Several unsung community members will be recognized for their various contributions to Italian American education.
The Forum of Italian American Educators will sponsor its 34th annual FIAME Awards and Dinner Dance on Friday, April 20 from 6 to 11:30 p.m. at Villa Barone Manor.
Buffet and cocktails will be served from 6 to 7:30 p.m. with an Italian-Continental dinner, dancing and an open bar to follow.
All $90 tickets must be pre-paid and cannot be purchased at the door.
Checks should be mailed to FIAME Dinner Dance c/o Carmelina Lynch, 4222 Throgs Neck Expressway, Bronx, NY 10465.
Reservations will be accepted through Tuesday, April 10.
Free valet parking is provided at Villa Barone Manor.
According to Rosemary Mercora, FIAME president and P.S. 83 staff developer, this year’s distinguished honorees include Thomas C. Giordano Leadership-In-Education Award recipients Frank Viteritti, Archdiocese of New York associate superintendent of teacher personnel and Anthony Stiffler, Bronx Field Support Center director of Student Services; Michael Tomasetti Administrator’s Award recipients Michele Pasquale, St. Brendan’s School principal and Brandon Muccino, P.S. 83 principal; Excellence In Teaching Award recipients Elisa Maria Toapha, St. Clare of Assisi School sixth grade teacher and Jessica Miano, P.S. 108 first grade teacher; Andy Galdi Special Education Award recipients Catherine Giordano Cirillo, NYC Department of Education Cluster 6 physical therapy supervisor and Neil Mattera, New Rochelle Alternative School physical education teacher for special education; Dominic Capone FIAME Service Award recipient Christina D’Angelo, retired NYC Department of Early Childhood early childhood instructional coordinator and Philip J. Abinanti Community Service Award recipient Tina Alessandro, Morris Park Community Association secretary, P.S. 498 Parent Teacher Association executive board member and community volunteer.
Each honoree will receive an award recognizing their unique service to the community and educational field, she explained.
“Educators along with parents have a direct impact on their children’s success,” noted Mercora. “Good teaching doesn’t come from behind a desk, it comes from the heart.”
Mercora is an alumna of Iona College, New Rochelle College and Mercy College.
Since 2001, the Pelham Parkway resident has worked as a teacher.
She has taught third grade at St. Lucy’s School and kindergarten, first and third grades at P.S. 83.
In 2009, FIAME honored Mercora with an Excellence In Teaching Award.
The following year, she became a FIAME board member and more recently served as Membership Secretary.
Mercora was appointed president last June, succeeding former president Josephine Fanelli, St. Theresa School principal.
“FIAME is centered all around family and values and that is what really drew me into joining this organization,” she expressed.
A donation award will be bestowed upon Gallop NYC at this year’s gala ceremony.
Gallop NYC offers therapeutic horsemanship programs to children and adults with disabilities and special needs.
FIAME, since 1978, promotes Italian culture for a new generation of Italian Americans and honors the achievements of Catholic and public school educators.
For additional information, visit www.fiame