The week of November 10 was a special week for Hillside, which was named one
of 337 National Blue Ribbon Schools for 2014 this fall. Early in the week
a team of teachers and Principal Fasciglione traveled to Washington D.C. for the
official National Blue Ribbon School ceremony held by the U.S. Department of
Education. On Friday, November 14, the entire school celebrated the award with a
special "Hello Hillside" assembly.
At the assembly, Principal Shireen Fasciglione welcomed assembled guests, including Board of Education members, administrators from across the district, elected officials, PTO members, and former Hillside staff members.
Dr. Fasciglione also thanked the team who worked on the detailed Blue Ribbon submission to the U.S. Department of Education: teachers Miss Mathews, Mrs. Burke, Mrs. Druzynski, Mrs. Herrington, Mr. Lasher, Mr. Fisher, and Mrs. Mason; Library Media Specialist Mrs.Ubriaco; parents Mrs. Polsinelli and Ms. Gallo; and school secretary - Mrs. Lynne Felczak.
The celebration included the presentation of the National Blue Ribbon School
flag and the plaque from the U.S. Department of Education. Town Supervisor Joe
Landry, state Assemblyman Phil Steck, and representatives of U.S. Congressman
Paul Tonko and state Senator Hugh Farley also congratuled Hillside on the award.
The program included many musical selections that had everyone singing, and a video that featured Hillside students talking about what makes a Blue Ribbon school.
"A Blue Ribbon School looks like a team-working school," said one student. "A Blue Ribbon School sounds like the nice things that people say. A Blue Ribbon School listens to the teachers and classmates."
"Hillside did not just get a Blue Ribbon, it had to earn it," said another.
"Everyone had to contribute. The teachers did their part by teaching so students
would learn. Students did their part by working hard and getting good grades.
And the parents did their part by volunteering and helping the students."
Toward the end of the program, students and staff members surprised by Dr. Fasciglione with a special recognition of her leadership. They thanked her for everything she does to make Hillside a great place.
"A good leader is not afraid to stand up and take charge," said 5th grade student Aveneesh Benki, in reference to his principal. "They have to be courageous...and get their team to try their best."
"I'm honored to be the principal of such a fine school with such fine students and wonderful, supportive parents, and the most talented and best staff around," Dr. Fasciglione said. "I cannot tell you the pride that I feel each and every day when I come to Hillside School knowing that I work with such a fabulous group of people. And, to our students, I am so proud of all of you. Congratulations on your Blue Ribbon."