Former councilman cited for work on education
By Paula Katinas
Brooklyn Daily Eagle
The Community Education Council of School District 21 honored one of its predecessors, Domenic Recchia at its April 23 meeting in which students sang songs, recited poems and presented the former councilman with portraits they painted of him.
“It was a wonderful evening. Students from several schools performed for him. He was very touched by it,” Heather Ann Fiorica, president of the Community Education Council (CEC) told the Brooklyn Eagle. One group of students sang “Wind Beneath My Wings” for Recchia, who served on Community School Board 21 from 1989 to 2001. The school board was the representative body in the school district before CECs were created by state legislation in 2002.
CEC 21, which represents parents of students in schools in Coney Island, Gravesend and parts of Bensonhurst, gave Recchia a plaque to thank him for his years of service. The ceremony took place at the CEC’s meeting at David A. Boody Intermediate School in Gravesend. Recchia attended Boody as a child.
“We wanted to honor him because he spent years helping our children and making our schools better. He got a lot of resources for our schools in both his role as a school board member and as a City Council member,” Fiorica said. Recchia is remembered fondly by the educational community, she said. “A lot of our members were PTA leaders and they worked with Domenic when he was on the school board."
Recchia, who is currently the Democratic candidate for congress in the 11th Congressional District, said the award from the CEC and the accolades from the children meant a great deal to him. “I'm humbled and proud to be honored for prioritizing our schools and for making investments in education and children. Having served on the school board and then the New York City Council, the schools in District 21 have a very special place in my heart,” Recchia said in a statement. “Working with the community – parents, teachers, faculty, and students – together we've made vast improvements to District 21 schools and have ensured that our children have access to an education that will help them succeed in the future. Our work is far from done, however, we must continue to fight to make our schools the best in the City – if not the world – and open doors for our children."
Recchia is a product of District 21 schools. He attended PS 215, Boody Intermediate School and John Dewey High School.
During his years on the City Council, he served first as chairman of the Cultural Affairs Committee and then the Finance Committee. As Cultural Affairs chairman, Recchia created the Cultural After-School Adventure Program (CASA), which pairs schools with arts groups to help inner city youths develop their artistic talents.
Recchia is also a founder of the Council for Unity, an organization that works to foster positive relations between different ethnic groups in Brooklyn.