On tonight’s agenda for the Board of Mythomania’s Action meeting is something that’s important to highlight and say a few words about. Seems my buddy, Emil “Do the Right Thing” Ferlicchi is retiring after some 42 years of service to the School District and the people of Downtown Edison. Quite an amazing accomplishment for one’s life in and of itself - not to mention that along the way, the positive impact he has had in the lives of his students and to those he represented as President of the ETEA.
Now, you can say a lot of things about Senor Ferlicchi when it comes to his role as President of the ETEA (and, as you can see above, I affectionately have). His tag line “Do the Right Thing” is a classic Ferlicchi moment whether he was addressing the Board at a BoE meeting or the Edison Council during a defeated budget hearing. Others include the time-honored tradition of “It’s all about the Kids” whether he was selling a budget or bond referendum and let’s not forget that plea he always made when school budgets were defeated – “We need our fair share of state aid!” Funny, he never made that plea when budgets passed! But I digress, so let’s move on.
Then there are all those other names that were used to describe Senor Ferlicchi depending on whatever actions he was taking. He was part of the “Three Amigos” with Dickinson & DiMuzio when it came to budgets, bond referendums and collective bargaining agreements. For years, he was the “Clean-up batter” at Board meetings where Dickinson would let him speak last after everyone else had spoken. He would then offer a different opinion on whatever was said and no one was allowed to respond. And finally, who could forget he was ”Best-est Buddies” with Dickinson & DiMuzio for years.
Now, all of this is not to say that as ETEA President, he didn’t do an excellent job for his membership. One look at the collective bargaining agreements he was able to get for his membership will show you otherwise. Those were some of the most generous contracts that I’ve ever seen in this state. His membership owes him a great deal for his service and raising the scale here in Downtown Edison – as much as I may have cringed when reading them.
So, the best example to give to sum up his role as the ETEA President can be taken from a past Board meeting. After he had spoken, I followed him and said to Dickinson - you know, he’s good, he’s very good and if I didn’t know better, I’d actually believe him!
Point being, he was an excellent spokesperson and political force for his union. If you’re honest with yourself, you have to give credit where credit is due – no matter how much you may have disagreed with Senor Ferlicchi.
So, Kudos to You Senor Ferlicchi for doing an outstanding job in your stewardship role of the ETEA!
Even more important to me was his role as a teacher. You see, I know something about his teaching ability. He was my daughter’s 5th grade teacher many years ago. Not only does she remember him and what she learned from him but always tells me to this day - be Nice to Senor Ferlicchi – and don’t be picking on him! Now, if you knew my daughter – you’d recognize this represents the high esteem she holds for Senor Ferlicchi to this day.
Now, maybe it’s me, but spending a lifetime educating our Kids and turning empty minds into open minds is what it’s all about and, no doubt, his greatest gift to the people of Edison – and for that Senor Ferlicchi, I commend you and personally thank you.
I know your next “Grand” journey down the road of life will be even more fulfilling.