The Syracuse City School District Educational Foundation hosted it’s 13th Annual Recognition Breakfast on Saturday, March 19, 2016, at the Holiday Inn Liverpool. Each year, the SCSD Educational Foundation recognizes individuals, businesses, and organizations that have given above and beyond in providing support to teachers, students, and programs in the Syracuse City School District. These awards are presented at the Foundation’s annual fundraising breakfast. This year we were proud to recognize the enduring legacy of former SCSD teacher and volunteer, Marjorie Carter, and the dedication and contributions to city school children by Syracuse 20/20 and On Point for College.
Marjorie Carter: The Foundation is honored to present this award to Marjorie for her many years as a dedicated educator in the Syracuse City School District and for her volunteer service to the community. Marjorie has been an educator for more than 60 years. She was born and raised in Syracuse and attended city schools. She began her teaching career with the Syracuse City School District in 1950. After teaching first and second grades, Marjorie became an instructional specialist through federal government funding targeted to help inner city children. She served as the first president of the Syracuse Teachers Association and also holds the distinction of being the Syracuse City School District’s first African American teacher. In 1990, Marjorie retired from the city schools as an instructional specialist, but continues to volunteer her time throughout the community.
Syracuse 20/20: Since 2000, Syracuse 20/20 and its Education Task Force has been an advocate for policies and programs that aim to improve the quality of education in the City of Syracuse. Syracuse 20/20 has been involved with the Early Childhood Alliance focusing on children and families. They have also coordinated a Book Buddies program at Seymour Dual Language Academy which is a volunteer reading program that provides support to students in 1st and 2nd grade. The goal of Book Buddies is to increase student reading fluency and comprehension through the use of community volunteers providing one-on-one reading support to targeted students. Syracuse 20/20 has also been a proud partner of the Campaign for Grade Level Reading in Syracuse. An overarching theme of their work over all these years has been, “how can we mobilize community resources and assets” to better support our Syracuse City School District in an effort to improve educational outcomes for all children.
On Point for College: Under the dedicated leadership of Executive Director, Virginia Donohue, and support from hundreds of volunteers, On Point for College has been committed to helping low-income students from Syracuse’s inner-city regions enroll in college, and to removing barriers to their success. On Point supports students from college application through graduation and helps graduates transition to meaningful careers. During On Point’s history, more than 6,100 Syracuse City School District students have enrolled in the program. On Point has helped 4,700 young people from the district enroll in 150 colleges and universities, and provides a complete suite of services to help them succeed, including: pre-college orientation, dorm room bedding, backpack, clothing, college supplies, and transportation to and from college. To date, On Point for College has helped approximately 1,000 students from the Syracuse City School District earn college degrees. 95% of these young people were the first person in their family to go to college and most would never have gone to college without assistance.
In addition, the Foundation also recognized four outstanding “Educators of the Year” from the Syracuse City School District. The 2016 Educator of the Year award winners recognized were Thomas Ferrara, SCSD Director of Building Services, James DeSantis, Library/Media Specialist at McKinley-Brighton Elementary School, Thomas Procopio, Physics Teacher at Nottingham High School, and Barbara McInerney, Social Studies Teacher at Elmcrest Children’s Center.
The Educational Foundation, in cooperation with the Syracuse City School District, is proud to recognize men and women who help to ensure educational excellence in the School District. Each year, the Foundation recognizes two teachers, one administrator, and one support staff member. To be eligible, an Educator of the Year candidate must be a full-time staff member and they can be nominated by colleagues/peers, students, parents, or community organizations. Key factors that are considered in the selection process are the individual’s unique abilities that make them outstanding among their peers. Winners of these awards are individuals who have demonstrated a willingness to go “above and beyond” and who provide support to students in an exceptional manner.