Hasty Elementary School Fine Arts Academy Principal Rodney Larrotta, center, is presented the 2019 Jean Harris Service Above Self Award by Canton Rotarians Shane Moore, left, and Peter Gleichman.
Hasty Elementary School Fine Arts Academy Principal Rodney Larrotta has earned a top honor for community service!
The Rotary Club of Canton today presented Principal Larrotta with its 2019 Jean Harris Service Above Self Award, which honors an outstanding volunteer from the community each year.
The award was a surprise to the leader, who thought he was attending the meeting to provide a school update to the Club, one of its Partners in Education.
“We have the best community. We have the best schools. We have the best people,” Principal Larrotta said, as he accepted the award and thanked the Club for its support. He talked about his students, their dreams, and how community supporters like Rotarians can help make them reality. “You are like dream weavers -- you make it happen.”
As part of the presentation, Rotarians shared letters of support from Principal Larrotta’s staff, volunteers and parents, who praised him for his willingness to go above and beyond for students. Examples shared include his efforts to work with MUST Ministries to develop a food pantry on campus and with partners like the Canton Police Department and Rotary Club to bring in volunteers, mentors and donations.
As one volunteer said: “He would never ask anyone to do something he would not do himself.”
Principal Larrotta’s family members and colleagues joined in the surprise presentation, which also was attended by Superintendent of Schools Dr. Brian V. Hightower.
“Rodney is Rotary’s motto of ‘Service Above Self’ personified,” Dr. Hightower said. “He cares for every one of his students like they’re all his own children, which makes him an excellent Principal. How he extends that care into manning the school food pantry after hours, showing up on Saturdays to help clean up students’ neighborhoods and countless other quiet acts of kindness – that’s what makes him an extraordinary volunteer and leader. We’re so proud of him and this honor.”
Superintendent of Schools Dr. Brian V. Hightower, left, congratulates Principal Larrotta.