On Tuesday December 9th, the Town of Sandwich and the Sandwich Public Schools came together to honor their employees for their years of service. Deb Landry, Principal at Henry T. Wing, prepared these remarks to honor Mrs. Budzynkiewicz.
Suzanne Budzynkiewicz began teaching in Sandwich in 1989 after a 2 hour interview in the basement of the 27 building with the Special Education Director! This is actually her 32nd year of teaching, having taught for seven years in New Jersey.
Mrs. Budzynkiewicz has been a K-3 and 5th grade special education teacher working with colleagues in inclusion classes, as well as in a self contained resource room setting ‘back in the day.” She also taught in the ILC as a Special Needs Teacher. She is certified as a Wilson Teacher, a Reading Recovery teacher, a Special Needs teacher, and a district mentor. She has worked under the direction of five Special Education directors and seven Principals in Sandwich over the years. One of those principals told her that she and the classroom teacher were “models for the state of Massachusetts for their collaboration during the first year of inclusion.”
She has changed rooms at least eight times and schools twice. When Forestdale and Oak Ridge were in the process of being built, everyone was at Wing. Suzanne remembers teachers were given moving boxes to pack their belongings. Over a long weekend in January, a moving company moved half of Wing to Forestdale and half of Wing to Oak Ridge for the remainder of the year while Wing was renovated. Mrs. Budzynkiewicz went to Forestdale and then back to Wing where she has been ever since. She figures she is an expert on moving! So if the district is looking for some help with the move this spring and summer…Mrs. Budzynkiewicz is your gal! On the morning of the last day of school one year, she unexpectedly had to be packed and out of her room by noon as her room was going to be the new district Special Education offices. She still had several IEPs that had to be written before days end. At the time, all IEPs were handwritten on 3 copies deep of carbon paper and were 8-12 pages long. A colleague and a class of third graders graciously moved her belongings while she worked at her desk in the middle of the room writing IEPs. They were done an hour before schedule! She has come full circle and is now back in those two rooms teaching Reading Recovery to first graders.
Suzanne has “tried her best” over the years to change with technology. She began her career using hand cranked ditto machines, and then graduated to electric ditto machines. She began teaching when movie projectors that “you threaded the actual plastic film through” were all the rage. She progressed to film strip projectors with hot light bulbs and then, overhead projectors – the “must have” technology of the day. Suzanne recalls when the few big chunky desk top computers came to the Wing School. When she needed to type an IEP, she would travel to the old home economics room in 7th and 8th grade and hope no one else was using the one computer for the whole Special Education department. Now she has a lap top and credits our technology integration teacher Terri Palombo for teaching her how to use Evernote and other programs that support children.
For the past 6 years Suzanne has been a Reading Recovery and a Leveled Literacy Instruction teacher. She also teaches summer school every year and has tutored many children who struggle and then soar because of her good work. She is highly regarded by her peers and supervisors for her clear, concise and thorough ability to know and understand what a child’s academic issues are, and how to address them, especially in reading. She knows the power Reading Recovery has to change the lives of children, and she has never been happier teaching. Every day she “gets to work with professional colleagues whose teaching she is in awe of.” She gets to be a part of teaching a child to read! Teaching a child to read! That is what keeps her young at heart and loving her job.
Suzanne loves teaching students and even more – she loves her life in Sandwich with her husband of 34 years, Peter, and her daughter Emily, a graduate of the Sandwich Public Schools.