Shrewsbury Education Foundation hosts annual fundraising and recognition dinner

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Presenting sponsors Howard and Linda Grossman.
Presenting sponsors Howard and Linda Grossman.

Shrewsbury – The Shrewsbury Education Foundation (SEF) hosted a full house at its annual Awards Recognition Dinner Jan. 23 despite the snowy weather.

“It’s a testament to the dedication of the community and the Shrewsbury Public School faculty to celebrating achievement in education,” SEF Co-president Melanie Petrucci said. “My SEF colleagues Sandy Fryc and Chris Juetten always coordinate a lovely evening.”

Cyprian Keyes provided an elegant backdrop for the festivities. A delicious buffet was served and Shrewsbury florist Danielson Flowers donated gorgeous rose and hydrangea centerpieces. Local musician Andrew Clark once again set the tone with his acoustic guitar and vocals.

A number of officials attended the event, including State Senator Michael Moore, D-Millbury; State Representative Hannah Kane, R-Shrewsbury; Superintendent Joe Sayer;

School Committee members Sandy Fryc, John Wensky, Dale Magee, John Samia and Erin Canzano; and Selectmen Jim Kane, Moira Miller, John Lebeaux and Maurice DePalo.

Presenting Sponsor, Grossman Development Group, was present and was led by Howard Grossman and his wife Linda. Grant sponsor, Central One Federal Credit Union and Staples Foundation were also represented. Without the generosity of their contributors and sponsors, the SEF would not be able to do the work each year to promote and provide “Innovation in the Classroom.”

Community Service Award honoree Beth Casavant (Photo/submitted)
Community Service Award honoree Beth Casavant (Photo/submitted)

Since its inception in 1992, SEF has awarded well over $250,000 in grants to Shrewsbury Public Schools. Thirteen grants totaling nearly $11,000 for the 2015-2016 school year were recognized at the annual dinner.

Recipients of the annual John P. Collins Awards for Excellence, named for the former Shrewsbury superintendent, were also recognized for exemplifying excellence in education. This year’s recipients include:

Leadership Category: Mary Beth Banios, assistant superintendent for curriculum and instruction, administration; and Greg Nevader, assistant principal, Shrewsbury High School

Professional Category: Susan Conley, elementary instructional coach, Calvin Coolidge School; Elin Dolen, 7 Green science teacher, Oak Middle School; Michael Lapomardo, music teacher, Shrewsbury High School; and Brian Liporto, music teacher, Shrewsbury High School

Paraprofessional Category: Ann Marie Lockwood, aide; and Cathy Shaw, aide

Support Category: Litza Rivera, information technology support specialist, Sherwood Middle School

SEF member Mark Adler announced this year’s Community Service Award recipient who was selected for her outstanding contribution to the community of Shrewsbury with particular focus on education. Beth Casavant, this year’s honoree, gave a gracious and inspirational acceptance speech to the audience. Rep. Kane and Sen. Moore presented her with citations for her service. The evening concluded with the drawing of a basket and closing remarks made by Mrs. Petrucci.

For more information or to get involved with the SEF, visit SEFGrants.org or connect with them on Facebook.