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“Fun Friday” turns bittersweet as KLR bids “see-you-later” to two faculty members

Feb. 29, 2016

As the name suggests, “Fun Friday” is a time for the students at Kenneth L. Rutherford Elementary School to cut loose and cheer each other on in their accomplishments.
Vice President of the Cooke Rutherford PTO Shannon Leany Levenson presents a plaque to Kim PattersonThe monthly event is a time for the administration and teachers to recognize student achievement, pass out student-of-the-month awards, announce staff-of-the-month recipients and discuss upcoming events and news. On Friday, Feb. 26, for just one moment, “Fun Friday” turned bittersweet as the KLR community officially bid “see-you-later” to two treasured faculty members.

Principal Kim Patterson is retiring and fourth-grade teacher Sara Kozachuk has been appointed assistant principal at Robert J. Kaiser Middle School. For both women, Feb. 26 was the last “Fun Friday” that they attended as KLR faculty.

Vice president of the Cooke-Rutherford Parent Teacher Organization (PTO), Shannon Leaney-Levenson, took the stage to thank Ms. Patterson for her years of service to the school and presented an engraved plaque and other gifts to Ms. Patterson on behalf of the PTO.
Assistant Principal Douglas Murphy then presented Ms. Patterson with the February Employee-of-the-Month award. Calling Ms. Patterson “the backbone of KLR,” Mr. Douglas spoke of Ms. Patterson’s dedication to the school community.

“We are a family of adults and students that care very much about each other because she has set the tone for that to be possible,” Mr. Murphy said. “She has mentored the teachers and challenged them to push their comfort leveSara Kozachuk hugs Kim Patterson as Douglas Murphy looks onls a little more and to think outside of the box.”
When Mr. Murphy concluded his speech, the entire gymnasium rose to its feet in a rousing standing ovation.

Then, Mr. Murphy announced that there would be a second February-Employee-of-the-Month. The audience leapt to their feet again in another standing ovation as he named Ms. Kozachuk as the recipient.

“She is someone who is an inspiration to all of us to follow our dreams,” he said. “She has worked her way up, always giving the most to her students and to this school. We will all miss her.”