South Orange-Maplewood School District Honors 17 Retirees


At the heartfelt thank you and farewell to 17 SOMSD educators, retiring CHS Asst. Principal Cheryl Hewitt said of teachers: “The talent in this district is unparalleled, and if we get those systems going, we will be ahead of the game.”

0 FacebookTwitterPinterestEmail

The South Orange and Maplewood Board of Education honored 17 retirees at its annual Staff Recognition & Retirements meeting on Monday, June 5. The retiring teachers, administrators, and more collectively contributed over 360 years of service to the district.

The Board first honored Jean Johnson, a school nurse at Marshall Elementary School.  

“You are a staple in our school community. I don’t think there’s anyone who doesn’t trust you or feel cared by you,” said Laura Swyberius, assistant principal at Marshall Elementary School and one of Johnson’s colleagues. 

Marshall School nurse Jean Johnson at SOMSD Staff Retirement/Recognition ceremony

Johnson reflected on her time and experiences at Marshall. “This district means so much to me. All the kids that I have worked with throughout the years have meant so much to me,” said Johnson. 

Columbia High School Principal Frank Sanchez then introduced retiree Cheryl Hewitt, the grade 11 assistant principal. Sanchez thanked Hewitt for her work and discussed her retirement. “We are losing our heart. We are going to lose a great partner this year,” he said. 

CHS Asst. Principal Cheryl Hewitt retires

When accepting her honor, Hewitt discussed the talented teachers found throughout the school district. “The talent in this district is unparalleled, and if we get those systems going, we will be ahead of the game,” she said. 

Next, the Board honored Caralyn Moore, the legal secretary for the superintendent’s office. Superintendent Dr. Ronald Taylor thanked Moore for her dedication and warm personality. 

“Your momma bear influence is still in our office and in our hearts,” said Taylor. 

Moore reflected on her engagement with the community, especially with parents.  “I got to learn a lot. I never imagined I would have one-on-one parent time with the community. [The parents] taught me to have patience, to listen, and to understand what the issues were,” said Moore. 

Tuscan Elementary School’s Principal Malikah Majeed then introduced retiree Martha O’Connor. Majeed discussed O’Connor’s influence on students and faculty alike. 

“Martha is our soul sister,” said Majeed. 

Tuscan School teacher Martha O’Connor retires

O’Connor discussed her students and her love for them. “I’ve loved each and every one of them as if they were my own,” she said. 

Stacey Padalino, of Seth Boyden Elementary School, reflected on her time at Seth Boyden and its importance in her life. “It’s like a second home to me,” she said. 

Lastly, the Board honored Columbia High School English teacher Ulrike Wiede, who thanked her students and reflected on a saying she used to tell them. 

“I look at them, and say to them, ‘When I stop laughing, that’s when I know it’s time to leave. I am leaving, but I haven’t stopped laughing.”

Columbia High School English teacher Ulrike Wiede at SOMSD retirement ceremony

The following teachers and administrators were honored, but not present at the meeting: Gerald Archibald, Dr. Janet Bustrin, Beatrice Greenberg, Line Marshall, David Mastrodonato, Mark Richman, Stacey Robinson, Amy Singer, Bernadine Smith, Mark Terenzi, and Faraja Thompson.  


Related Articles