The final days are here for Dobbins Elementary School Principal Cheryl Borovitcky, who is retiring at the end of this school year. On Friday, May 31, she looked back over what has been a successful 35 years in education.
"My joy and purpose every day is the kids," Borovitcky said. "They are the reason I am here."
Borovitcky said her dream of being an educator had its roots in her early childhood. Since she was eight years old, she wanted to be a teacher.
Photos by J.T. Whitehouse, Town Crier
One final birthday celebration was held at Dobbins Elementary School for Principal Cheryl Borovitcky who is stepping down after 35 years in the Poland school system. Pictured with Borovitcky are students with June and July birthdays, Molly Malmer, Ellie Kempers, Chloe Kosco, Laurel Zarbaugh, Carmen Lefoer, and Anthony Koulianos.
Borovitcky grew up on the West Side of Youngstown and graduated from Chaney High School in 1974. She followed her childhood dream and attended Youngstown State University where she earned her bachelor of science degree in education in 1978.
Right after graduation, Borovitcky was hired by the Poland School District and began her career as a third grade teacher at Poland North Elementary. From North she went to Poland Union as a special education teacher, went back to North to teach second grade, then transferred to Dobbins to teach second grade.
"Most of my teaching career was spent at Dobbins as a second grade teacher," she said. "I had the desire to work on a larger scale and continued my education at Ashland University."
She earned her principal and supervisor's license from Ashland in 1997, but didn't jump into the role right away. She continued her climb up the ladder by earning her national board certification in 2002.
While still teaching second grade at Dobbins, Borovitcky took on a part-time role teaching at YSU's Beeghly College of Education. She continued her career at YSU even after she was appointed principal of Dobbins in 2003.
As the new principal, Borovitcky still maintained her passion for the students and ensuring they get the best education possible. She wanted to start things off by getting to know the students better. That was accomplished through a new program she established called the Birthday Bunch. The program was held once a month and any student who had a birthday during the month was invited to sit at a decorated table for lunch and the PTA provided treats. After they ate, they got called to the office where they sat down with Borovitcky and talked.
The birthday students got to talk about what they liked at Dobbins and got to know Borovitcky on a first name basis. At the end of the meeting, Borovitcky gave the students a book marker and a pencil as she talked to them about the importance of reading.
"I intended to do it in my first year as principal just to get to know the students," Borovitcky said. "I just kept it going and made it a regular monthly event."
During Borovitcky's tenure as principal, she accomplished a lot projects. She worked hard to renovate the school's library, enhanced the technology in the classroom, helped establish the Dobbins Nature Trail for outdoor learning, and more recently, worked on renovating the playground to make it safer.
As for education, Borovitcky's passion has always been promoting literacy, which she said is her purpose in life. She served as local president of the Ohio Council of the International Reading Association. Presently she serves as state coordinator, a task she plans to continue.
On Friday, Borovitcky invited Ohio Rep. Ron Gerberry to Dobbins to speak to the fourth grade on government. After the morning session, Gerberry stopped by the main office and told Borovitcky, "This is a great building and you have to be proud of that."
She is proud of what her students have accomplished throughout the years. As she sets her sights on new challenges, she said there will be a lot she will miss.
"I will miss the students, staff and families at Dobbins and all the Poland schools," she said.
She plans to stick around for a short time to finish up her work on the school's playground. She said the next phase is to add more of the crushed rubber surface to the existing playground.
As for the future, Borovitcky plans to continue teaching at YSU and continue to promote literacy in any way she can. She also hopes to spend more time with family and friends.
"I know there are new challenges waiting for me," she said, "but I hope to stop and smell the roses a bit."