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Rochester Education Foundation:  Because every child deserves a great education.
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11th Annual Partnership Awards
. Events We've Held
10th Annual Partnership Awards
9th Annual Partnership Awards
8th Annual Partnership Awards
7th Annual Partnership Awards
6th Annual Partnership Awards
5th Annual Partnership Awards
4th Annual Partnership Awards
3rd Annual Partnership Awards
2nd Annual Partnership Awards
1st Annual Partnership Awards
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Our sincere thanks to the many local companies, individuals and organizations that supported the Partnership Awards Dinner:

GOLD sponsors
Clark Patterson Lee

SILVER sponsors
Association of Supervisors and
   Administrators of Rochester
I. Gordon Corp.

BRONZE sponsors
Advantage Federal Credit Union
BENTE/Afscme CIO Local 2419
Bryant and Stratton
Donald Bergmann
Forsyth, Howe, O'Dwyer, Kalb
   and Murphy PC
Harter Secrest & Emery LLP
LaBella Associates, PC
Nazareth College
SUNY Geneseo and the Xerox
   Center for Multicultural Education
Xerox

TABLES
Edwin J. Lopez-Soto
Friends of Mollie Traub
Genesee Regional Bank
Harter Secrest & Emery, LLP
Rochester Rotary Club
Women Helping Girls

IN-KIND support
Rochester City School District

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2008 Partnership Awards Dinner
Honors Supporters of City School Children

When Naseer Addisson came to School 4 from another city school, he was accustomed to getting in trouble. This changed when he met Principal Karon Jackson, Mr. Addisson told a group of 240 people at the Third Annual Partnership Awards Dinner on October 28, 2008.

Nicole McCawthan and Betty Lindley
Nicole McCawthan, Buffalo State graduate, with her long-time mentor Betty Lindley of Women Helping Girls.

"She was an inspiration. As I went on in school, Ms. Jackson let me know what I needed to do to succeed. I am achieving [in the honors program] because of her," he said.

Mr. Addisson was one of many speakers honoring those who have made a tangible difference in the lives of our city school children as mentors, friends, advocates, and role models. Ms. Jackson was one of 10 honorees at the event.

During the opening reception, guests were entertained with music performed by Alan Murphy, an instrumental and music teacher at Marshall High School.

After a warm welcome by emcee and REF Board member Rodric Cox-Cooper, the Rochester City School District (RCSD) Superintendent, Jean-Claude Brizard, greeted attendees, thanking the many organizations, businesses, and individuals who have had a positive impact on the lives of more than 32,000 students served by the RCSD. Mr. Brizard emphasized the need for academic rigor, participation, and partnership to help raise the standards of education for our children.

Rod Cox-Cooper and Chris Rapoza
Emcee Rod Cox-Cooper with student Chris Rapoza formerly of School 12 and Event Chairperson Gaynelle Wethers.

Nancy Pappal, REF's Board Chairperson, and Pat Braus, Executive Director for REF, recognized Board members and event sponsors, and provided an overview of the organization's core programs, including Recipe for Success, Kidbridge, and Give Back, Give Books.

The highlight of the evening was the presentation of awards to this year's winners: Eastman Kodak Company, Harter Secrest & Emery, Antithesis Advertising, Rochester Rotary Club, Women Helping Girls, Linda Beeley, Mary Desso, Karon Jackson, Mollie Traub, and William A. Johnson, Jr.

Each of the award recipients was introduced by Rodric Cox-Cooper and Gaynelle Wethers, members of REF's Board of Directors. Ms. Wethers was chairperson of this year's recognition event. Honorees each received a collage featuring student art work commemorating their contributions:

Award Winner
Business Partner Eastman Kodak Company learn more...
7-year partnership with School No. 5; sponsorship of Marshall High School's 2008 FIRST robotics team  
Sustained Partnership Rochester Rotary Club   learn more...
16-year Adopt-a-School partnership with Roberto Clemente School No. 8/td>  
Making A Difference Women Helping Girls learn more...
Providing one-to-one mentorship to support the success of 7th-12th grade girls since 1995  
Making A Difference Harter, Secrest & Emery learn more...
6-year partnership with Marshall High School's Academy of Law, Justice, and Government  
Educator Linda Beeley learn more...
A teaching assistant at School No. 12 since 1986, generating enthusiasm for reading  
Educator Mary Desso learn more...
21 years of teaching at City School No. 12, serving as a Math Coach to students.  
Educator Karon Jackson learn more...
7-year Principal of City School No. 4, recipient of the National Title 1 Distinguished School Award for Closing the Achievement Gap  
Business Partner Antithesis Advertising learn more...
3 years of in-kind donations of advertising, marketing, and creative support to Rochester Education Foundation  
Volunteer Mollie Traub learn more...
Creator of Consider College, matching 6th graders from School No. 17 with mentors who follow them through to graduation  
Lifetime Commitment to  
Children and Education
William A. Johnson, Jr. learn more...
Founder of the Black Scholars program, a key player in the Call to Action school reform movement, creator of Neighborhood Empowerment Teams and the Neighbors Building Neighborhood program  

A number of former and current students spoke about the impact the honorees have had on their lives. Among them were:

  • Iniabasi Ikpot, a McQuaid 8th grader who had the opportunity to participate in the Rochester Rotary Club's partnership with School No. 8, said that the Rotary Club instilled in him the understanding that "knowledge is power."
  • Eric Daniels, a student at school 12, commended Educator Award winner Mary Desso, stating that "She makes me feel good because she encourages me and makes me feel smart. And I believe her!"
Eric Daniels
Gaynelle Wethers, School 12 student Eric Daniels, and Rod Cox-Cooper.

Award recipient Mary Desso captured the sentiments of the other award winners when she expressed, "It's hard for me to believe I'm getting an award for something I love doing!"

The evening culminated with remarks by former Rochester Mayor William A. Johnson, Jr., who received the Lifetime of Commitment to Children and Education Award. Mayor Johnson spoke of growing up during the segregation of the 50s and 60s, where the guiding principles were for "separate but equal" education. He spoke of teachers who overcame obstacles to create "equal" opportunities for their students, giving their very best in everything they did. "Whatever you have been given," he said, "you must give back in equal measure." Mayor Johnson went on further to stress that we have produced so much talent in our community; bringing that all together will help us to produce the results we all desire.

Kimberly Morse andÊMollie Traub . Photo album: click here
Kimberly Morse, a cancer researcher, Rod Cox-Cooper, and Mollie Traub, REF honoree and long-time mentor to Ms. Morse. . Click here to see more photos from the event.
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