Education Update’s Outstanding Educators of the Year Garner Awards at the Harvard Club
- Matthew Goldstein
- Geoffrey Canada
- Harold McGraw III
- Michelle J. Anderson
Now in its ninth year, Education Update’s Outstanding Educators of the Year 2011 awards ceremony has gathered greater momentum and prestige and garnered greater visibility as our nation has come to realize what Education Update publishers and founders of this event have known for years: outstanding teachers and principals are the foundation that guides our nation’s education system, our future citizens and our place in the world. As Dr. Pola Rosen pointed out, Oprah Winfrey in her TV farewell made a special point of singling out for thanks her elementary school teacher for uniquely inspiring her.
Secretary of Education Arne Duncan sent greetings, noting that education was “the civil rights issue of our generation.” It was a most appropriate phrase, considering that one of the Distinguished Leaders in Education Award recipients was Michelle J. Anderson, Dean of The City University of New York Law School.
For the over 200 guests who attended the breakfast at The Harvard Club, the mission of academic access and excellence was a theme taken up by the keynote speaker, Dr. Matthew Goldstein, chancellor of The City University of New York, who said he was honored at being asked to speak. Though the substance of his opening remarks was hardly new, it was sounded with a new sense of urgency. Education, the chancellor said, was the “sine qua non for a healthy and vibrant citizenry.”
Without it, the country faces a “national security problem” — and this is no “elliptical” remark, he added knowingly (Dr. Goldstein has a Ph.D. in mathematics). He then went on to argue for a new articulation policy proposal for the community and senior colleges, based on a smoother transfer of general education requirements.
Presenter Robert Jackson, Chair of the New York City Council Education Committee, spoke with impassioned purpose of Harlem Children’s Zone President and CEO, the inimitable Geoffrey Canada, another Distinguished Leader in Education award recipient, underscoring the purpose and importance of Canada’s goals to the entire nation.
Dr. Charlotte Frank, senior vice president of McGraw-Hill Education, presented the second Distinguished Leader in Education award to Harold (“Terry”) McGraw III, Chairman, President and CEO of The McGraw-Hill Companies. He, in turn, waxed “optimistic” on “our shared determination to solve” education problems, emphasizing the importance of digital-age enhancements that can liberate schools from one-size-fits-all models.
The third Distinguished Leader in Education award was presented to Dr. Anderson by Queens County District Attorney Richard A. Brown. While Anderson noted that last speakers have a difficult job, she need not have had the least concern. She brought down the house, so to speak, for her remarkably down-to-earth comments inflected with affability and humor, which were as eloquent as they were understated. She spoke of the law school’s move to Long Island City in 2012 and of its continuing “scrappy” and “unique” mission to provide public service to the city’s underserved populations.
Outstanding Teachers of the Year recipients included Nicole Abrams (Cultural Academy for the Arts & Sciences, Brooklyn); Otis Benjamin (P.S. 116, Brooklyn); Jhonary Bridgemohan (Global Tech Prep., Manhattan); Jay Coppi (Ralph R. McKee CTE HS/31R600, Staten Island); Malisa Peres DaSilva (P.S. 50Q, Queens); Jay Finkelstein (Brooklyn High School for Leadership & Community Service, Brooklyn); Megan Galvin (Scholars’ Academy, Queens); Shane Gellard (Metropolitan Lighthouse Charter School, Bronx); Richard Geller (Stuyvesant High School, Manhattan); Doris Hanrahan (P.S. 11, Staten Island); Jennifer Lewner (Scholars’ Academy, Queens); Alison Malone (Hungerford/P 721R, Staten Island); Pierre Michel (Granville T. Woods P.S. 335, Brooklyn); Patrick Misciagna (Staten Island Technical High School, Staten Island); Dwain Newell (Robert Kennedy P.S. 169, Manhattan); Dana Nicholson (P.S. 127, Queens); Ana Plaza (The Herman Schreiber School, P.S. 279, Brooklyn); Irene Queller (P.S. 128, The Audubon School, Manhattan); Daisy Santiago (Jonas Bronck Academy, Bronx); Haydee Santino (P.S./M.S. 15, Bronx); Aleksandra Kaplon-Schilis (High School for Service & Learning, Brooklyn); Matthew Schweingruber (P.S. 128, The Audubon School, Manhattan); and Melissa White (Robert Kennedy P.S. 169, Manhattan).
Outstanding Administrators of the Year recipients included Anthony Barbetta (Thomas A. Edison Career & Technical Education High School, Queens); Deirdre De Angelis (New Dorp High School, Staten Island); Naomi Drouillard (The Rosa Parks School-P.S. 254, Queens); Laverne Nimmons (P.S. 335, Brooklyn); Margaret Russo (P.S. 160K, Brooklyn); and Francisco Sánchez (The High School for Contemporary Arts, Bronx).
Applause was long and heartfelt as everyone gave a standing ovation to recognize the contributions of educators who enrich the lives of students every day in every school throughout all of New York City. #