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Lyons teacher Joanne Saracino to retire after 38 years

by WayneTimes.com
June 22, 2024

After 38 years as a teacher at Lyons Elementary School, Mrs. Joanne Saracino will be saying goodbye to the district and retiring at the end of the school year. 

When she came to Lyons in 1986, she took on a position as a 2nd grade teacher that she held for 10 years before switching to 4th grade — which is where she’s been ever since. 

Teaching 4th grade has been an inspiring, challenging and incredibly rewarding experience, she said. 

“I’m going to miss the kids so much, and that’s hard to let go of,” Mrs. Saracino said. “That’s the thing about Lyons — it’s such a good place to work because you know they need you.”

LES Principal Chris Taylor said she will miss Mrs. Saracino’s tendency to embrace new teaching styles and skills, and the strong relationships she makes with students and staff.

“She is always seeking out new ways to enhance her craft,” Ms. Taylor said. “She works so well with the new teachers and I see relationships that she’s built — I’ve seen students walking in the hallway and see her and they go up and give her a hug. The connections with kids that she’s formed relationships with are deep, they’ve sustained grade levels.”

Ms. Taylor commended Mrs. Saracino’s lengthy tenure and said LES is proud to celebrate her remarkable career with the district. 

“38 years? That’s dedication. That’s a commitment to the community, and that’s a genuine passion for the community,” Ms. Taylor said. “You don’t get that anymore. It’s unique, and there are not a lot of people who maintain a position at one district for an entire professional career."

Mrs. Saracino’s own mother was a teacher and she learned from her mom how to be scrupulous, set boundaries and expectations, but also how to build trust and respect with her students each year. 

“I’m a pretty strict teacher,” Mrs. Saracino said. “As a class, we make the rules together. But I ensure my students abide by them and it works well.”

Mrs. Saracino said she considers introducing arts in various forms to her students as one of the most important tenets of her teaching each year. She has taught her students about Native American culture through creating Wampum belts and dream catchers, she’s shown them how to craft their own dipped-wax candles and prepare their own homemade hot cocoa mix in a jar, and she’s always seen the value in taking students to the movies or to a theater performance as part of introducing them to the arts. 

Mrs. Saracino said she looks forward to traveling to visit family throughout the country, exploring her family’s genealogy and actually getting to enjoy the fall colors and sights during a time of year that she’s usually in school for. 

On top of that, she looks forward to taking her love of the arts out of the classroom with her. 

"I plan to do more theatre,” she said. “I am in a murder-mystery fundraiser in August and have been cast in a play in Rochester’s "Fringe Festival" this September.”

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