Elizabeth Public Schools celebrated the career and legacy of Luis R. Couto
On the afternoon of December 15, Elizabeth Public Schools celebrated the career and legacy of Luis R. Couto, who is retiring after serving for 27 years as the director of the Division of Plant, Property, and Equipment, with a surprise ceremony “Honoring Luis R. Couto - A Lifetime of Service at Elizabeth Public Schools” at the Thomas G. Dunn Athletic Center. Among those in attendance were members of the Division of Plant, Property, and Equipment, members of central administration, school principals, and members of Mr. Couto’s family. The speakers at the event included Elizabeth Public schools Superintendent Olga Hugelmeyer, Elizabeth Board of Education member and Chairwoman of the School Properties Committee Maria Z. Carvalho, School Business Administrator and Board Secretary Harold E. Kennedy, Jr., Chief of Operations Francisco Cuesta, Coordinator of Buildings and Properties Antonino Arcieri, Coordinator of Mechanics Luis E. Milanes, Jr., Coordinator of Warehouse Eduardo M. Dias, Division of Plant, Property and Equipment Administrative Secretaries Karina Guardarrama, Andrea Mojica, and Ana M. Rodriguez, and Coordinator of Staff Development and daughter of Mr. Couto, Lourdes Couto.
The ceremony included a video presentation outlining his career which saw an unprecedented expansion of school facilities under his leadership, including 12 newly constructed schools, 14 annexes acquired to increase classroom space, and hundreds of capital improvements projects to maintain existing school buildings. Following the video presentation, the members of the Elizabeth Public Schools Cabinet presented Mr. Couto with a plaque honoring his years of extraordinary service to the district.
The guest of honor offered some closing remarks, thanking all the members of the Division of Plant, Property, and Equipment who he worked with over the years and credited their hard work with making his job easy. He also thanked those he worked with throughout the district, including the members of central administration, for their support over the years before walking off to a standing ovation from all in attendance.