Forestville teacher honored

FORESTVILLE – It is not an everyday sight when students dress in M&M’s costumes and carry flowers. Two students at the January Forestville Board of Education meeting, dressed as M&M’s, presented a teacher with flowers and a balloon.

Honored was reading teacher Carol McPeak-McDonald, also known as Mrs. M&M, who is retiring from the district after almost 39 years. McPeak-McDonald started teaching at Forestville in 1973 and is set to retire. Those in attendance, including other teachers and board members, paid their respects.

Elementary Principal Dan Grande reminisced about her generosity helping with Make A Difference Day and Bald For Bucks in the elementary school. Grande also joked about being put in a pirate suit, thanks to her.

“I don’t think anyone in my life would have ever been able to dress me up in a pirate suit, get me in front of 300 people and walk the plank and drop off in freezing water,” Grande said.

Grande also commended McPeak-McDonald for her energy throughout her career, even as she nears retirement.

“It’s interesting when you see a person retiring with the energy she has,” he said. “The new hires fresh out of college, we only hope that they have as much energy and enthusiasm that Carol has sustained for 38 years.”

McPeak-McDonald has been involved with Make A Difference Day at Forestville for the past 21 years, raising over $62,000 for charity. Grande praised McPeak-McDonald’s work ethic and her putting forth 100 percent in her work.

“Every employee in the district has something to learn and something to take away from watching this woman work for the last 38 and a half years. She will be missed,” Grande said.

“There’s not one employee in the district, there’s not one student or parent of a student that doesn’t know Carol M&M and don’t appreciate her because everyone does,” he continued.

Elementary students Max Caccamise and Lucas Young, dressed in M&M’s costumes presented McPeak-McDonald with presents to show support. McPeak-McDonald’s husband, Bob, said everything has been great for her teaching career at Forestville.

“It’s been a great ride for Carol and Forestville,” he said. “Forestville meant everything to her.”

The Board of Education also presented McPeak-McDonald with a card and present to show their appreciation. McPeak-McDonald presented a bag of M&M’s and a bookmark to each board member.

“You have moved, not only every student in this school for years but you have moved the entire community,” Board President Sylvester Clearly said.

The board also approved the tenure for pre-k teacher Ralph Jackson and appointed Emily Shelden as a substitute teacher. The board also approved to enter into an agreement with Silver Creek Central School for the sharing of the modified, junior varsity and varsity football teams for the 2013-2014 school year.

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