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04/24/2014 at 4:48pm

Having Fun With MathJoe and Marilyn Zadlo Will Be Missed

Marilyn Zadlo is a paraprofessional educator who, over the past 14 years, has endeared herself to the Beach School students and staff alike with her ‘ready, willing and able’ approach every day. Her husband Joe has also been a very popular substitute teacher at our beloved school all these years. But it isn’t just their reliability and professional approach to their work days that has earned the Zadlo’s a permanent place in so many hearts.

We learned recently that this is the last semester the Zadlo’s will be a part of the Beach School. So, we spent a few hours ‘embedded’ at the Beach School campus, talking with the children, teachers and staff about the Zadlo’s, and what their contribution of time and attention has meant to everyone.

Kindergarteners Jasmine, Mia, Mallory, Nicole and Daniel all said that Mrs. Zadlo "helps us with our math and stuff. She’s very nice.” In their estimation, they think she had helped them "at least 43 times!” which was an astonishing and monumental number in their eyes.

Kindergarten teacher Tina Cribbs says that both Marilyn and Joe have been "fantastic to work with” and that the children and staff have all learned from them. "Joe Zadlo was available at a moment’s notice. He was reliable. We could count on him for anything. And Mrs. Zadlo was ready to do anything for us every single day - anything to help the kids. They have been vital to our school and they will be missed.”

The third graders we spoke with were effusive about the Zadlo’s. Katy, Connor, Nathan, Coby, Nicholas, Isaiah, Jordan, Aaron and Louis all said how nice Mr. and Mrs. Zadlo are, and how much they help them and their teachers. Connor was especially impressed by something called Fix-It Sentences. "Those are really fun,” he said with a definitive nod.

Third grade teacher Laurie Zamniak says she could always count on the Zadlo’s. "Whatever needs to be done, I know Marilyn will be there to help and do it for me. And Joe is a substitute we know can come in and the kids are well taken care of; we know that he’s conducting the lessons, and we just know the kids are going to have a good day when we’re not there.” She adds, "The kids love him, and they love his jokes. They get excited when they know he is the one that will come in when the teacher is absent. I’m gonna miss them.”

When we had the opportunity to talk to the ‘upper classmen’ at the Beach School, we heard a lot more about Mr. Zadlo’s sense of humor. Fourth Graders Alison, Laura, Anne Marie, Maddie and Dylan said the couple are friendly people who love to make jokes. Maddie conjectured that the Zadlos’ life together must be very interesting "because they have so much to tell us. They are really nice and they are really good at helping others.” Dylan thinks Mr. Zadlo keeps very good order in the class, too, "so that the ones misbehaving will stop interrupting the class.”

Fifth graders Tatum, Gypsy, Ashantiana, Alexandra, Daniella, Madison and Victoria agreed that the Zadlo’s helped with just about everything. "They help us to understand things better and they are really amazing people,” Daniella says. Madison, who has known Mrs. Zadlo since she was in kindergarten at the Beach School, says she is generous. "She just loves to help.”

Resource Teacher Peggy Hunt says the Zadlo’s know "every single student by first and last name. They have probably even known some of the kids’ parents. They’ve just been a great help to everyone.”

One of the most telling comments about Marilyn Zadlo came from Teacher Assistant Kerrie Stephenson. "I have worked here for 8 years. I kind of patterned myself and modeled myself after her because she is one of the best para eds who’s ever been here, in any of the schools. She’s top notch. She’s Number One. You can’t get any better than her.”

Building Supervisor Michael Cribbs said the school was going to lose their computer tech. "The whole staff is going to miss him. Now, I’ve gotta fix my own computers!” he said with a chuckle. "But seriously, they have been such a great help to everyone. They will be greatly missed.”

Miss Renee (Mulloy), Secretary to Principal Wood - and usually the first person you see when you arrive at the front office - has been with the Beach School for a long time, and remembers when Marilyn started coming in every day. "She is always willing to help wherever needed. No matter what is asked of her, she’s ready to go - inside, outside, office, classroom - Marilyn is everybody’s assistant.” Renee says she loves the Zadlo’s. "Joe is a big help with our computers, and he has such a great attitude. I love them as a couple - they’re a nice couple.”

We caught up with the school’s very busy principal of eight years, Larry Wood, to hear what he had to say about the Zadlo’s and their impact on the students, faculty and staff at Beach Elementary School. "It has been great working with Joe and Marilyn for the past 8 years. It will be impossible to replace either one of them at our school and in our hearts. The Beach School community wishes them the best in the future.”

Jo List