When you hear the words “Super Volunteer” you think of those whom you know who have given so much back to their community. Middle Village resident, Lorraine Tuzzo, was one of those people who never stopped giving of herself all her adult life.
The community lost Lorraine back in 1999 but her husband, Michael, still lives in Middle Village and he’s on a mission to have the newly renovated PS 128 school in Middle Village named after his wife, to be called The Lorraine Tuzzo Juniper Valley Elementary School.
Michael didn’t just dream up the dedication to his beloved wife. Back in 2003 before the school boards were changed by Mayor Bloomberg’s reorganization of the city’s public school system, the school boards were authorized to name or rename schools within their districts. A Resolution was passed and PS 128 was renamed, “The Lorraine Tuzzo Juniper Valley Elementary School.
However, the name of the school was never changed at the time. The excuse given to Michael Tuzzo was that a huge addition to the school was in store for PS 128.
Here it is, 2010, the school addition is complete and nothing has been done to rename PS 128 after Lorraine Tuzzo as promised.
Michael Tuzzo feels that the reason for that is because new people came on the school scene who never knew Lorraine Tuzzo or her hard work and devotion to our community.
Also, in a conversation this writer had with Nick Comaianni, CEC 24 President (Community Education Council), he stated that Lorraine Tuzzo’s files on the renaming of PS 128 “are lost” and that includes the original Resolution. He also stated that the impetus to go forth with renaming the school lies in Council Member Crowley’s hands and whatever energy she puts into the effort will determine the outcome.
Lorraine Tuzzo’s good friend, Pat Grayson, who is the Chair of CB5’s Education Committee, had this to say about Lorraine, “nobody worked as hard for 128 as Lorraine, nobody deserved a building named after her more than Lorraine, and since the name Juniper Valley is still in the title… the School Boards’ legitimate action should be recognized and Lorraine’s name should be in the title.”
However, realistically, what we are left with at the present time, is no “memory bank” on the school scene of people familiar with Lorraine’s hard work on behalf of the welfare of the children in the New York City public school system. That’s not good and you can see why Michael Tuzzo is having an uphill battle in his efforts for Lorraine.
As a result, even the Legislative Resolution signed in 2004 by then State Senator Serphin Maltese, is not enough to get the dedication back on the front burner of reality and that’s where Council Member Elizabeth Crowley comes into the picture. Of course if the “lost” files could be found or a new one issued, that would solve the problem.
Mr. Tuzzo tells of his speaking to Council Member Crowley back in January of 2010 when she was newly elected to office. He has also spoken to Ms. Crowley’s Chief of Staff, Lydon Sleeper. Mr. Tuzzo recently sent Ms. Crowley a letter repeating his request for the name change and also reminding her that she had stated that she would help with the re-dedication of the School.
This whole delay in the renaming of the School is definitely a sad development because Lorraine Tuzzo’s life was dedicated to her community and the following information will tell you of her many accomplishments in her short time with us.
Lorraine Tuzzo was a pediatric nurse for many years at St. Mary’s Children’s Hospital in Bayside. She was a community activist for over 30 years and a strong advocate for school decentralization. When her first child began kindergarten in PS 128 in 1969 she became President of the Parent Association of PS 128.
Lorraine joined the Queensboro Federation of Parent’s Club and from 1975 to 1980 she served as the President of the Federation. She was a member in good standing of many committees that Community School Board 24 hosted, including the lunch, budget, curriculum, communications and legislation committees.
Even when Lorraine’s children were no longer in the system she stayed active in School District 24. She was a member of the Legislative Advisory Committee from 1992 to 1998. She was also a 50-year member of the Ridgewood Kolping Society.
Her devoted husband, Michael, has reams of newspaper articles and recognition awards bestowed on his wife and he is determined to bring the re-dedication of PS 128 to fruition no matter the hard work involved. He is also anxious to have the actual name of Lorraine Tuzzo placed on the school as stated in the original Resolution issued back in 2003. If you talk to him you see that if determination and hard work bring results, Michael Tuzzo will succeed!
The School, PS 128, has been expanded to double its size and it stands in Middle Village ready to accept its new name in recognition of the original “lost” Resolution signed in 2003 and the Legislative Resolution signed by former State Senator Serphin Maltese back in 2004.
Council Member Elizabeth Crowley should put the wheels in motion to go forward with renaming PS 128 in honor of Lorraine Tuzzo.