Anthony F. Savignano Sr. Fund
Anthony ("Sonny") Savignano devoted his entire adult life to Shelton Public Education. Beginning his career as a math teacher, he became the youngest SHS Boys Basketball Coach, later serving as a Housemaster and then Headmaster at Shelton High School, and concluded his career in the central office as The Director of Operations. When he retired in 2004, his work had spanned 47 years, and was filled with stories of helping to get troubled youngsters back on the right track, and saving the city thousands of dollars with his tenacious service on several school building committees.
Upon his passing in 2009, Tony's wife and children could think of no better way to honor his memory than to establish The Anthony Savignano Memorial Fund with VCF.
"When Tony retired, the Shelton Schools staff had collected a significant amount of money, and planned on sending him on a very nice trip," said his wife, Carol Savignano. "He wouldn't hear of it. He said, 'I'm giving it back to the kids,' and he created a scholarship. We know that this is what he would have wanted us to do now - to establish a Fund for the High School and the kids."
Anthony Savignano was Valley born and raised - and it was always Shelton that held his heart. He felt that it was important to be with people who cared about you, and would be there for you, no matter what. His commitment was evident in all that he did. "He always did what was right for the school system, the staff, and his students - and was never motivated by any personal agenda," said Carol.
Sonny's daughter, Susan Pineau, recalled, "As a child who went through the Shelton School system, I was able to see my father's impact on the advancement of generations of students. Nothing was more revealing of his influence than the sentiments I received from so many former students on his passing. Their comments ranged from 'If your Dad hadn't kicked my butt in High School, I would have ended up in jail," to 'Your Dad got me interested in math (or sports or computers, etc.) and helped me get into college when I didn't think I could do it.'By establishing this Fund in his name, we can insure that his legacy will continue."
Daughter Jodi Savignano agreed. "He had a great smile and a real presence, but also had a silly side, too. I can remember walking in the halls of SHS and seeing him skip and laugh, sometimes even singing! My friends always commented on what a fun guy hewas, especially for a high school principal. As a father, he led by example. He taught us character, integrity, and the value of hard work."
The Fund documents provide that grants, awards and/or scholarships may be made from the Fund "to assist the students of Shelton High School...to whom Sonny Savignano was completely devoted." While the family will determine just how they will do that, it is likely that distributions will not be limited to scholarships. "Whatever we decide will be about what is best for the students of Shelton," said Carol. "We want them to think of him as we do - a generous and caring man who wanted the best for them and for their future."
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