Meryeme Gashi, Alaura Stivala and Tara Carmody Awarded Tenure

Amid praise from their principals and superintendent, three well-deserving teachers in the Pelham Public Schools were awarded tenure by the Board of Education at its meeting on May 23.

“Collectively you are one of the strongest groups of candidates that I have ever had the pleasure of presenting to the Board,” said Superintendent Dr. Giarrizzo as he introduced Meryeme Gashi, Alaura Stivala and Tara Carmody. “These are three bright, articulate, and hard-working women who bring their Pelican pride to their work every single day.”

Following Dr. Giarrizzo’s remarks, each tenure recipient was praised by their school principal.

In speaking about Ms. Stivala, who became a Colonial School kindergarten teacher after beginning her career in the District as an intern and then leave-replacement, Principal Tonya Wilson said, “Alaura exemplifies everything you would want in a kindergarten teacher. She is calm, kind compassionate and nurturing. Parents have nothing but praise for her expertise. Children leave her class well prepared and meet the challenges of first grade both academically and socially. She sets the groundwork for children to have positive academic futures.”

PMHS Principal Jeannine Clark also offered high praise for English teacher Tara Carmody, who came to the District after working for many years in the Rye Neck school system.

“When one thinks of Tara Carmody, one is quickly reminded of her philosophy of education,” said Mrs. Clark. “She believes that teaching is a calling and every school day she epitomizes that calling and really shows all of us what teaching is really all about. Tara is a firm believer in hard rules but a soft heart. She upholds a strong and clear set of standards and expectations and is very fair; that is why she is so well-liked by her students. Tara is an intelligent, creative and engaging educator, an experienced professional who is always open to new ideas, methods and practices.”

Additionally, Mrs. Clark dubbed Ms. Carmody the English department “fashionista” and presented her a “golden stiletto” award.

Meryeme Gashi, an English as a Second Language teacher, at Hutchinson, the Middle School, and PMHS, has been with the District for several years and previously served as a fourth grade teacher earlier in her career. Hutchinson School Principal Trisha Nugent Fitzgerald noted that experience in her remarks.

“She is a true professional who not only puts kids first in every decision, but works collaboratively with staff to ensure student success,” Mrs. Fitzgerald said. “Meryeme’s ability to think like a classroom teacher and anticipate student and classroom teacher needs allows her to proactively implement practices in classrooms and create school-wide procedures. She’s not only an advocate for students and their families, but the K-12 program. Meryeme is a vital part of Hutchinson, the middle school and the high school.”