Retirees given warm send off

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When Mathew Pasquale started at the Alexandria City Public Schools as the adult marketing coordinator in 1970, he looked at the technology involved with the IBM Selectric Typewriter and could see the way of the future for ACPS. At the ACPS Annual Retirement Recognition Awards ceremony, he looked back on his career and the advances in everything from the mechanical drawing class to the new design of T.C. Williams High School.

We realized then, he said, we tried to stay at least current and tried to stay a step ahead, of the technological advances. Over those 37 years, Pasquale said he noticed that the school system was focusing more on the individual students and their needs.

Pasquale was among 44 teachers, principals, administrative staffers and custodians at the ceremony held June 5, celebrating their careers and achievements with the school system. Careers with the school system spanned from six years to Pasquales 37 years, but many had experience from other school systems as well. In addition to all the friends and family at the ceremony, Superintendent Rebecca L. Perry and Assistant Superintendent of Human Resources and emcee Cheryl Ross-Audley attended.

Thank you for choosing a profession that shapes so many lives, Perry said. You have a great deal to be proud of, she said.

To the backdrop of Dream Retirees, an artistic endeavor on the stage with stars and visors for each retiree, Ross-Audley called out the names and noted their achievements as they filed onto stage. Each person received a gift bag with a photo album, a disposable camera, a photo box and a book How to Retire Happy, Wild and Free.

Mount Vernon Community School Principal Lulu Lopez worked with several programs in the school system. Her biggest achievement was knowing that I helped create the program in which our students are flourishing, she said.

Christiane Kelley-Riveles revealed her secret behind her 15-year career as an English as a Second Language teacher at Hammond Middle School. You have to love the kids no matter what theyre doing, she said.

The evenings festivities included a reception beforehand, with caricature artists drawing teachers portraits.

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