A group of folks gathered at Hylen Souders Elementary School on Monday, May 19, to remember former Souders Principal Melissa Zarich Rosato, who passed away in March.
Rosato, who started as a substitute teacher in the district, served as Hylen Souders’ principal from 1981 until 1996. After leaving the Big Walnut school district, Rosato went on the positions in the Olentangy and Upper Arlington districts.
“She was a wonderful administrator; she loved kids,” said Souders teacher Lisa Morgan. “She knew every kid by the name, and dedicated her life to seeing that every student received an equal education.”
Morgan, who was hired by Rosato in 1985 and teaches fourth grade, said Rosato was one of the best administrators that she ever worked for.
“She really could grow teachers,” Morgan said.
About 25 people were present to dedicate a Dogwood tree in Rosato’s memory. Big Walnut Local School District Superintendent Steve Mazzi was there, along with Assistant Superintendent Angie Pollock and Director of Academic Achievement Laura Wood. Former Souders Principal Steve Butler, who now serves as the Big Walnut High School Assistant Principal, also stopped by for the occasion.
Morgan said an inscribed stone next to the Dogwood is from Matt Wilson’s creek. Wilson, who now teaches at Hylen Souders, was a student at Souders when Rosato was principal. The Dogwood is from Dannaher Landscaping. The owners of the Vans Valley Road business have two children who attended Souders.
“We tried to keep everything as local and personal as possible,” Morgan said.
Following the tree planting ceremony everyone gathered in the Hylen Souders lobby for refreshments, and to share memories while going through old Souders yearbooks.