School district honors past employees

PERU - Those who have served the Peru Central School District are not forgotten.

The district honored the lives of the late Barbara Sullivan and Edna Hutchinson during the annual student academic awards banquet June 10, inducting them into the Peru Central School District Hall of Fame.

High school principal Christopher J. Mazzella credited both women for their combined service of more than 70 years to the district.

"Our hall of fame requires candidates to have made a significant impact on our school and to have made significant contributions to the betterment of our community," explained Mazzella. "Elected candidates simply need to live a full life, give your school, your students, your profession, your community the best you have to give every day and keep doing it every day with a smile on your face and passion in your heart while expecting nothing in return."

"Edna Hutchinson and Barbara Sullivan exceeded those expectations," he added.

Barbara Sullivan began teaching in 1939 and retired from the school district in 1975. Sullivan served as a social studies teacher who developed her two favorite courses, "Problems of Democracy" and "Consumer Education."

Sullivan challenged students to be "critical thinkers" and "self-aware, responsible citizens," said Mazzella.

"Barbara was ahead of her time as an educator," he said. "Barbara taught her students to analyze and to examine the world around them."

Upon her retirement, the school newspaper was quoted as saying, "Not only has she opened the eyes of her students she also helped her fellow teacher ... she taught us many things. Maybe the most important of which is the ability to empathize. It is the foundation from which we can solve local, national and personal problems."

Sullivan's son, Michael, and daughter, Susan, accepted the award on their mother's behalf, taken back by the recognition.

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