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Retirees praised at Fredonia schools

The Fredonia school board recognized several retiring teachers this month, with the 12 members departing having a combined 268 years of service for the district. Fredonia Superintendent Dr. Bradley Zilliox said the district is proud of the service the departing staff members have done.

“On behalf of our entire district, district office, and board of education, we certainly recognize, honor, and appreciate all the hard work of our retirees and those leaving the district,” said Dr. Zilliox.

Wheelock teacher aides Sharon Krzal and Carol Kinney, nurse Leisa Hellwig, and kindergarten teacher Tina DiCarlantonio, were all recognized first followed by Middle School computer teacher Kim Powell, career preparation teacher Mike Pauly, teacher aides Virginia Harper and JoAnne Ryan and music teacher Michael Mallory, who is leaving the district after 31 years. Middle School Principal Paula Troutman said Mallory has been pivotal in building the program.

“He’s done an amazing job,” she sid. “It will be hard to replace him. We have found someone, but having those years and those relationships are really hard to replace and we wish him well on his next adventure.”

High school career preparation teacher Audrey Lancaster is also leaving the district after 30 years. High School Principal Darrin Paschke said that he and Lancaster began at the district at the same time, and Lancaster is a teacher who was beloved by all her students. “She has the heart of our students and the pulse of our students. Students always feel very welcome in her classroom,” said Paschke.

See RETIREES, Page A3

“It’s a place to go after school for our students, who sometimes don’t like to go home. You can find them hanging out in Audrey’s room. It’s going to be a hard loss.”

High School teacher aide Stacy Conti and cleaner John Elliot rounded out the retirees recognized by the board.

Fredonia also recognized a couple new hires for the district, including special education teachers Kenneth Kwilos and Jessica Kwiatowski. Kwiatowski has Fredonia roots, earning her bachelor’s in childhood inclusive education at SUNY Fredonia in 2013. She completed her master’s in literacy at the University of Buffalo and has several different certifications. Kwiatowski has worked with students with disabilities at Salamanca and East Aurora, and was on hand Tuesday night to express her appreciation.

“I’m really excited for this opportunity and to be back in Fredonia,” Kwiatkowski said.

As for Kwilos, Zilliox said he brings a wide variety of background experience, focused on students with high levels of behavioral needs and alternate education settings. He earned his master’s degree from D’Youville College in 2011, and was a Special Education at Baker Victory Main school.

“He has a background that could have multiple applications at the district, long term,” Zilliox said. “But right now, he’ll really be a nice fit for our special education department.”

Middle school science teacher Ivy Krenzer is also being hired in a new role of technology teacher. Krenzer received tenure for her last position, then resigned and was brought back into her new role immediately.

“Ultimately, we will need to post for a middle school science teacher shortly,” Zillio said. “There may be some challenges there, but it’s also supporting an employee making a move and us feeling like she’s well qualified. She’ll be a great fit.”

In addition to Krenzer, Michelle Kuras, Mackenzie Sheldon, Troutman, David Denz, Katherine Beyer, Gina Davis, Jamie Radtke, Zachary Forys, Chandler Henningham, Mary Ivory, Kayla Wiskup, and Erin Guiffreda were each granted tenure to their respective positions.

The next meeting of the Fredonia School Board will be Wednesday, July 6 at 6:30 p.m., which is after their reorganizational meeting at 6 p.m. that day.

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