Hilton Central School District’s board of education annually honors individuals and organizations in the community who contributed to students’ education through volunteering or other efforts.
This year’s Friends of Education were recognized at a recent board meeting.
Brian Bartalo, principal of Hilton High School, recognized Bianca D’Angelo, assistant district attorney for Monroe County and adviser for the mock trial team. D’Angelo, a 2004 Hilton graduate, works with the team from December through April, teaching trial procedure and polishing their arguments.
“We are confident that, because of Bianca’s vast trial knowledge and experience, we are as successful as we have been in the Rochester area mock trial competitions,” said Mary Pignato, team adviser.
Tracie Czebatol, principal of Merton Williams Middle School, presented the Friends of Education Award to Joseph Capria, who reads to seventh- and eighth-graders for three hours every school day.
“Mr. Capria’s time with students expanded beyond reading and now includes writing support and serving as a positive role model and mentor,” Czebatol said. “Each day, he makes a point to make each student feel as though his or her needs are his only concern in the world.”
Angelo Iacuzza received the Friends of Education Award for Northwood Elementary School. He volunteers in the kindergarten classrooms, helping students with writing assignments and preparing materials for lessons and literacy stations, along with assisting in the cafeteria and volunteering for VEPTO events.
“Angelo has the rare gift of really listening to a child with genuine interest and joy,” said Kirk Ashton, principal. “When the children see him, they jump up and greet him warmly. They know they have a caring and special friend in Mr. Iacuzza.”
Derek Warren, principal of Quest Elementary School, honored Sarah Carbonaro, who volunteers regularly throughout the school. This year, Carbonaro helped organize a Joy Shop at holiday time where students and families could purchase handmade items as gifts, with the proceeds donated to fight hunger locally and globally.
“Sarah’s passion for our school is contagious, and her generosity is beyond appreciated,” Warren said.
Ben Rudd, principal of Village Elementary School, honored John Bateman, who leads students through hands-on scientific experiences and shares the expertise he’s cultivated as a research scientist at The College at Brockport.
“In doing so, Mr. Bateman provides opportunities for students to learn about science both in and out of the classroom,” Rudd said. “What’s more, he collaborates with teachers in preparing for each visit that has helped to bring our curriculum to life.”
The Hilton CSD Music Department recognized Susan Conolly with the Leeroy Williams Music Friends of Education Award.
“Ms. Conolly has devoted countless hours and her many talents to outfit the students involved in musical performances,” said Hope Randolph, music teacher. “She has come in to size costumes for students during the school day, make alterations to costumes as needed and, in some cases, has even made new costumes for one or more students from scratch.”
Michael Giruzzi, director of physical education and athletics, recognized Rick Pendleton, of Village Radio, whose broadcasts of athletic events created excitement and support for the student athletes, school and community.
“While his station is changing format and will no longer be able to broadcast the games, RJ has offered to donate the equipment and help us as we look to continue the great product that Village Radio began three years ago,” Giruzzi said.
The final Friends of Education award was presented by Superintendent Casey Kosiorek to industry mentors for the Hilton High School FIRST Robotics Team.
“Each of our mentors has dedicated over 100 hours to growing this rookie team from two high school students to the current 15 members,” Kosiorek said. “The mentors are positive role models, not just within the industry that they work, but also for our students and the wider school community.”