“We could call this a celebration,” Greg Russo, who heads the chemistry department at Johnston High School and doubles as the adviser for the Student Council, told a group of students gathered outside the school on the morning of April 4. “This is all about a special success story and two of Johnston’s most generous business leaders.”
Russo then began touting Gary Salzillo, who owns and operates Northeast Auto Body at 775 Hartford Ave., and John Eramian, who has owned Eramian Signs & Lettering at 140 Shun Pike for 40 years.
Thanks to their efforts, the school has a new digital sign visible to passers-by.
“We’ve gone digital,” Russo said. “We no longer have to operate this sign manually.”
Cheers followed Russo’s statement.
“Thank you, Gary and John, for helping to make this project a reality,” Russo added. “Now, our students can prepare the sign conveniently using remote control in addition to the great graphics and colors that easily catch the eye of motorists passing by the school.”
Russo, who has coordinated many programs with the Student Council, wanted it known that Salzillo generously donated the digital sign during a major upgrade and move at his business.
“We were thrilled when Gary said he wanted to donate the digital sign,” Russo said. “Some schools don’t have a digital sign. Now, Johnston High School has one thanks to Gary, and anyone traveling on Atwood Avenue has seen the changing colors and messages.”
Eramian, meanwhile, designed, constructed and donated the frame that surrounds the sign.
“John did it in our school colors of Columbia blue and white, with the letters above reading ‘Johnston High School,’ and below is an image of the school mascot, the panther.”
Russo also heaped praise on Johnston Public Schools officials Ed Rossi and Dave Cournoyer for assisting with installation of the sign.
“The Student Council would like to thank all members of the community, and especially Mrs. Salzillo and Mr. Eramian for their on-going support of Johnston High School,” he said.
Members of the Johnston High School Student Council who took part in the dedication ceremony and who worked to raise funds for the project are: Rebecca Clements, A’amani Maxie, Lala Olagundoye, Caleb Lee, Nick Cronan, Dmetri Demetropoulos, Kayla Rogers, Sophie Russo, Mia Ragosta, Ana Petrella, Emily Raposo, Nick Petrillo, Janelle Fernandez, Janet Clements, Carlos Monteiro, Trista Clarke, Charlene, Hohlmeier, Lucas Patrone, Joe Bloom and Gloriana Crichlow.