Doctors donate to middle school’s science department

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From left, middle school principal Ken Barth, science teachers Lindsey Drake, Gail Homan and Matt Kelm, Dr. Tony Chiccarine, and middle school assistant principal Jeff Samaniego. From left, middle school principal Ken Barth, science teachers Lindsey Drake, Gail Homan and Matt Kelm, Dr. Tony Chiccarine, and middle school assistant principal Jeff Samaniego.

By ANN RICHARDSON
Staff Writer
PETERSBURG – When a referendum to renovate and repair the district’s aging middle and primary schools failed for the second time in less than a year in January, a group of parents got together and brainstormed about how they could best help the district’s children.

Cognizant that science is critical to their children’s education, the group of professionals, mostly doctors, decided that they would support the science department at the district’s middle school and set about raising funds.
At a May 21 school board meeting, Dr. Tony Chiccarine presented school board officials, including board president Michele Barbieri and Superintendent Vincent Palmieri, with a check for $16,500 to purchase much needed new equipment.
Dr. David Angelastro, Dr. Henry Souto and Chiccarine, of the Shore Mermorial Emergency Department, raised the money with Brent and Heather Hanley of The Shirt Shack and Dr. Julianne Childs of the Hope Community Cancer Center.
“Thank you,” said Barbieri, adding that it’s a “huge” help for the students.
Middle school principal Ken Barth, assistant principal Jeff Samaniego and members of the school’s science department, Lindsey Drake, Gail Hoffman and Matt Kelm, joined the school board in accepting the donation.
Palmieri said Chiccarine approached the board a number of years ago on his own to donate funding.
“He made a very, very generous donation,” said Barth. “He returned this year with his check book and told school officials he was going to ask some of his friends to do the same.
“Of course, we never turn anyone down. I was impressed with his generosity. I was overwhelmed.”
Palmieri said Chiccarine asked what the most appropriate gift would be, requesting that the district make a wish list.
“Our children deserve a quality education,” Chiccarine told the board. All of the benefactors benefitted from a strong science background, he said.
Science was necessary for all of them to collectively “reach our goals as teachers, doctors, engineers and scientists,” said Chiccarine.
“Our goal was to replace broken equipment,” he said.


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