Schools lose 20 employees to retirement




While Southington High School sent off more than 450 graduating seniors last week, the entire Southington Public School district will be saying goodbye to a number of faculty and staff members. During the 2019-19 school year, a total of 20 employees announced their retirement. Their length of school service spans from eight years to 41.

“It is always with mixed emotions that we say goodbye to our retiring staff members,” said superintendent of schools Tim Connellan.

DePaolo Middle School guidance counselor Stephen Nyerick tops the list with 41 years of service.

A total of seven retiring employees gave 30 to 39 years or service; 11 gave 20 to 29 years; nine gave 10 to 19 years, and one gave eight years of service.

“We are always happy for them that they have reached the point where they are ready to move to a new stage of life,” said Connellan. “At the same time, we are always sorry to see them go. It is often difficult to make up for the loss of their experience and passion for education.”

Southington High School will say goodbye to the most employees (12), including principal Brian Stranieri (37 years) and asst. principal R. Jeffrey Shaw (29 years); art teacher-department head Thomas Horanzy (35 years); secretary Kathleen Huard (33 years); agricultural science teacher Diane DiGioia (31 years); security attendants Kenneth Berkmoes (28 years) and Randall Blair (21 years); school nurse Zoe Backus (25 years); special education paraeducators Jacquelyn Esposito (19 years) and Lesa Gemmell (10 years); health and physical education teacher Claudia Ashline (18 years); and math teacher Jennifer Steinberg (13 years).

In addition to Nyerick, DePaolo Middle School will be losing math teacher Betsy Mauri (20 years) to retirement.

John F. Kennedy Middle School will retire three staff members: social studies teachers Anne Chubet-Mangiacopra (36 years) and Susanne Blaszczyk (38 years); and language arts teacher Victoria Craigie (33 years).

Derynoski Elementary School will be losing three staff, including special education paraeducator Marilyn Smith (22 years); kindergarten teacher Carole Needham (16 years); and library media specialist Mary Beth Eckert (14 years).

Strong Elementary School will also lose three staff: special education paraeducator Alison Wight (25 years); literacy specialist Karen Johnson (21 years); and head custodian John Delsanto (14 years).

South End and Plantsville schools will each lose a school nurse, Diane Stolz (22 years at S. End) and Susan Smith (17 years at Plantsville). Plantsville and Kelley Elementary School will lose school psychologis Natalie Kalasky (24 years). Hatton Elementary School will lose special education paraeducator Laura-Jean Minton (10 years).

In the central office, secretary Deborah Hobson will retire after 21 years. Anthony Tranquillo, a tech analyst for the district, will also be leaving after eight years.

To comment on this story or to contact staff writer Sheridan Roy, email her at