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Grand Island Board of Education employee honored for 53 years of service

Sat, Feb 23rd 2019 07:00 am
Helen Tomkinson was honored by the Grand Island Board of Education at its Feb. 11 meeting upon her retirement from the district after 53 years. Pictured, from left: Board President Ashli Dreher, Trustee Joy LaMarca, Vice President Susan Marston, Tomkinson, Sidway Elementary School Principal Denise Dunbar, Trustee Lisa Pyc and Trustee Glenn Bobeck. (Photo by Larry Austin)
Helen Tomkinson was honored by the Grand Island Board of Education at its Feb. 11 meeting upon her retirement from the district after 53 years. Pictured, from left: Board President Ashli Dreher, Trustee Joy LaMarca, Vice President Susan Marston, Tomkinson, Sidway Elementary School Principal Denise Dunbar, Trustee Lisa Pyc and Trustee Glenn Bobeck. (Photo by Larry Austin)

Perhaps the longest serving employee in the history of the Grand Island Central School District was honored on the occasion of her recent retirement.

During the “Correspondence, Recognition and Good News” portion of its Feb. 11 meeting, the Board of Education recognized Helen Tomkinson for her retirement from working with the district after 53 years. She was hired by the Grand Island Central School District on Nov. 29, 1966.

Tomkinson was a cafeteria monitor at Sidway Elementary School.

When the board voted at its Jan. 14 meeting to accept her resignation, Superintendent of Schools Dr. Brian Graham said “she has been a fantastic employee.”

Tomkinson received a standing ovation at the Feb. 11 meeting when she was honored by the board.

“I can’t tell you the hundreds, maybe thousands, of students that you helped at Sidway feel comfortable at lunch. They feel comfortable with their friends, they feel comfortable in opening up their milk and packages and things that they need,” Graham said.

“To be supportive with a beautiful heart and a loving way about you, Helen. I was so impressed. I don’t know if I personally ever met an employee in any of my capacity who has worked 53 years in one school district.”

“I only planned on working a couple years,” she said.

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