At approximately 4:30 last Wednesday afternoon, ladies like Sheila Scuncio, Angela Brasil and Gail Rainone began creating a party atmosphere inside Pete Matteo’s Bar 101 at 1478 Atwood Ave. in Johnston.
They placed colorful centerpieces on tables that read “New Beginnings” and put a variety of other decorations inside the popular bar/restaurant.
Soon after, the spacious room was filled wall-to-wall with people — a virtual who’s who of the Johnston Public Schools.
As the invitation read: “Breanda Le Troia and Julie-anne Zarrella are retiring” and urged people to come and enjoy food and drink and wish them well.
Perhaps Dr. Bernard DiLullo Jr., superintendent of public schools in Johnston, said it best about the heart-warming happening.
“The turnout at this retirement party is a testament to how much each of these people have meant to all of us,” DiLullo began. He was joined by School Committee Chairman Bob LaFazia, Vice Chairman Joe Rotella and School Committee member Marysue Andreozzi. “They are valued as they consistently went above and beyond to ensure that the school department met its goals. I thank them for their many years of service to our staff and students.”
In a word, Troia and Zarrella — who have both worn many hats during their tremendous tenures — are unique.
Troia, for example, applied to be a teacher assistant and bus monitor and worked her way up the ladder to the important position of Human Resource Coordinator in DiLullo’s office.
Zarrella, meanwhile, was hired by Johnston Public Schools as a World Language Teacher in 1991, and because of her special skills was a respected and effective teacher eventually moving on to several principal positions before becoming Assistant Superintendent of Schools.
Which speaks volumes why Bar 101 was filled with warmth, embraces and love for two women whose shoes many people concurred “will be hard to fill.”
Likewise, it was a precious moment for Zarella’s husband Mark, who rekindled relationships and chatted about his days in the Johnston School System. And for Troia, her family and children witnessed the extraordinary expressions of admiration their mother received during the fun-filled event.
Add to that the hospitality provided by Bar 101’s smiling staff — and fantastic food that included 10 different items ranging from chicken and Caprese skewers, stuffed mushrooms, fruit platter, empanada, assorted pork and cheeseburger sliders, assorted pizza, penne alla vodka, pasta Bolognese and pasta aglio e olio, and cupcakes covered with chocolate and vanilla frosting.
So, on Sept. 29 Troia will officially retire, while Zarrella will mark the end of her classic career on Oct. 20, and they both will move on leaving long-lasting legacies of making a difference in many people’s lives.
Editor’s Note: Johnston Schools Superintendent Dr. Bernard DiLullo Jr. announced Tuesday night at the monthly School Committee meeting that he has chosen Edda Carmadello, the district’s Director of Special Services, to be his new assistant superintendent. The School Committee expects to get a copy of the new contract and vote on the hiring at their next monthly meeting. Angela Brasil, DiLullo’s Confidential Administrative Assistant, and the School Committee’s recording secretary, has also resigned her position with the Johnston Public Schools, effective Sept. 29. She’s moving on to a new job.
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