Penny Radosin Retires

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Penny Radosin with the celestial globe that will be part of her legacy at Laning.

Penny Radosin didn’t come to Verona as a starry-eyed teacher, but you might say she is leaving that way.

Today, June 22, 2011, will be the final day of a teaching career that has spanned three decades, largely spent right here. Radosin, who has given hundreds of Verona children their first lesson on constellations, is retiring. Though Radosin taught many lessons about math and English and science, she was particularly passionate about astronomy and what it could teach children about history, geography and culture. Every winter, she drew children inside an inflated igloo known as the Starlab and opened their eyes to the images of the night sky with as much wonder and excitement as if she were a second grader herself. At the Laning SCA’s annual teacher luncheon on Tuesday, June 21, Radosin was presented with a celestial projection globe on a base that reads “You Will Shine Like A Star In Our Hearts Forever”. But she won’t be taking it with her into retirement: The globe will remain at Laning, to help teach children just as Radosin’s cherished Starlab has done.

Radosin came to Verona after getting her elementary teaching degree at Elizabethtown College and her Master’s degree as a learning disabilities teacher consultant at Montclair State University. She moved around a bit as she raised her own family, teaching first and fifth grade at Forest Avenue School and second and third grade at Laning. But for the past 20 years, she has taught second grade at Laning, which she says is her favorite age group.

Marilyn Varallo has worked alongside Radosin during her tenure at Laning. “What stands out to me,” she says, “is Penny’s dedication to the children. She focused entirely on them throughout her career. She gave her time freely to any child who needed extra help. And any child who came out of her room received the benefit of her unbelievable organizational skills. She has been an asset to our children.”

Radosin feels it has been a privilege to be a part of the Verona school system for the past 30 years, and says she will forever enjoy the memory of imparting knowledge to all the young children who she has taught. But she leaves, perhaps, with one small regret: That she did not push harder for the school district to buy a Starlab when it was introduced. Back then, the portable planetarium would have cost $10,000. Now, the digital models top $40,000.

No matter, said Suzanne Welsh, Laning SCA co-president. “Thanks to you, our children will always have stars in their eyes.”

Penny Radosin is one of three Verona teachers retiring this year. Joanne Paonessa and Cynthia Lanno, respectively special education and math at Verona High School, are also leaving. We wish all of them well in the next phase of their lives.

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Virginia Citrano
Virginia Citranohttps://myveronanj.com
Virginia Citrano grew up in Verona. She moved away to write and edit for The Wall Street Journal’s European edition, Institutional Investor, Crain’s New York Business and Forbes.com. Since returning to Verona, she has volunteered for school, civic and religious groups, served nine years on the Verona Environmental Commission and is now part of Sustainable Verona. She co-founded MyVeronaNJ in 2009. You can reach Virginia at [email protected].

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