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School district honors past employees

"It feels great [to accept the award]," said Michael Sullivan. "I think she really made a difference."

Susan Sullivan agreed.

"I think she would feel great, especially tonight because it's the academic awards banquet," she said. "She would want to honor all the kids who have worked so hard because her favorite things was learning."

Edna Hutchinson served as a school nurse teacher with the school district from 1945-1980, and remembered as "the true definition of a school nurse teacher" and "the ultimate professional," said Mazzella. During her tenure, administering booster shoots to elementary school children was a regular part of the job.

"Edna's caring gentle manner brought much comfort to many kindergarten children," Mazzella said of Hutchinson, whose husband Jim once served as superintendent of schools and is also a past Peru Central District Hall of Fame honoree.

It was her life outside of the school system that exemplified the reasons for her receiving her award, said Mazzella. Upon retirement, Hutchinson volunteered at CVPH Medical Center in Plattsburgh and worked with the Retired New York State Teachers Association and Retired School Nurses Teachers Association. She was also very active in her church.

Never having met Hutchinson, Mazzella said he asked those who knew her about her life characteristics. Words like "graceful, poised, compassionate, caring and humble" were ones used to describe her, he said.

Hutchinson's husband and her daughter, Cindy, were unable to attend the ceremony. Family friend Dawn Irwin accepted the award on her behalf, with a few simple words about her friend.

"It's an honor to accept this award for Edna," said Irwin. "She was just a special person."

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