Letter: Cicero says goodbye, thanks after 49 years in education

To the Editor:

After spending 49 years in education, the last 45 in Trumbull, as a teacher, house principal at Trumbull High and the last 12 years as Director of the Trumbull Agriscience & Biotechnology Program, I am retiring on June 30. I find it necessary and appropriate to thank those people who have contributed to my career here in Trumbull. I would begin by thanking Dr. Juan Lopez and Roger Capobianco who, 45 years ago, helped hire me to teach at what was then Hillcrest Jr. High School. This appointment really was the catalyst which insured my future professional career.

I thank the late Bob McCarthy who saw fit to let me join his team as administrator at THS, where I served as C House principal for 15 years. Bob loved THS and was loved by the students and respected by all others.

To Bob Roche, whom I have known for 50 years. From Bob I learned that a sense of humor is a necessity to “survive” in this type of work. Bob was a great mentor for me. A sincere thank you to former Assistant Superintendent, Lorraine Smith, one of the smartest ladies I have ever known. I thought she was a bit “crazy” when in the mid-eighties she said, “Frank, you are in charge of  Vo-Ag, make it better.” Me, a kid who grew up on the east side of Bridgeport being put in charge of a Vo-Ag program. When I mentioned this to Lorraine, her reply was, “You will learn!” She was correct!

A very sincere thank you to Superintendent Ralph Iassogna, who had the confidence in me to help change the program to what it is today. How many superintendents in the state can say they served their district for 14 years and can honestly say they had the confidence and respect of the professional staff and town citizens for so long? Not many.

Let me thank the people who work for the Board of Education’s Maintenance, Custodial & Technology Departments for always being there when I needed them. To Chief Tom Kiely and the Trumbull Police Department who always handled any problem I presented to them in a most professional manner. To my personal secretaries, I have been blessed. Believe me, without them the schools close down!

To all the parents and students that helped keep me young and especially those young students and teachers I had the pleasure of working with these past 12 years. And finally, to my wife and my four children who had to go through the same high school where their father was a principal. That was tough!

Frank Cicero