Pound Ridge Elementary School Principal Peter Politi thought he was practicing for a crisis. What he didnt know was that he was really being celebrated.
After five years at the helm of the school, Politi, 55, is retiring next month. On Friday, the Pound Ridge Police Department and the Office of Emergency Management (OEM), along with the schools faculty and staff, set up a surprise assembly to thank Politi under the guise of a practice crisis drill.
The students and staff actually carried out the drill where a hypothetical situation was set up in which a robbery took place at a business near the school and the suspect was on the loose. The students and teachers, under the watchful eye of police and OEM members, successfully went through the machinations of the drill, which included a lock down and subsequent evacuation of the building while Police Chief David Ryan kept Politi busy in the principals office. The students then stealthily entered the gymnasium and waited for Politis arrival. When the prinicpal entered the room, he was greeted with a standing ovation.
I am shocked, surprised and honored, Politi told the students.
When asked after the event if he was truly surprised, Politi said jokingly, No, I was not surprised at all. Thats why I cried like a baby.
Politi was joined on stage, by his wife, his aunt, and one of his four sons as he received plaques and other gifts for his service to the school and the community.
This was the last opportunity to get the police and OEM together and thank [Politi] for all the nice things he has done and give you the safest environment you could ask for, Ryan told the students. In my 29 years as a policeman, Ive never seen anyone as good.
Politi was presented with the OEM Award of Excellence, as well as a plaque from the Police Department and ambulance corps for his dedication to public safety.
You created a whole new level of safety [for the school], Ryan told Politi. We love you and wish you the best.
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