Past and present students and staff, PTA members, school district administrators and government officials recently gathered at Laurel Plains Elementary School to thank Carol Pilla and name the school library, The Carol A. Pilla Library. One teacher described Pilla as “our trusted leader, guide and friend.”
Clarkstown School Superintendent Dr. J. Thomas Morton acknowledged in the four short months he has known Pilla, she has made an impression. He said a library is a place people go to for knowledge and resources and he has found when he needs information, he asks Pilla.
“I think it’s a pretty fitting tribute they named the library after you,” said Morton. “I want to thank you for all you’ve done for the children of Clarkstown.”
Rockland County Legislator Ed Day (R-New City/Pomona) said the recognition was well deserved.
“She’s been a terrific advocate of all the children who have gone through the doors here in and Bardonia (Elementary School),” he said.
Assemblyman Ken Zebrowski (D-New City) said he attended Laurel Plains before Pilla started as principal but her dedication was evident in the education his three younger siblings received. He presented her with a proclamation from the New York State Assembly honoring her commitment.
Another tribute came from a staff member.
“Carol, we want everyone to know for 20 years you have been our leader, our role model, mentor,” said Teacher Terri Cafaro. “You’ve opened the doors to so many children of different abilities. You’ve shared in all of our life’s milestones over the last 20 years not only as our leader, our mentor but mostly as our friend.”
Laurel Plains PTA Co-Presidents Diahann Ahle and Robyn Failing presented Pilla with the plaque for the library doorway. Failing read Joanna Fuchs’ poem “I Want To Be Like You.” Two students pulled wagons filled with new books into the gym to add to the library’s collection.
Pilla appreciated the dedication but turned her attention to the students.
“Having the library named after me is wonderful and it’s wonderful especially because it’s your library,” she told them.
Pilla, who taught at Bardonia Elementary School before becoming principal at Laurel Plains, spoke about when she started at the school two decades ago how she and the staff formed a bond.
“The most important people in this building other the children, who are the most important, are the staff,” said Pilla. “The staff in this school is second to none. We do well academically and our values are where they should be. Here at Laurel Plains love and education are a matter of the heart.”
Pilla said, “Seriously, I can’t thank you enough and feel very blessed.”