Wellesley Education Foundation, Wellesley College, and the Wellesley School Committee came together at Wellesley College’s Lulu Wang Campus Center to honor staff members who have contributed 25 years of their professional career to the Wellesley Public Schools. In appreciation for their years of service, the honorees received a captain’s chair embossed with the Town of Wellesley seal. Commonly known as The Chair Ceremony, friends and colleagues toasted (and roasted) the honorees with skits, poems, and personal speeches.
This year, WEF honored six individuals who have made a tremendous impact on the community:
Donna Arcudi, physical education teacher at WMS. In 2003, Donna was named Middle School Physical Education Teacher of the Year by the Massachusetts Association for Health, Physical Education, Recreation and Dance
Donna Chaff, music teacher. Chaff taught at six of the elementary schools in town, with most of her time spent at Upham. She was chosen as the Massachusetts recipient for the Society of General Music Excellence in Music award for 2011.
Suzanne Chmielinski, English teacher. Retired in 2015 from the English department at Wellesley Middle School, in 2013 Chmielinski received a WEF grant to support independent reading.
Beth Gillespie, food services and Production Center. Gillespie started her career at WPS in food services at the Middle School and has worked in the Production Center since 2000. She is a Wellesley native who attended Wellesley Public Schools, as did her children.
Jane Lord, business teacher, WHS. Lord teaches a number of business courses at the high school including Global Marketing, Business Law, and Business Entrepreneurship and Economics. Her students have learned how to develop a business plan, maintain the WHS store, gain a greater understanding of Third World issues, and how to make a difference helping impoverished Haitian artists.
Beth Watson, Fiske School secretary. Watson is another member of the 25-year club who also grew up in Wellesley and graduated from the Wellesley Public Schools. She has happily worked as the Fiske School Secretary for the past 26 years.
Congratulations and thank you to all the honorees and those who showed their appreciation to them on behalf of us all.