JPS Employees Honored By WNY Educational Service Council

Jamestown High School Teacher Michael Tuccio and Custodian Brenda Harding and Lincoln Elementary School Paraprofessional Marlene Piatz recently learned they will be honored at the Western New York Educational Service Council’s (WNYESC) 12th Annual Awards Banquet on Wednesday. Mr. Tuccio will receive the Award of Excellence for Teaching and Mrs. Harding and Mrs. Piatz will receive the Award for Excellence for Support Staff Services.

The awards will be given out at the annual banquet honoring teachers, support staff, administrators and Board of Education members. Nominations highlight how the nominee demonstrated dedication and exemplary service to the district and the regional educational community, how the individual demonstrated leadership, how did he or she make a difference in the district, and why he or she is an outstanding member of the district.

Mr. Tuccio has been with Jamestown Public Schools for 17.5 years. He currently teaches History and AP Psychology at JHS and serves as History Department Chair. Mr. Tuccio has changed the lives of countless students at Jamestown High School. Motivated by a personal quest for fairness and equality, he emphasizes elements of the curriculum that speak to the importance of social justice and civil discourse. Mr. Tuccio embodies the spirit of integrity as evidenced by his firm conviction and relentless pursuit to instill the same spirit in his students: all human beings, regardless of race, religion, or gender, deserve to live in a safe, well-ordered world, which offers equal opportunity to all. Broadminded and enthusiastic, Mr. Tuccio looks for ways to widen his students’ intellectual scope and understanding. He sets an example of animated, cheerful respect towards everybody.

Brenda Harding has been with Jamestown Schools for 21 years. The JHS faculty and students love her unfailing good nature, even temper and general affability making her an outstanding role model. Mrs. Harding has an enviable gift for multi-tasking and does everything with a smile. Mrs. Harding works with peers, teachers, administrators, staff, students and the physical plant, and she does so with consummate professionalism, infinite patience and unfailing good humor. She has the ability to make anyone to whom she is talking feel comfortable and special and her friendly disposition endears her to everyone. Mrs. Harding works behind the scenes to make sure that all JHS events run seamlessly. She quietly and tirelessly works to create an environment that allows the rest of us at school to do their jobs better.

Marlene Piatz has worked in the Jamestown district for 31 years and has worked at Lincoln for 30 years. To say she has dedicated her life to helping children excel is an understatement. Mrs. Piatz goes above and beyond her “job” on a daily basis. She never appears to have a bad day at work. She is loving, caring and patient with all students and staff and always puts others first. Her wonderful sense of humor and laugh lights up the room. She gently reminds adults around her that our students are just children and to handle them with care. Mrs. Piatz makes a difference every day because she truly focuses on each person. She believes we are here to help all kids shine. She is a great listener and connects with students to make them feel important. Most of all she makes everyone feel loved. Mr. Piatz has touched thousands of lives during her lengthy career.

“Jamestown Public Schools is very proud of Mr. Tuccio, Mrs. Harding and Mrs. Piatz,” said JPS Superintendent Bret Apthorpe. “They exemplify the high-quality work of our administration, teachers and support services that all JPS employees strive to achieve. Congratulations on a well-deserved honor.”

WNYESC is a non-profit educational organization affiliated with SUNY at Buffalo representing 70 school districts in an eight county region. For 12 years, it has sponsored an Excellence Recognition Program for support staff, teachers, administrators, superintendents, and board of education members. Those honored for this recognition have all had a very positive impact on their schools and school districts and the students they serve.