Whalen did whale of a job for her city

The City of New London and the New London Public Schools owe a debt of gratitude to Maria Z. Whalen - the school system's director of business and finance - who is retiring at the end of September. For more than 25 years she has kept the budgets of the New London Public Schools in balance.

Maria's life is her work, her family and her church. Her sons are now on the road to becoming a lawyer and a physician; it takes little urging to bring a smile to her face as she bubbles with pride about them and what they have accomplished. She is also the continuous caretaker for parents, in-laws and "out laws." And on any given day or weekend, she is off after a 12-hour day to fulfill responsibilities at her church.

Not only has Whalen kept the NLPS "in the black"; she is the discrete resource who has frequently advised city finance staff on matters in which she has unparalleled expertise.

Few have acknowledged her professionalism, personal integrity, astounding work ethic (staying hundreds of hours to make sure that people living paycheck to paycheck receive their checks) and love for the children and staff. She exemplifies what loyalty and public service are all about. She will be missed.

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