Kaden Building Dedication… a Significant Moment 24 Years in the Making

Left to right front: Michele DeGaetano, SHUFSD BOE Member; Lorraine Deller, Executive Director of Nassau-Suffolk School Boards Association; Susan Bergtraum, President of NYSSBA; Debbie and Jim Kaden; Nicholas Ciappetta, SHUFSD BOE President; Laura Carey and Linda LaCara, SHUFSD BOE Members.  Back row l-r: Andrew D. Bronson and Sidney B. Joyner, SHUFSD BOE Members; Brian Sapp, from Governor Cuomo’s Office; Edward J. Nitkewicz, SHUFSD BOE Member; Chad Lupinacci, NY State Assemblyman; and Mark Cuthbertson, Huntington Town Councilman.
Left to right front: Michele DeGaetano, SHUFSD BOE Member; Lorraine Deller, Executive Director of Nassau-Suffolk School Boards Association; Susan Bergtraum, President of NYSSBA; Debbie and Jim Kaden; Nicholas Ciappetta, SHUFSD BOE President; Laura Carey and Linda LaCara, SHUFSD BOE Members. Back row l-r: Andrew D. Bronson and Sidney B. Joyner, SHUFSD BOE Members; Brian Sapp, from Governor Cuomo’s Office; Edward J. Nitkewicz, SHUFSD BOE Member; Chad Lupinacci, NY State Assemblyman; and Mark Cuthbertson, Huntington Town Councilman.
Passing the ‘gavel’, new BOE President Nick Ciappetta with his mentor Jim Kaden.
Passing the ‘gavel’, new BOE President Nick Ciappetta with his mentor Jim Kaden.
Superintendent Dave Bennardo (left) joins BOE members to thank Jim Kaden for his selflessness and dedication to the South Huntington School Community for over 24 years.
Superintendent Dave Bennardo (left) joins BOE members to thank Jim Kaden for his selflessness and dedication to the South Huntington School Community for over 24 years.
Recognizing his wife’s contributions, Jim Kaden thanks his wife Debbie for her support and many years of dedication to the South Huntington School District.
Recognizing his wife’s contributions, Jim Kaden thanks his wife Debbie for her support and many years of dedication to the South Huntington School District.

It was his home-away-from-home, and 24 years after he began serving on the Board of Education, the address known as 60 Weston Street is now officially and forever The James Kaden Administrative Offices. This past Wednesday’s BOE meeting began with a heartfelt dedication as honored guests, school administrators, teachers and community members paid tribute to a district icon.

Superintendent Dr. Dave Bennardo welcomed Mr. and Mrs. Kaden and thanked the more than 50 guests who took the time to come witness this special event.  He then led the audience in the Pledge of Allegiance, and Walt Whitman High School student Pamela Carey sang the National Anthem. Before introducing BOE President Mr. Nicholas Ciappetta, Superintendent Bennardo spoke highly of the professional and personal relationships that were developed during the past five years that he has been superintendent. 

“The decision to name this building was unanimous and easily reached by the Board members,” said BOE President Mr. Nicholas Ciappetta as he looked over the crowd at an outdoor ceremony. “ Jim, you deserve this honor for many more reasons than your longevity. You deserve it because over the past 24 years you have been the champion of the underdog.  You deserve it because your knowledge of the districts finances and education law is unmatched, even by our auditors and lawyers. You deserve it because for 24 years you steadfastly improved instruction in this district, starting with our kindergarten and elementary school reading program, as well as increasing academic offerings for all students, such as our AP Program.”

“You deserve it because you showed us what leadership means. That it’s difficult, and that to be a good leader you have to make decisions that at times are not easy and politically unpopular. But most importantly you deserve this because you have made a difference in the lives of children. For these reasons and so many more, Jim Kaden has made an indelible impact on our district, and today’s building dedication ensures that his legacy is secure and demonstrates appreciation to him for loving our students so much for over two decades.”

 “It’s been my pleasure to serve this district and this community, and I hope in some small way I have contributed to the lives of our children,” said Mr. Kaden. “This has been an honor, so thank you very much.” 

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