Volunteers from two LEARN schools were honored on Thursday during the 15th Annual Breakfast Meeting of the Military/ Superintendents Liaison Committee of Southeastern Connecticut at the United States Coast Guard Academy in New London by Dianna R. Wentzell, Commissioner of Education in Connecticut. Laura Pirruccello, head of the PTA at The Friendship School and Bobby Harris, resource officer at Marine Science Magnet High School were honored as being school volunteers who also have a military background.
Dr. Eileen S. Howley, Executive Director of LEARN introduced the Commissioner at the start of the ceremony, providing a brief history of Wentzell’s background and commending her on the great work she is doing around the state.
Wentzell introduced twenty-five school volunteers from all over southeastern Connecticut who also have a military background.
Laura Pirruccello was nominated by Andrea Simmons, Principal of The Friendship School in Waterford. Pirruccello is a member of the United States Coast Guard and works with outreach programs for families at TFS. She also hosts fundraisers and teacher appreciation days for the school.
Bobby Harris was nominated by Dr. Nicholas Spera, Principal of Marine Science Magnet High School in Groton. Harris was a naval submariner and dedicates his time to support students whose family members are on assignment in the military.
When the ceremony ended, Wentzell took a trip to Marine Science Magnet High School and was joined by Captain Paul Whitescarver, Commanding Officer of the Naval Sub Base of New London, Susan Austin, Assistant Superintendent of Groton Public Schools and Christopher Zendan, Public Affairs Officer of the Naval Sub Base and others on a student led tour. Along the tour, the group was shown the fish tank laboratory where students study and work with fish on a daily basis, and the virtual boat classroom where students have five virtual boats readily available to navigate at all times.