Fairfield PTA honors educators June 1

The Fairfield PTA Council has announced the 2016 recipients for its most prestigious awards: the Deanna O. Kiernan Award, the Alis B. McGrath Friend of Education Award, and the inaugural Tricia Money Award. The Council also announced the Fairfield district educators who are recipients of Brian Fagan Award grants.

An awards ceremony will take place on Wednesday, June 1, at 7 p.m. in the Tomlinson Middle School Auditorium, 200 Unquowa Road, Fairfield. A reception with light refreshments will be held immediately after the ceremony. The public is invited to attend.

The PTA Council is proud to honor the following community members and educators who show their commitment to excellence in Fairfield Public Schools each and every day:

2016 Deanna O. Kiernan Award

Leonora Campbell is the recipient of this year’s Deanna O. Kiernan Award, given in memory of past PTA Council President Deanna O. Kiernan, who worked tirelessly to promote public education, the PTA and its mission.

Ms. Campbell has been an active volunteer and dedicated leader in the PTA for 15 years, serving as member of PTA Council and on the PTAs of Stratfield School, Roger Ludlowe Middle School, Bridgeport Aquaculture School and, most recently, at Fairfield Warde High School as PTA President since 2013. She has leveraged her professional educational expertise as dean and later Title IX coordinator at Sacred Heart University to introduce and enhance numerous parent, teacher and student programs designed to provide support and guidance for navigating high school and beyond. Ms. Campbell has also been a visible presence in the town of Fairfield, contributing her time and efforts to the Junior Women’s Club of Fairfield, Fairfield Cares Coalition, the First Congregational Church, and the Center for Family Justice. She was elected to Fairfield’s Representative Town Meeting (RTM) for two years, during which time she served as Vice Chair of the RTM’s Education & Recreation Committee.

2016 Alis B. Mcgrath Friend of Education Award

Jennifer Maxon-Kennelly is this year’s recipient of the Alis B. McGrath Friend of Education Award, which commemorates Ms. McGrath’s lifelong contributions to Fairfield, its educational system and the broader community.

Ms. Maxon-Kennelly has demonstrated a commitment to excellence in education through her profession as a high school English teacher and her role as a tireless volunteer for Fairfield students. She has served as a volunteer on numerous school committees and special projects at Stratfield School, Tomlinson Middle School and Fairfield Warde High School’s PTAs for more than a decade. Ms. Maxon-Kennelly re-established the Odyssey of the Mind (OM) program at Stratfield School and encouraged other schools to develop their own teams, several of whom have gone on to compete in the world finals. She is a founding member of the town’s Cultural Diversity Task Force and is active in the Wakeman Boys & Girls Club and FUSA. Ms. Maxon-Kennelly was elected to Fairfield’s Board of Education in 2011, acting as the BOE’s liaison to the PTA Council for the past two years.

2016 Tricia Ford Money Award

This year, the Fairfield PTA Council is introducing a new award: the Tricia Ford Money Award, given in memory to an individual who has demonstrated an exemplary passion and commitment to a single program or initiative that positively impacts Fairfield children and the community at large. A former educator, the late Ms. Money was known for her fierce passion for – and constant presence in – the Mill River-Lab program, a curriculum-based environmental science study of river basin systems for Fairfield schoolchildren.

Mary Hogue is the inaugural recipient of the Tricia Ford Money Award. A longtime PTA leader and volunteer, Ms. Hogue is making a positive difference through her environmental advocacy and her commitment to engaging and educating children and adults alike on the importance of protecting and managing our natural resources. As Chair of Fairfield’s award-winning Earth Day Celebration, Ms. Hogue has brought a renewed focus on environmental awareness and participation by children and young adults. Like Ms. Money, Ms. Hogue serves as a board member of the Mill River Wetland Committee; she also works on behalf of numerous non-profit organizations with an environmental emphasis, including the Fairfield Forestry Committee, FairPLAN (Fairfielders Protecting Land & Neighborhoods) and the Fairfield League of Conservation Voters.

2016 Brian Fagan Grants

The Brian Fagan Grants recognize and reward outstanding teachers in the Fairfield school district who demonstrate leadership and are currently enrolled in a program leading to an administrative certification. Recipients receive a monetary grant to defray the cost of their educational expenses. The award is named after Brian Fagan, a former teacher, principal and assistant superintendent in Fairfield. This year’s recipients are:

  • Kathleen Keefe, Language Arts Teacher at Fairfield Woods Middle School
  • Karin Martel, Spanish Teacher at Fairfield Woods Middle School
  • Caroline Smith, Science Teacher at Fairfield Warde High School
  • Robyn Walters, 1st Grade Teacher at Roger Sherman Elementary School

All are welcome. RSVP to [email protected]

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