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Student honors retiring teacher

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A P.S. 14 student used her writing skills to demonstrate how special one teacher can be in a child’s life.

Jada Mendoza chose to honor her former teacher as part of the school’s ‘Ride For Success 2009’ contest, which rewards a bicycle, donated by community members, organizations and local elected officials, to the top winners in several categories that including Math, Spelling, essay writing, chess, jump rope, checkers, track races, drawing and speed cup,

Mendoza had little hope of winning the contest, knowing how many entries there would be, but was delighted to find out that her essay on the significance of her former Kindergarten teacher, Rosemarie Maniaci-Baranin, had touched the hearts of P.S. 14 faculty and staff.

Mendoza’s original intention was to write about all the important people in her life, but once she began writing she found she could only focus on Baranin.

“My teacher encouraged me because she thought I was a good writer. At first I couldn’t think of anyone, but then when I started writing Ms. Baranin popped into my head,” said Mendoza.

The longtime teacher at P.S. 14 will be retiring this year.

“This was my home away from home and this place has done so many great things,” said Baranin.

“I have been in this building a long time, but I don’t count it in years, I count it in good memories. I’ll always be a part of P.S. 14 and it will always be a part of my life forever.”

Mendoza recalls that Baranin was a person who always cheered students on, took the kids on trips, dressed up on holidays, gave out surprises, and was always in a jolly mood.

“Once in volleyball I started to cry because I was the last one picked, and Ms. Baranin was there to make me feel better and tell me it didn’t matter if I was picked last because I was special to her,” said Mendoza.

“I think she was waiting to leave until me and my friends were graduating so we could leave together.”

Baranin will be honored for her years of service on Wednesday, June 17, at the Pelham-Split Rock Golf Course.

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