Excellence is in with Parents for Public Schools

Janet Kimatian, principal of John T. Roberts K-8 School, has always sought to make a difference in urban education. Under her leadership, Roberts is now listed as a School of Promise.

Ashley Morris, an honor society member and part of the first graduating class at the Institute of Technology volunteers with the Jenna Foundation for Non Violence, mentoring young victims of violent crimes.

Teacher Patrick Stoner, first grade team leader at Seymour Dual Language Academy, is a member of the school's leadership team and serves as a volunteer/mentor for new teaching protocol training.

Al Turner began mentoring Syracuse youth as a coach for Salt City Housing football teams for elementary students. He is a member of the 100 Black Men of Syracuse, and volunteers with On Point for College, mentoring students as they enter higher education.

Latasha Williams is an active and supportive parent in the Seymour School family, a role model for productive parent involvement.

The group also recognized retiring superintendent Dan Lowengard for his outstanding service to the SCSD as a teacher and superintendent.

Dr. Peter Knoblock, Syracuse University Professor Emeritus, is the recipient of the 2011 Mary Ficchi Lifetime in Education Award. He came to Syracuse University to develop a training program for teachers of troubled children. He helped devise an immersion model for teacher training and an alternative learning environment (Jowonio School) that is now a model for mainstreaming efforts worldwide.

Dr. Knoblock says that accomplishments such as his are the result of a vital collaboration with parents, educators and the students themselves - a philosophy clearly shared by all of this year's honorees.

Herm Card is a former teacher with more than 32 years of classroom experience and 20 years as a professional development consultant. His column appears bi-weekly in The Eagle. Reach him at herm4444@gmail.com.

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