Fredonia district clerk bids farewell for new opportunity

The Fredonia Central School District is poised to lose its knowledgeable district clerk — a woman who wears many other hats, as well.

The board of education recently accepted the resignation of Wendy Heslink as secretary to the superintendent, district clerk, director of community education and athletic secretary, effective Sept. 30. Heslink will be the executive assistant to the superintendent at Hamburg Central School, pending board approval there.

Heslink noted Fredonia’s staff truly is a family, and she will miss that family immensely.

“When I started working here in 2004, I knew nobody, yet everyone made me feel welcome — including the faculty, staff, administration and community members,” she told the OBSERVER. “I’ve learned a lot while here, especially under the direction of (former superintendent) Paul DiFonzo. He and I worked together all 13 years I have been here. However, it’s time to venture into new opportunities, learn new things and challenge myself in order to grow more professionally.

“What will I miss the most about working at Fredonia Central? The kids. I am truly going to miss my interaction with so many of the amazing students here.”

Before the board voted on Heslink’s resignation, Board President Michael Bobseine joked there might not be enough votes to approve it. He praised Heslink’s dedication to the district for all these years.

“This is terrible for us to have to go through this, losing you from the district office,” he told her. “You’ve done such a wonderful job and we really appreciate it. We hope this is a good move for you. We’re going to regret losing you. I just want to thank you for everything you’ve done.”

A round of applause followed.

Superintendent Jeffrey Sortisio echoed Bobseine’s sentiments. He added Heslink has made him feel at home since he succeeded DiFonzo less than two months ago.

“Thank you for your expertise and your kindness and your guidance,” he remarked. “You said to me very clearly that you love this district, you’re dedicated to this district, you felt the acceptance and warmth from this district, but you wanted a new challenge. I know you have that new challenge and I know you’re looking forward to it and there’s no question in my mind that you’re going to conquer that one, as well.”

Heslink is the immediate past president of the National Association of Educational Office Professionals, which consists of about 3,500 members across the United States.