A group of unsung community members were recognized for their various contributions to Italian American education.
On Sunday, January 10, the Forum of Italian American Educators hosted its annual Epiphany Dinner at Fratelli’s Restaurant to celebrate the end of the Christmas season and announce this year’s FIAME honorees.
According to Josephine Fanelli, FIAME president and St. Theresa School principal, the honorees include Joanne Rubino, P.S. 83 guidance counselor; Tony Signorile, Morris Park Community Association president; Alessandra Mercora, 1st grade teacher at St. Theresa School; Carmelina Fasolino, RTI teacher at P.S. 97; Jennifer Lana Etzel, P.S. 83 assistant principal; Angela Deegan, St. Francis Xavier School principal; Mark Cannizzaro, executive vice president, counsel of school supervisors and administrators; Ann Marie Anibale Baumis, associate superintendent for government program diocese of Brooklyn and Jeannine Petraglia, P.S. 498 guidance counselor.
Each honoree will receive an award recognizing their unique service to the community and educational field, she explained.
The recipient of the 2016 Dominick Capone Service Award, Rubino has served as an educator for 25 years and as a guidance counselor for two decades.
Rubino, a seven-year FIAME executive board member, taught English and Social Studies at P.S. 135 before transferring to P.S. 78 to serve as a guidance counselor from 1998 to 2006. She presently works as a guidance counselor at P.S. 83.
In addition to her educational work, she serves as Community Board 11’s 2nd vice chairwoman and as a CB 11 Health Committee member.
A FIAME executive board member, Rubino oversees the FIAME journal which funds the forum’s annual dinner dance and scholarships presented to a select few Italian American college bound high school seniors from the Bronx and Westchester.
The only non-educator honored, Signorile will receive the Philip Abinanti Community Service Award for his service to Morris Park.
He is being honored for MPCA’s Italian classes held at their 1824 Bronxdale Avenue clubhouse on Saturdays 9 to 10 a.m. for children and Mondays 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. for seniors. The classes are made possible through funding provided by Councilman James Vacca.
Signorile also serves as the chairman for Bronx Columbus Day Parade which is the second largest parade in New York City.
Fanelli added Mercora and Fasolino-Lynch will receive Excellence in Teaching Awards, Etzel and Deegan will be presented the Michael Tomasetti Principal Award, Cannizzaro and Baumis will be awarded the Thomas Giordano Leadership in Education Award and Petraglia will earn the Andy Galdi Special Education Award.
In addition, Fanelli said a donation award will be bestowed upon the Little Sisters of the Poor’s Jeanne Jugan Residence.
Physical awards will be conferred to the recipients during FIAME’s annual dinner dance on Friday, April 15 at Villa Barone Manor, she explained.
If interested in becoming involved with FIAME, contact Fanelli at (718) 792-3688.