By Roy Fuchs
Vince Fini, Chair Trumbull’s Business Education Initiative Board, and host of its Annual Recognition Awards Breakfast at the Library on Thursday, introduced presenters of the group’s Make a Difference Awards – plaques given to community volunteers who have helped make Trumbull the community it is.
Dr. Gary Cialfi, incoming Superintendent of Schools presented the first award to Frank Cicero, to recognize his years of service as Principal of our Agri-Science High School as well as his support of BEI.
Tracy Cranston and Shirley Tyzska presented Board of Finance member Tom Tesoro an award for making a difference during his eight years on that board. Tesoro said it is a “pleasure to be a part of this community,” then said “thank you to my wife (who was in the audience) for putting up with this.”
Dr. Linda Paslov, the district’s Director of Curriculum presented an award to Cathy Huffman, Team Leader of the district’s valuable Talented And Gifted program. Ms. Huffman thanked BEI and described a program it funded. “28 fabulous, inquisitive fourth graders” joined a state program to tag spawning horseshoe crabs as part of a census taking effort from Maryland to Connecticut. Ms. Huffman said her students were eager, despite making a few 3:00 a.m. wake ups to travel to Sherwood Island State Park in Westport.
Several students were so enthused with their class activity that they continued in the program, a few even determined they want to study oceanography.
The final presentation was the Ray Avery Award, given for exemplary service to the community. Suzanne Testani and Danielle Avery, Avery’s grand daughter-in-law, presented the award to Marisa’s Ristorante. Ms. Testani recognized their 16 years of providing food for all manner of community events and thanked Attilo Marini, Mario Marini and Renato Marini for “all you do for Trumbull.”
BEI Executive Director Dan Neumann had earlier called BEI’s programs “a unique partnership” – unlike anything in Connecticut or elsewhere in the country.
He told the group of about 70 people that BEI will focus on three primary tasks during the upcoming year:
- Developing new initiatives to bring BEI and our schools – at all grade levels – closer
- “Amping up job shadowing and internships”
- Increasing the Mini-Grant programs
Neumann also thanked John Annick, who founded the organization 16 years ago, built it to what it is, and recently turned the reins over, but remains engaged and active.