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PTAs To Name Fairfield Couple 'Friends of Education'

Former Fairfield Board of Education Chair John Mitola will receive the 2012 Friend of Education Award with his wife Michelle Monday.
Former Fairfield Board of Education Chair John Mitola will receive the 2012 Friend of Education Award with his wife Michelle Monday. Photo Credit: Greg Canuel (File)

FAIRFIELD, Conn. – The Fairfield PTA Council will honor John and Michelle Mitola with the 2012 Alis B. McGrath Friend of Education Award Monday night.

“The Fairfield PTA Council is delighted and proud to honor John and Michele and their accomplishments over many years of volunteering in the PTA, the Board of Education and numerous committees within the Fairfield school system and in the larger community,” said Leonora Campbell, chair of the PTA Council’s Awards Committee, in a news release.

The award is named for former PTA volunteer and RTM member Alis B. McGrath, who worked on two PTAs, the Town Youth Council, Adults and Children Together (ACT) and other Fairfield volunteer groups. Each year the PTA Council gives the honor to a Fairfielder who is “committed to the cause of excellence in our public schools and who has demonstrated clear leadership through their active involvement, not just in the educational process, but as on the larger community stage as well.”

John Mitola served on Fairfield’s Board of Education from 2005 to 2011, acting as its chair for his last year in office. In November 2011 he joined the Representative Town Meeting from District 2. He has also served on the Burr and McKinley School building committees and the Fairfield National Little League’s board of directors.

Michele Mitola has been a member of Jennings School’s PTA for six years, and previously served as its vice president of After School Programs and Literacy. She was also the school’s Education Budget Review delegate and is a frequent advocate for education at town meetings.

“A primary mission of the PTA is to ‘support and speak on behalf of children and youth in the schools, in the community and before governmental bodies and other organizations that make decisions affecting children,’” Monica Fahrer and Brenda Steele wrote in their nomination of the Mitolas. “John and Michele embody this statement perfectly.”

The Mitolas will receive their awards at the PTA Council’s monthly meeting Monday night. The ceremony begins at 7:30 p.m. at the Board of Education’s conference room, 501 Kings Highway East.

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