United States; and so many more. In the spirit of the African adage, “It takes a whole community to educate a child”, the Hall of Fame is dedicated to recognizing educators using the broadest sense of the term “education.”
Unlike many halls of fame, Branford’s Educational Hall of Fame does not have an actual area or building. Instead, the names of inductees are inscribed on a bookplate in the library books the organization donates each year to the Branford Public School libraries. The Hall of Fame has named this process “The Susan Spear School Library Book Project” in honor of a longtime Branford teacher and Branford Board of Education member who developed the concept. Approximately 890 books for school libraries and have been donated to school libraries and, in a sense, has become a functional, learning based hall of fame in the schools through these books.
Press release courtesy of Thomas Murray