Poland Foundation to honor three community members at banquet
By Jess Hardin
The three honorees at Poland Foundation’s 26th annual recognition banquet have decades of experience in the Poland school community not only as professionals but also as parents, students and volunteers.
After receiving nominations from teachers and staff, the board chose to honor Dr. Larry Dinopoulos, Patrick Williams and Candy Fonagy at this year’s banquet.
Outside of their professional involvement in Poland schools, Dinopoulos and Williams are graduates of Poland Seminary High School – in 1981 and 1992, respectively – and Dinopoulos and Fonagy both sent their children to Poland schools.
A local dentist who also serves on the school board, Dinopoulos credits the community for his success.
“I wouldn’t be here without Poland education. Great community, great teachers,” he said.
Williams has been teaching in Poland schools for 20 years and currently teaches in the technology program at the high school.
Classes and extracurricular activities, such as running the video board for sports events, allow Williams reach out to different types of learners.
“I want to do stuff I would have enjoyed as a student. Not everyone can just read something and regurgitate it,” he said.
“Kids love his class, and I know of kids that have transferred here when they hear about his class,” Fonagy said.
Three years into her role as secretary of the high school, Fonagy took on the role of theater director. She calls her 18-year tenure with the Poland Players “an avocation and a passion.”
When the position opened but did not receive applications, she knew that “the program couldn’t end.”
“It filled a space in the kids’ lives that nothing else would fill,” she said.
The trio voiced their surprise about the honor and called it humbling.
“Like Pat, I mean, I look at the people honored before us. ... That I could be thought of in the same breath as contributing to the educational experience of these kids,” she said.