To the Editor:
Janice Mele passed away last Tuesday very unexpectedly. Having the privilege of working closely with her to support Johnston Schools has been an honor. Mrs. Mele was a staunch supporter of public education in our town. The focus of her work was the children in our schools as she would often say, “Never take anything away from the kids”. Mrs. Mele understood what quality education should look like and what it took to insure students received the education they deserved in our schools. Under her leadership, we saw our schools receive the funding needed to insure student success, in particular full day kindergarten, upgraded science laboratories and the one to one computer program just to name a few. She was also personally very generous, often donating to many youth groups, and school functions.
Mrs. Mele was never one to give up on her beliefs and would fiercely fight for what she thought was right. One never had to guess what was on her mind as she wasn’t shy to tell you, no matter who you were. If she thought someone was being treated unfairly or someone’s remarks were unfounded, she would address it immediately and in very clear terms. If she disagreed with you, she would tell you but always with respect. Mrs. Mele checked in every day, no matter how busy her life was, to insure our schools were running well. Her expectations were high and she expected everyone in our schools to meet those expectations. Always available to listen to a concern from a parent or staff member, Mrs. Mele would respond honestly and fairly and then diligently work to resolve the concern. One of the key qualities of a great leader is that they are of moral character and strive to always do the right thing, even in the face of adversity. Mrs. Mele was that moral leader and her presence, kindness, honesty and compassion will be sorely missed. Bernard DiLullo, Jr.
Superintendent of Schools
Johnston Public Schools