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Letter: Tributes to Craig Lagnese

Tributes to Craig Lagnese, who’s untimely death prompted many tributes to him.  He was a teacher at Herricks High School and the head of the Herricks Teacher Association.(HTA).

 Nidya Degliomini, HTA Elementary Vice President

Having been in Herricks for over 20 years, it wasn’t until I met Craig that I saw the person who I believed could be the leader that we desperately needed. Craig worked tirelessly to help everyone. It was because of his honesty and fortitude for righteousness that so many members became involved in the HTA.

Craig’s dedication and values inspired me to run for office and be part of his administration. I truly enjoyed every second that I worked with him. The countless emails, texts, meetings and exchanges of ideas made me feel that we were making a difference in our members’ lives. Craig always showed a tremendous amount of perseverance and resilience. He handled even the toughest situations with such calmness and strength. I was always amazed at how such a young man had so much maturity and strength of character and composure. He was a dynamic and amazing speaker. His sense of fairness towards everyone gained him the respect of so many members. When Craig spoke with you he truly listened and cared about what you said.

I feel privileged to have worked with him on the PNC, Governing Board and as part of his administration. He taught me so much, not only about being a union leader but about how to treat others and be a better person.

Not a day goes by that I don’t think of him countless times and truly miss him. It is because of the impact he had on me that I truly vow to continue the work he started. Craig has left a strong mark in my life. I will always remember him as the young man who cared about everyone and taught me, a seasoned 31 year veteran teacher, so much about life, teaching and how to be a better person. Craig will forever be my mentor, my president, my special friend - a legacy.

Ellen Safarik, HTA Secretary

It was an honor and a pleasure to have worked with Craig as the president of the Herricks Teachers’ Association.

Frank DeCelie

The passing of my friend Craig Lagnese is more than the loss of a person who would have been my lifelong friend. It is also the passing     of one of the key leaders in the Herricks schools, and of a teacher of meaning and importance to so many students and other teachers. In living through these past difficult days, I was struck by how many worlds and how many people Craig had touched: students, secretaries, colleagues and administrators and fellow teachers, custodians, community members, leaders of other unions around the county. It was striking to see the depth and breadth of his involvement in our community, and a leader of his caliber will be impossible to replace, though. we struggle on in his memory. I will miss him a great deal.