Macerino gets a musical sendoff

| 22 Feb 2012 | 08:50

Outgoing superintendent honored at final board meeting, By Jennifer Knocha Vernon — In the year since Anthony Macerino announced his retirement, celebrations of his 31-year career in the district have popped up everywhere. He was honored with the first White Lights/Black Tie award by the Vernon Township Education Association. The new athletic stadium was named after him. So it was inevitable that his last public meeting with the school board would also have a few surprises. “For his last meeting, we are giving Mr. Macerino the two things that he enjoys the most — the voices of children singing and a short agenda,” joked Board President Cynthia Auberger. She also pointed out that this is approximately the 372nd public meeting that he has been involved in. While the agenda may not have been short, Macerino got his singing. Walnut Ridge Primary School students were led by their music teacher, M. Moschella, in a selection of songs designed to honor his love of dogs. The board then presented Macerino with a selection of Vernon Township memorabilia — shirts, umbrellas, towels — to take on his travels once he retires. But the biggest surprise was yet to come. Vernon Township High School principal Tim Dunnigan was the last speaker, and came with the best news yet. In honor of Macerino’s long service to the district, the students, staff and parents created a scholarship in his name to be given to a college-bound Vernon Township High School senior. After a standing ovation, Macerino stood up to make a speech of his own. “The last several weeks have been quite an emotional ride,” he said. “I’m not really one for roller coasters, but the last 31 years have been an incredible ride.” He went on to credit the staff, teachers and students with whom he worked over the years, and the district itself, saying that no school system is perfect, and everyone in the Vernon Township School District understands this, making them willing to work toward making it even better. Board member Edward DeYoung praised Macerino. “He is definitely more than a superintendent, especially with the finance committee. He wears three hats in the district: superintendent, finance and personnel. He is kind, compassionate and generous to all of his employees.”