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Teachers in 28 districts honored

GREATER SPRINGFIELD — Thirty-eight school communities in the Pioneer Valley will once again honor outstanding teachers for their tremendous commitment and impact on children in their schools. This is the eighth year for this outstanding program.
The Pioneer Valley Excellence in Teaching Awards Program has grown from 16 school communities and 96 teachers being honored in 2002-2003, to 38 school communities and 147 teachers being honored in 2010-2011.
Over 1,000 educators have been recognized and honored by these communities in all.
Three celebrations will take place in 2011 at the Log Cabin and Meeting House to honor these outstanding educators. Tickets to the events may be purchased from the school communities listed.
Each teacher will receive, among other gifts, two tickets to the event, $500, an engraved plaque, a corsage, pictures of the event, a three month membership to a local YMCA, and grants for course offerings by Channel 57, Westfield State University and Western New England College.
The first celebration will honor teachers in Hampden County, west of the Connecticut River, on April 28 at 6 p.m. The MC for the evening will be Brenda Garton, professor at Western New England College. The following communities will be represented:
  • Agawam Public Schools;
  • Chicopee Public Schools;
  • Holyoke Community Charter School;
  • Holyoke Public Schools;
  • The MacDuffie School;
  • Pioneer Valley Christian School;
  • Sabis International Charter School;
  • Southwick Public Schools;
  • Westfield Public Schools;
  • West Springfield Public Schools;
  • Willie Ross School for the Deaf.
The second celebration will honor teachers in the Hampshire/Franklin Counties on May 4 at 6 p.m. The MC for the evening is Channel 40 anchor person, Ray Hershel. The following communities will be represented:
  • Amherst-Pelham Public and Regional School District;
  • Belchertown Public Schools;
  • Catholic Schools in the Diocese of Springfield;
  • Easthampton Public Schools;
  • Frontier Regional-Union #38 School District;
  • Gateway Regional School District;
  • Granby Public Schools;
  • Greenfield Public Schools;
  • Hadley Public Schools;
  • The Hampshire Regional School District;
  • Hatfield Public Schools;
  • Martin Luther King Charter School;
  • New Leadership Charter School;
  • Northampton Public Schools;
  • Orange School District;
  • Smith Vocational & Agricultural High School;
  • South Hadley Public Schools;
  • Ware Public Schools.
The third celebration will honor teachers in Hampden County, east of the Connecticut River, on May 12 at 6 p.m. The MC for the evening will be Kathy Tobin, director of development, Friends of the Homeless. The following communities will be represented:
  • East Longmeadow Public Schools;
  • Hampden-Wilbraham Regional Schools;
  • Jewish Schools of Western Massachusets;
  • Longmeadow Public Schools;
  • Ludlow Public Schools;
  • Monson Public Schools;
  • Palmer Public Schools;
  • Pathfinder Regional Vocational Technical High School;
  • Springfield Public Schools.
It is the sponsors' belief that teachers are very important in shaping the lives of children in our society and in the community in which they live.
It is also their belief that we need to focus on, support, and encourage these extraordinary professionals who are expected to carry out multiple programs in very challenging settings in our society today.
Sponsors include: The Irene E. & George A. Davis Foundation, the Harold Grinspoon Charitable Foundation, the Log Cabin Banquet & Meeting House, Mass Mutual Financial Group, STCU Credit Union, Westfield State University, Western New England College, Southworth Paper Company, Springfield Republican, WGBY Channel 57, Reel to Reel, Channel 40, Channel 22, Meyers Brothers Kalicka, Big Y Foods, The Channing Bete Company, Country Bank, and the local YMCAs.