During the district’s Board of Education meeting on March 20, the Board approved the upcoming retirement of three beloved teachers. Forest Road Elementary School teachers Grace Guttman, Bruce Lesser and Patricia Serio were praised by the Board and Principal Erin Malone for their dedication to education throughout the years.
Guttman, a kindergarten teacher in the district was described as a nurturer by Principal Malone. “She has a manner to take care of everybody,” she said. “She really understands that at the foundation, academics are important but it’s the heart of the child that you have to get to. She goes that distance in finding out about the heart of each and every one of our children.”
Lesser, a teacher for 43 years in the district, made an impression on many of his colleagues and students as both a sixth-grade and fourth-grade teacher. “He is very unique because beyond the content knowledge, Bruce gets it,” said Dr. Stirling. “He understands that you have to connect with students first. You must develop relationships and he has definitely done that.”
Serio, a special education teacher that works at both Forest Road Elementary School and Clear Stream Avenue, received heartfelt messages from her peers. Principal Malone described Serio has having the three “C’s,” which are caring, commitment and consideration. “Pat, the children that have been under your care have been very, very fortunate,” she said. “As have the teachers and administrators that have been able to work with you.”
In addition, board trustees Carolyn Torres and Ingrid Wyllie-Dacon shared their personal accounts of each teacher and how influential the three individuals have been to their own children, who have been their students.
Guttman, Lesser and Serio received flowers as a thank you for their valuable contribution to the district. The Board of Education wishes each teacher the best of luck in their future endeavors.