The William Floyd School District is saddened to hear of the passing of Mary Therese Kaniecki (nee O’Shea), who served as a trustee on the William Floyd Board of Education from 1974-1980.
Therese Kaniecki, 90, a 59-year Mastic Beach resident, still lived in the same home she purchased with her husband, Edward, and raised their seven children together. She graduated from Cathedral High School in Manhattan and attended college at Fordham University, receiving her Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in social work.
Therese’s daughter, Cecile Prevete, described her mother as an “amazing” and “community-oriented” woman who was instrumental in spearheading the formation of Colonial Youth & Family Services, as well as bringing the Mastics-Moriches-Shirley Library to the community. She served as president of various school PTOs for many years before serving as a trustee on the William Floyd Board of Education. She was also responsible for a newsletter in which she and fellow community members, with help from her children, wrote articles about things happening in our schools and community.
William Floyd Board of Education Vice President Jeananne Dawson, who joined the Board shortly after Mrs. Kaniecki’s tenure ended, reflected on Therese, whom she thought of as a mentor and friend.
“Therese’s commitment to the William Floyd School District as a school board member will never be forgotten,” said Mrs. Dawson. “She was the rock that brought all the new young residents of the district together. With her leadership we laid the foundation for what William Floyd is today. She took me under her wings and I will never forget her. I often think of her when I am sitting at the board table.”
Therese is survived by her seven children, Gerardine Panuthos, Cecile Prevete, Alexandra Kaniecki, Maria Migliara, Madalyn Buck, Paul Kaniecki and Kristina Snow, as well as 13 grandchildren, three great grandchildren, nieces, nephews and many friends.
The family will hold a special mass for her and is discussing a memorial ceremony. As per Board of Education policy, districts flags have been lowered to half-staff in her honor.