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January 4, 2014

READERS' FORUM: Jan. 5, 2014

(Continued)

A great season for Riley school

Winter weather and holiday times seem to bring us together for a variety of occasions at Riley Elementary School. This is the season when we are reminded of those people who help make Riley such a special place. In the spirit of the past season, I would like to take this opportunity to thank some of the people who are integral to our success.  

I would like to thank Karen Seeley and the staff at Maryland Community Church who donate not only their building, but also their time and talents to help us produce a magnificent holiday pageant. Without this giving, hard-working group of people, our program would not be possible. The students performed beautifully to a full house in our extravaganza, and it was a glorious way to start the season.

Sincere kudos are in order for our program committee, led by Diana Aselage, and her encore team of Bill Blankenbaker, Elizabeth Hettinger, Jana Weeks and Michelle Layton. Our PTO members helped decorate and stage the production, and for those friends we are truly grateful.

We want to include our invaluable teachers and staff members who donate their time to supervise their students and help with the presentation. Certainly thanks are in order for all of the families and friends who attended our program, because without them, our stars wouldn’t shine nearly as brightly.

Our friends at Union Christian Church deserve our gratitude as well for the important and enduring relationships developed during our Kids’ Hope mentorship program throughout the year. The guidance and support these mentors provide for our children is immeasurable. It is exciting this year to be able to offer another program sponsored by UCC — All Pro Dads Breakfast, which takes place the third Tuesday of each month. Children and their fathers enjoy a delicious breakfast prepared by our cafeteria manager, Colleen Lane, and then participate in an inspiring program. Pastor Mark Grayless and several “dads” of Union Christian Church provide their guidance for our students and their fathers and guardians. All Pro Dads has been very well received.

Finally, I want to say thank you to our School Protection Officers for making Riley a safe and secure place in which to learn and grow. Sheriff’s Deputy Clay White has formed a team of dedicated officers that go above and beyond the call of duty every day to maintain our safety. These officers may not fully appreciate what their presence has meant to all of us at Riley, but we are very thankful to have these brave men as our first line of defense, as well as our dear friends.

— Claire A. Marchese, Principal, Riley Elementary School

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