Washington Elementary School principal, Marie DeMaio, was honored by the Board of Education with an auditorium of parents, students and fellow faculty members eager to express their gratitude for her 50 years on staff.
“She’s a valuable part of the West Orange community,” the superintendent of schools, Dr. Anthony P. Cavanna, said at Monday night's board's meeting . “She is a wonderful principal and always has her students in mind.”
The principal, who began her work at Washington Elementary as a second grade teacher in 1962, made remarkable strides in transitioning the school into what it is today, also said Cavanna.
DeMaio accepted the district’s recognition and display of gratitude by saying, “My career in West Orange has been a wonderful time in my life. My goal has always been to educate the children, and my staff and I have worked diligently to ensure their success. It is my privilege to work at Washington Elementary for all of my beautiful students.”
In one of several speeches honoring DeMaio, Laura Lab, president of the Board, said, “She has always had a special influence on all students at Washington Elementary.”
Rosemary Murray, a nurse at the school, also communicated her appreciation for DeMaio’s devotion to her students and staff.
“She is the most dedicated, compassionate person—unique in every way," Murray said. "She has such strong leadership qualities. She can combine managerial skills with empathy and compassion for the children. She treats everyone with respect.”
Murray continued, “She should be the model for how a principal should be; people could take lessons from her.”
The school orchestra dedicated a special performance in honor of their principal.