Southwick educators honored with teaching award

Francesca Fydenkevez is seen with Woodland School Principal Kimberly Saso and Superintendent Jen Willard. (Photo from Southwick-Tolland-Granville Regional School District)

SOUTHWICK – On February 15, the Southwick-Tolland-Granville Regional School District announced that Francesca Fydenkevez, Kathy Schlichtig and Ann Simonet were the 2019 winners for the Pioneer Valley Excellence in Teaching Award.

Through the Harold Grinspoon Foundation, the Pioneer Valley Excellence in Teaching Award honors educators throughout the three Western Massachusetts counties of Hampden, Hampshire, and Franklin.

All three recipients will be honored at a banquet hosted by the Harold Grinspoon Charitable Foundation at the Log Cabin, in May.

In her third year teaching first grade at Woodland School, Francesca Fydenkevez serves as a co-team leader where she focuses on writing curriculum at the first grade level.

I feel very honored to have received this award,” said Fydenkevez. “It’s wonderful to be recognized for the work I do both in and out of the classroom to best support my students.”

Ann Simonet (middle) is with Assistant Principal Michael Pescitelli (left), Assistant Principal Serena Shorter, Superintendent Jen Willard, and Southwick Regional School Principal Joe Turmel. (Photo from Southwick-Tolland-Granville Regional School District)

Teaching for almost 25 years, this school year will be the last one for Kathy Schlichtig. Currently a sixth-grade teacher at Powder Mill School for math and social studies, Schlichtig was grateful to receive the award.

“It was a real thrill to get the Grinspoon award and a huge surprise,” said Schlichtig. “It doesn’t get any better than receiving recognition from my fellow teachers and administration.”

Schlichtig’s Powder Mill School Principal, Erin Carrier, expressed her thoughts on Schlichtig’s achievement.

Kathy (Schlichtig) is an amazing teacher and that is because she is a life-long learner,” said Carrier. “As her retirement approaches, you would expect Kathy to continue with what she has done for years.”

A seventh-grade math teacher at Southwick Regional School for five years now and having been an educator for over 20 years, Ann Simonet was glad to receive the award after being nominated for the first time.

I was truly honored to be nominated for the award.  I was humbled to have received the award based upon the number of nominees,” said Simonet. “I feel fortunate to work with so many talented individuals at Southwick Regional School.”

To Top