By JOHN BORGOLINI
Fulton County Express
MAYFIELD — Mayfield Central School District officials added two more members to its Wall of Dedication Wednesday when they honored alumnus DiAnne Mott and long-time Physical Education Teacher and Coach Eileen Rovito.
Family, friends and peers gathered at the Mayfield High School auditorium for the 12th annual dedication ceremony to share stories and pay homage to the two instructors who have taught local students the importance of hard work and generosity.
Superintendent Jon Peterson addressed the audience following school board member Bob Suits’ introduction and recalled how he was impressed with the Wall of Dedication the first time he visited the district this past spring.
“It reminds me, in most homes, as soon as you walk into somebody’s home, you’re usually greeted by photos of family members and friends that are most important to them,” Peterson said. “Here at Mayfield, we do the same thing. As you know, our colors are blue and gold. I think the people on that wall are really the gold standard at Mayfield Central School.”
Mott, a 1980 graduate of Mayfield, saw her friends and peers take the podium to share their experiences working and living with the music teacher at Oppenheim-Ephratah-St. Johnsville Central School District.
They talked about her 30 years at the school district where she has instilled love and enthusiasm for music and life through her teachings.
They recalled a trip Mayfield students took to Virginia Beach for a band competition, a trombone player approached band director Noel Wing and Mott and told them he didn’t have a sheet of music for the jazz band competition they were about to perform in.
Mott sat down and wrote down his entire part in the 10 minutes before the band’s performance.
Wing shared this story to illustrate her dedication to her job, which he said was noticeable from the day she took her position in 1986.
“It didn’t take long before all of us Fulton County music teachers realized how crazy DiAnne was about her job, especially marching band. I was just going to leave it at crazy, but that wouldn’t have been very nice,” he said. “But she really was crazy and continues to be crazy with the amount of time that she puts into her job and gives to her students. It’s just unbelievable.”
Wing said when she’s not working with students, she’s working on lesson plans, grading tests and rewriting music.
He said he is glad to see Mott getting this recognition, not only because of her work, but because she has also made a contribution beyond Mayfield.
Mayfield Principal Christopher Wojeski said Mott has been a key member of the community for decades.
Wojeski said in addition to the hard work and dedication others spoke of, there was something about her personal life that impressed him as well.
“What stands out the most to me, DiAnne, is your commitment to parenthood,” he said. “And I think that’s second to none. If I can be half the parent to my two children as you are to Andy, I’ll be a fantastic father.”
Mott has gained some national recognition as well. She is currently one of 25 semifinalists for the 2016 Grammy Music Educator Award.
Fellow inductee Rovito was remembered in much of the same light — as having a positive influence on students and everyone in the community.
“She shows her athletes that perseverance, hard work and cooperation pay off,” former Mayfield science teacher Carolyn Darkangelo said. “Eileen is a wonderful role model who teaches and coaches with patience, caring, determination and openness.”
One of her current students and volleyball players, Kaylee Bumpus, said that over the past four years, Rovito has inspired her to be the best person she could be both on and off the court.
“Her advice, inspiration and positive attitude have helped me more than I could ever explain,” Bumpus said. “I speak on behalf of our whole team when I say Mrs. Rovito knows how to bring out the very best in each one of us — making us the greatest players we can be and perfecting our skills no matter how long it takes. She will never take ‘I can’t’ as an answer, but will make you try until you finally believe that you can.”
Rovito’s son, Ryan, spoke about her humbleness and how much she cared for others in what he called an example of “Christian Life.”
Ryan said that she has always been the quiet one, and she puts others first. The impact she has had in other people’s lives is the legacy that she has left, he said.
Mott and Eileen said they were humbled by the recognition, and that it will keep them working hard at their respective positions.