"It wasn't about being a principal. It was about being a teacher and making a difference in kids' lives," Zaferakis said of her time with the school district. "Working with kids, the faculty and the parents is really what it's about."
However, her contributions as an administrator were many, said Mazzella. As an administrator, Zaferakis was instrumental in the creation of the school district's advanced placement programs, gifted and talented students programs, and Peru Middle School.
"I remember when I retired they were creating the middle school with the additions we had planned," said Zaferakis. "It's nice to see how your thoughts and your ideas have been put into practice."
Zaferakis' involvement with the school's student council and the shared-decision making process benefited students and colleagues alike within the school district, Mazzella added.
Throughout the years, Zaferakis, who was also an instructor at the North Country Teacher Resource Center in Plattsburgh, has served in various capacities for organizations including the United Way of Clinton and Essex Counties Inc., The Development Corporation, and the North Country Tennis Association.
Though now retired, Zaferakis continues to be an active member of the Plattsburgh area community and is presently an avid golfer and member of the Adirondack Golf and Country Club as well a volunteer at CVPH Medical Center and St. Peter's Church. She also is proud to be a five-year survivor of lung cancer who enjoys making the most out of every day.
"I've been playing golf, going to the doctor's, volunteering and just staying out of trouble," said Zaferakis, laughing. "If you knew me, you'd know I have to work to stay out of trouble."
What does Zaferakis miss most about being a part of the education system?
"When you see a night like this that highlight the academic success of students," said Zaferakis. "I kind of miss that. But, retirement's pretty nice."
Past Peru Central School District Hall of Fame honorees include: 2001 - James Hutchinson and Mary Jane Feltman, 2002 - Graeme Francis and Leo Bourgeois, 2003 - Tony Papero and Lynn Wilke, 2004 - Dr. Jon Wetzel and Richard Martin, 2005 - Ethel Stewart and Clare Rooney, 2006 - Ignatius LaCombe and Phil Bonner, 2007 - Richard Boulrice and Rockwell Blake and 2008 - Frances Allen, John Roach and Ronald Wilson.