19 Faculty and Staff Honored During Mass of the Holy Spirit

Students, faculty and staff gathered at a distance in Grace Hall Chapel and via Zoom across campus, to officially greet the new school year during the school’s annual Mass of the Holy Spirit, on Tuesday, September 22, 2020.

During the spiritual celebration, Father Larry Evans of St. Francis Assisi Parish in Ridgefield Park, NJ, rallied the community to “go make a difference,” especially during these uncertain COVID-19 times.

“It is a strange, new beginning, but it reminds us that every beginning in life is different and will never be like it was last year,” said Father Evans. “This is going to be one of the richest years in existence, yet it’s going to take work and will require all of us to step up our game.”

Following the Mass, Head of School Timothy J. Saburn, Associate Head of School Jennifer G. Landis and Oak Knoll’s Board of Trustees President Jeffrey Schroeder, honored 19 members of the school’s faculty and staff for five, 10, 15, 20 and 35 years of dedicated service to Oak Knoll.

“All of these people recognized today have made a difference in the lives of children and they’ve made a difference in the life of our school, so we thank you for that,” said Saburn.

This year’s service award recipients are:

5-Year Award

  • Joe Bennett, Upper School Math Teacher
  • Kelly Childs, Ph.D., Athletic Director
  • Kimberly Connolly, Associate Director of Technology Innovation & Integration
  • Kelly Hartmann, Lower School Physical Education Teacher
  • Rose Puleo, RN, School Nurse

10-Year Award

  • Jen Breitenstein, Upper School Photography Teacher
  • Christina Iribarne, Lower School Reading Specialist
  • Lisa Levchuk, Upper School English Teacher
  • Sean Melican, Upper School Science Teacher
  • Lizzy O’Mara, Associate Director of Institutional Advancement
  • Elinor Takenaga, Director of Hope Memorial Library

15-Year Award

  • Grace Fidler, Upper School History Teacher
  • Brenda McCulley, Lower School Music Teacher
  • Irena Posso-Campana, Upper School World Language Teacher
  • Mike Schmalzer, Turf Specialist, Groundskeeper

20-Year Award

  • Zohra Ismail, Upper School Dean, Grades 10-12
  • Barbara Lindner, Assistant Director of Institutional Advancement

35-Year Award

  • Patti Cepparulo, Lower School Drama Teacher and After-School Program Director
  • Ruby Robertson-Knox, Upper School Music Director
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