Issue 7-13-14 Website - page 5

LarryBonacquisti is a humble
manwho iscommitted to serving
his community. Over the last 40
years, Bonacquisti has served
in many roles such as teacher,
adjunct instructor, professor, and
boardmember.When askedwhy
he continues towillingly give of
his time, he replied,
“I’ve never thought about all
theyears I’ve served. I just did it
because it was the right thing to
do. I’ve had a good life and this
ismy payback.”
Bonacquisti was recently
awarded theAlHawkAward; an
annual award presented by the
Genesee Valley School Board
Association for distinguished
school board service. The award
is given to a current or former
school board member for out-
standing contributions to public
education and children in his or
her own community.
Bonacquisti’s four decades
of service spans a multitude of
professions. He retired in 1993
from Pavilion Central School
after a 36-year teaching career
in both Pavilion and York Cen-
tral Schools. He continued his
career as an adjunct instructor
at Genesee Community College
where he taught psychology. In
as a senior clinical supervisor
where he continues today as a
supervisor of student teachers.
All throughout his career, Bo-
nacquisti has served as a Board
of Education (BOE)member for
LeRoy Central School and for a
time also served on theBOE for
the Genesee Valley Educational
He has hundreds of experi-
ences to share from his time in
education, but the subject of all
these accounts are similar, doing
what is best for the children.
“Thebiggest challenge forany
board of education member is
trying tobalancewhat is best for
the students, what is best for the
community and what the com-
munity can afford and support,”
Bonacquisti said.
He hasmanymemorablemo-
ments of his time in education;
a few in particular help him re-
member why he gives his time.
Bonacquisti attended a National
Technical Honor Society Induc-
tion for the Batavia Career and
Technical EducationCenter.
“When I sawall thosestudents
onstageandsaw the lookofpride
in their eyes, that was unforget-
table,” he said. “Another time
I attended an awards program
for special education students.
I wondered where would these
students bewithout theBOCES’
programs.When I saw thesmiles
from some Downs Syndrome
children as they received their
awardsand I saw such incredible
accomplishments from students
who had behavioral challenges
and had earned perfect atten-
dance,” he said.
Dr.MichaelGlover, the former
District Superintendent for the
quisti during his time of service
on thePartnershipBOE.
“Larry’spassion foreducation,
advocacy for children, tireless
dedication to the betterment of
his community and volunteer
servicemakes him a rolemodel.
He is the very personification of
servant-leadership,” Dr. Glover
educators as a supervisor of stu-
dent teachers forSUNYGeneseo,
imparting thewisdom that comes
from a lifetime of encouraging
youngpeople togive their fullest
to themost important profession
in any community - teaching
Bonacquisti is the son of im-
migrantswhoarrived inAmerica
from Rome, Italy in 1913 in
searchof anew life.They settled
in Caledonia, New York and
raised four children.Bonacquisti
graduated fromCaledonia-Mum-
ford Central Schools, attend-
ed SUNY Brockport where he
earned both his Bachelor’s and
Master’s degrees. He married
Carol Lathan, a LeRoy native,
and eventually settled in LeRoy
where they raised their threechil-
dren, Christine, David and Jim.
Community service runs deep
in the Bonacquisti family. Carol
was a teaching assistant for
LeRoy Central Schools and has
been a long-time volunteer for
the District. The Bonacquisti
family is active in supporting the
Hunter’s Hope Foundation as
well as many other community
organizations, including theRed
Crossand theMichaelNapoleone
Memorial Foundation.
“We are a volunteer family.
We do so because we want to
help,”Bonacquisti explained.
ChristineBonacquisti has fol-
lowed in her father’s footsteps.
She isaSpecialEducationTeach-
er for thePartnership.
“My father’s love of teaching
was absolutely passed on tome,
along with many of his nieces,
nephews, great nieces and neph-
ews. We’ve become a family of
educators. I trulybelieve thishas
kids,”Christine said.
Bonacquisti is modest about
his goodworks.
“Ialways tellmystudent teach-
ers that you can become one of
thebest teachers in theworldbut
if you are a good person first,
then you will be an even better
teacher,” he saidwith a smile.
The Genesee Valley School
BoardAssociation isaprogramof
the Genesee Valley Educational
Partnership. The Partnership op-
erates as aBoardofCooperative
Educational Services offering
shared programs and services to
22 component school districts
located in Genesee, Wyoming,
Livingston andSteuben counties
inNewYork state.
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