TRUMBULL — Mary Ellen Bolton is remembered for the impact she had as principal of Jane Ryan School and the approach she took to reach students.

Bolton, who died in September after a two-year battle with lymphoma, was honored last week with the renaming of the road leading to the school as Mary Ellen Way.

“Remember why we named this Mary Ellen Way,” said Vin Lipinski, a former parent and long-time volunteer at the school who had been a leader in the drive to rename the street. “Mary Ellen did it her way. She did it with a smile, with a hello, with a hug and a kiss. That’s the Mary Ellen way.”

Superintendent Martin Semmel said Bolton was more than a name on the sign. She was a person who made a meaningful difference in many lives.

“You may have lost her, but you had a chance to love her, and to be loved by her,” he said. “We aspire to be like our role models. Let her continue to guide and inspire you to be the best person you can be.”

First Selectman Vicki Tesoro had similar sentiments, calling Bolton “a treasure to all who knew her, especially the students, their parents and the staff that makes up the Jane Ryan community.”

Lipinski recalled being a member of the search committee who interviewed candidates for the prinicipal’s position 10 years ago. Lipinski said he instantly knew Bolton was the right choice.

During the ceremony, Lipinski presented Bolton’s husband, Tim, a sign for the family to keep.

“I’m getting too old to be stealing street signs,” Tim Bolton said. “And I really didn’t want to get caught.”

Bolton said he didn’t know how to express his feelings about having his wife of 37 years be honored with the sign.

“For the last 10 years, she drove down this very road,” he said. “She loved being the principal here.”

Bolton said he hopes the sign inspires others to follow his wife’s path.

“Get to know one another, and support each other,” he said. “Let this be a way for her to wrap her arms around each of you each day.”

deng@trumbulltimes.com