STAMFORD, CT – Stamford Public Education Foundation’s 14th annual Excellence in Education Awards was an evening of celebration and inspiration as community leaders and educators were honored for their commitment to public education. This year’s event took place virtually on Thursday, March 25th, and streamed from www.spefct.org.
Longtime SPEF supporter, ESPN broadcaster Arda Orcal once again served as master of ceremonies. The presentation included SPEF staff highlighting how programs are meeting the challenges brought on by the pandemic. In addition, SPEF board members, Stamford public school students, parents, teachers, and administrators delivered touching tributes to the 2021 award recipients: • SPEF Leadership Award: Jack Bryant (posthumous), accepted by his son Jamar Greene, on behalf of the Bryant family • SPEF Community Giving Award: Gartner, accepted by Jules Kaufman, EVP, General Counsel, Corporate Secretary
• SPEF Educator Award: 50+ nominations were received from SPS community members and the five winners are: o Katie Welsh, Davenport Ridge Elementary School o Luciana Lira, Hart Magnet Elementary School o Betsy DeSantis, Julia A. Stark Elementary School o Ryan Carey, SPS Anchor at Harbor Landing o Fred Kelley, Stamford High School
• Stamford Public Schools Teacher of the Year: Donna Kaiser, Stamford High Teacher of the Year Finalists: Judy Anker, Stillmeadow; Ashley Porter Collins, Westhill High, and Spotlight Award Recipients: Shakia (Kia) Amaro, Stillmeadow; Jillian Churchill, Cloonan; Kirsten Cianci, Anchor; Briana Coyle, Northeast; Nicole Ballantoni, Dolan.
SPEF is especially grateful to the 2021 Excellence in Education Awards sponsors for their support for public education, including: Title Sponsor: NatWest
Magna Cum Laude: First County Bank; Henkel; Pitney Bowes
Cum Laude: Berkowitz & Hanna; Carmody Torrance Sandak & Hennessey; Deloitte; Ferguson Library; Garden Homes Fund
Honors: Eleanor & Mort Lowenthal; Bob Phillips; PCM Fund; Stamford Bank & Trust: The Nellie Mae Education Foundation.
Springtime Celebration: SPEF is pleased to announce that this spring, contingent upon safety guidelines, it is planning an outside gathering: the first Excellence Springtime Celebration at Mill River Park on June 6th. This outdoor festival will once again honor award recipients and SPEF supporters, and will feature music from students, dance performances, art exhibits, picnic fare, and more! More information will be found on SPEF’s website: www.spefct.org.