Darien middle school secretary retires after 43 years

Marietta Guarino retired in August after 43 years serving as the secretary to Middlesex Middle School principals. As a Darien resident of 50 years who celebrated her 80th birthday recently, Guarino will be enjoying her retirement after serving as a dedicated Darien Public Schools employee.

On her history of getting the job, which she started on Aug. 25, 1975, Guarino said, “I was there when they were a junior high school. They had two junior high schools at the time, Mather and Middlesex.”

She continued, “It was actually my husband who said I should put in an application to get a job there. I was working at the time at Union Trust. I didn’t think anything was going to come from it and then I got a call and I went for the interview.” However, the job at the time was full time, and Guarino needed part time.

“And then in 1975 there was a 10-month job available and I took it at Middlesex Middle School,” she said.

Guarino then explained why she stayed for so long. “It’s been a long time working at Middlesex Middle School. I never expected it to be that long and it was fine because the kids were at school.”

She continued, “Then a few years went by and my daughter was going to college and a 12-month job became available and I said, ‘Well, I don’t know if I want twelve months,’ and at the time Arthur Bleemer was the principal. He said, ‘You know you ought to take it. We work well together.’ And so I took the job as a 12 month secretary to Arthur Bleemer.”

In jest, she said, “I only went through five principals. Right now the principal is Shelley Somers, then there was Debi Boccanfuso. Prior to Debi there was Philip Nelson, then there was Arthur Bleemer and then before him was Richard Anderson.”

On working at Middlesex, Guarino said, “I loved it. I really really did. I had very good people that I worked with. I made a lot of good friends. I made a lot of friends with children that have extended into my life believe it or not. That was the job, you worked with the children and you wanted to be with them.”