School Board Recognition Month allows board members, students to interact

By Tony Callaio - For Sunday Dispatch
Michael Struckus, English Language Arts teacher, sings the National Anthem before the start of breakfast between students and members of the Pittston Area School Board at Martin L. Mattei Middle School in Hughestown. - Sean McKeag | Sunday Dispatch
School Board member Lori Cooper is introduced at the School Board Appreciation Breakfast held by the students at Martin L. Mattei Middle School in Hughestown. - Sean McKeag | Sunday Dispatch
Eighth-grader Kathryn Koss laughs with Marty Quinn, a 28-year Pittston Area School Board member, at Martin L. Mattei Middle School in Hughestown during the School Board Appreciation Breakfast. - Sean McKeag | Sunday Dispatch
Students wait in line to be served lunch at the School Board Appreciation Breakfast at Martin L. Mattie Middle School in Hughestown. - - Sean McKeag | Sunday Dispatch
Sixth-graders Meghan McCawley and Kylie Miller watch a presentation by fellow students during the School Board Appreciation Breakfast at Martin L. Mattei Middle School in Hughestown. - - Sean McKeag | Sunday Dispatch

HUGHESTOWN — Over the past two-years, school board members at Pittston Area got to sit down with students for a meal and program to observe School Board Recognition Month at the district’s various schools.

This year’s breakfast with students took place on Jan. 25 at the high school and Jan. 26 at the middle school where sixth and eighth-grade Student Council members met with board members.

At the middle school, board members were treated to poems by the students, a student piano recital along with breakfast and a questions and answer session. Student Council advisors Bridget Brogan and Colleen McGlynn McAndrew coordinated the event.

It’s a day elected officials spend time with students to find out what they think about their school. Five of the nine board members were able to attend breakfast at Martin Mattei Middle School. Present were Dr. Lori Cooper, Martin Quinn, Dr. Frank Serino, Joe Salvo and Roseanne Ricotta.

“It’s always a great opportunity with kids, especially on that level with middle school,” Pittston Area School Board president Roseanne Ricotta said. “They are going through a lot of changes and we get to sit down with them to see what they like, what they don’t like, what their favorite activities are and what they’d like to see in their school.”

The students are equally happy to see the decision-makers of the district come to their school.

“I had a chance to talk to (board member) Dr. Serino and it helped me understand more of what they do,” sixth-grade student Kylie Miller said. “It was a great opportunity to meet them and know them better. It’s good to see what board members are doing with the students; I think it’s important to have these events.”

Sixth-grader Meghan McCawley agreed with Miller, adding students had a chance to discuss many subjects, including the dress code at Pittston Area.

Middle School Principal Patrick Bilbow added having students interact with board members is important and essential so board members can better understand students.

“This allows them (board members) to see all the positive things and how happy the students are and what the buildings look like,” Bilbow said. “My only request at breakfast was board members sit among the students.”

School board member Joe Salvo was elected this past fall to fill the remaining term of Joe Kelly who resigned in 2017. Salvo took in his first School Board Appreciation breakfast at Martin Mattei Middle School.

“I was honored to sit with these kids and you can’t believe the questions they had for us,” Salvo said. “We had very, very intelligent conversations and, at the end, a student tapped me on the back, I turned around, he shook my hand and told me how much the students appreciated us taking the time out to talk to them.”

It’s always an eye-opener with the kids and they are honest; it’s always a great experience with them,” Ricotta concluded.

Michael Struckus, English Language Arts teacher, sings the National Anthem before the start of breakfast between students and members of the Pittston Area School Board at Martin L. Mattei Middle School in Hughestown.
https://www.psdispatch.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/01/web1_PSD012818Breakfast1.jpgMichael Struckus, English Language Arts teacher, sings the National Anthem before the start of breakfast between students and members of the Pittston Area School Board at Martin L. Mattei Middle School in Hughestown. Sean McKeag | Sunday Dispatch

School Board member Lori Cooper is introduced at the School Board Appreciation Breakfast held by the students at Martin L. Mattei Middle School in Hughestown.
https://www.psdispatch.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/01/web1_PSD012818Breakfast2.jpgSchool Board member Lori Cooper is introduced at the School Board Appreciation Breakfast held by the students at Martin L. Mattei Middle School in Hughestown. Sean McKeag | Sunday Dispatch

Eighth-grader Kathryn Koss laughs with Marty Quinn, a 28-year Pittston Area School Board member, at Martin L. Mattei Middle School in Hughestown during the School Board Appreciation Breakfast.
https://www.psdispatch.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/01/web1_PSD012818Breakfast3.jpgEighth-grader Kathryn Koss laughs with Marty Quinn, a 28-year Pittston Area School Board member, at Martin L. Mattei Middle School in Hughestown during the School Board Appreciation Breakfast. Sean McKeag | Sunday Dispatch

Students wait in line to be served lunch at the School Board Appreciation Breakfast at Martin L. Mattie Middle School in Hughestown.
https://www.psdispatch.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/01/web1_PSD012818Breakfast4.jpgStudents wait in line to be served lunch at the School Board Appreciation Breakfast at Martin L. Mattie Middle School in Hughestown. Sean McKeag | Sunday Dispatch

Sixth-graders Meghan McCawley and Kylie Miller watch a presentation by fellow students during the School Board Appreciation Breakfast at Martin L. Mattei Middle School in Hughestown.
https://www.psdispatch.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/01/web1_PSD012818Breakfast5.jpgSixth-graders Meghan McCawley and Kylie Miller watch a presentation by fellow students during the School Board Appreciation Breakfast at Martin L. Mattei Middle School in Hughestown. Sean McKeag | Sunday Dispatch
School Board Recognition Month allows board members, students to interact

By Tony Callaio

For Sunday Dispatch

Reach the Sunday Dispatch newsroom at 570-655-1418 or by email at sd@psdispatch.com.

Reach the Sunday Dispatch newsroom at 570-655-1418 or by email at sd@psdispatch.com.