Western Wayne School District Celebrates Retirees 

This year five Western Wayne secretaries with many years of service will leave the district starting on their journeys into retirement. The retiring secretaries include: Denise Kromko, R.D.W. secretary; Sue Romanski, District Office secretary; Paula Herzog, High School secretary; Bridgit Erb, Middle School secretary; and Michele Rosko, Middle School secretary.
Kromko has worked as a secretary for 40 years. She graduated from Western Wayne in 1977. She started as a secretary to Don Shaffer when he was the Dean of Students at the High School and was then hired as the secretary at R.D.W. the year the school opened.
Kromko, who resides in Steene with her husband Ed, reflected fondly on her time with the district.
“What I enjoyed the most about my time at R.D.W. was getting to know the students and their families and watching them evolve from babies to young teens,” Kromko said.
She has three sons and daughters-in-law and eight grandchildren.
“I look forward to spending more time with family and friends and can’t wait until I never have to grocery shop on the weekend again.”
District Office secretary Sue Romanski is also greatly looking forward to her retirement, especially a special beach trip she has planned for the fall.
Romanski has worked for the district for 41 years. She graduated from Western Wayne in 1974. When she was in high school, she participated in a program called office practice at Western Wayne High School and worked with some of the secretaries to get career ready before her graduation.
Upon her graduation, she was called in to interview to be the superintendent’s secretary, and she was hired.
Romanski has worked in a variety of Western Wayne buildings including the District Office, Hamlin Elementary, the Middle School, and the High School.
“Having started my career in the District Office and now ending it here, I feel as though I have come full circle,” Romanski said.
Romanski remembers fondly all of her time in the district, especially the 18 years she spent in the high school. She especially enjoyed her time working with the students there. She served as a class advisor and chaperoned many trips and events.
“I really enjoyed spending time with the students,” Romanski said. “I made a lot of great friends over the years as well.”
Romanski resides in Moscow with her husband. She has two sons and two grandchildren who are the pride of her life. She grew up in Lake Ariel.
“I am completely a product of my environment,” Romanski said.
Next, High School secretary Paul Herzog retires after 20 and a half years of service to the district. She is a 1977 Western Wayne graduate. She started her career at R.D.W. and has also worked at EverGreen.
She resides in South Canaan with her husband and has four children, five grandchildren, and one on the way.
She looks forward to having more time to spend with her family and to work on her flowers in her garden. She also is excited to travel in her retirement.
“I most fondly remember my time working with students at graduation,” Herzog recalled. “It is a rite of passage for them that is special to be a part of.”
In addition, the Western Wayne Middle school loses two very special parts of their office staff this year to their much deserved retirements: Bridgit Erb and Michele Rosko.
Erb has worked for the district for 25 years along with volunteering for the district for five years before that. She is originally from New Jersey and had planned to move to this area for work with her best friend.
“My friend ended up staying in New Jersey,” Erb said. “I have been here for 30 years, and she is thinking of moving here now.”
Erb graduated from Hawthorne High School, New Jersey, in 1978. She has worked at the Hamlin school, Lake school, Middle School, High School, and Evergreen in her career at the district.
She resides in Lake Ariel with her husband and has two daughters.
“I have enjoyed all of my years at Western Wayne,” Erb said.
Finally, Middle School secretary Michele Rosko is retiring after 26 years with the district.
She is a 1983 graduate of Scranton Central High School who resides in Lake Ariel with her husband. She has two children and one granddaughter.
“I love seeing Middle School students go on a journey from their sixth grade to eighth grade years,” Rosko said. “By the time they are in eighth grade, they are ready to roll!”
Also, the district’s Special Education Secretary Alene Olsommer is leaving the district this year after 16 years.
Olsommer graduated from North Pocono High School in 1986. She resides in Sterling with her husband and has one son, one daughter, and two granddaughters. She now will work full-time in her family’s business Olsommer Clarke Insurance Group, Hamlin, and reflects fondly on her time at Western Wayne.
“I liked being able to keep the Special Education Department organized so those in charge could better help our students,” Olsommer said.
The retiring Middle School secretaries had a special send off being the honored guests at the Middle School Final Walk on the last day of school, Friday, June 9.
This is a yearly tradition in which 8th grade students, as a final activity in their Middle School careers, take a final walk through the hallways led this year by retirees Erb and Rosko.
The ladies led the procession through the hallways of the Middle School and received flowers from 6th, 7th, and 8th grade students along the way. The two women ended up with bouquets at the end along with many well wishes from students, faculty, and staff who lined the hallways and met them outside of the building to celebrate.
The celebration continued with a special reception for Romanski, Herzog, Erb, and Rosko at the school.
Many high school teachers, middle school teachers, administrators, staff, and Western Wayne retirees came to honor them.
In addition, high school retiree Lori Lucchesi attended the reception and received many congratulations on her retirement this year. Lucchesi has served the district for 23 years as a family consumer science teacher. She also taught at Blue Ridge and Forest City before working at Western Wayne. Lucchesi is a 1984 Western Wayne graduate
She started working at the high school in 1999. She also worked in the Middle School and ended up back in the High School to end her career at the district.
She was the moderator of the school’s FCCLA Club for nine years and worked closely with volunteer Paula Lamberton on many club projects.
Lucchesi resides in Browndale with her husband. She has two children.
“It was an honor and privilege to have the seniors I taught this year also in sixth grade in the middle school,” Lucchesi explained. “It was magical to have been able to see their entire journey from the start of their middle school careers to the end of their high school careers. I got to see them go from shy sixth graders to confident seniors ready to launch into the world. They are so lucky to have such fantastic teachers at Western Wayne who have guided them along the way, and I am so happy I could be a part of that journey.”
The District wishes all of the ladies the best in their future endeavors and are grateful for their many years of service.
Picture One, from left, retiring Western Wayne secretaries: Michele Rosko, Middle School; Sue Romanski, District Office; Bridgit Erb, Middle School; and Paula Herzog, High School, at the reception held for them on June 9 at the Middle School.
Picture Two: retiring secretary Denise Kromko, R.D.W.
Picture Three, from left, retiring Western Wayne secretaries: Michele Rosko, Middle School; Sue Romanski, District Office; Bridgit Erb, Middle School; and Paula Herzog, High School, are seen holding the special gift they received at their retirement reception, hand-painted pictures with WW on them with the grass at the bottom of the pictures done in the finger prints of all of the guests at their celebration.

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