Kennedy-Longfellow School Teacher and KLO Volunteers Recognized

Kennedy-Longfellow School Teacher and KLO Volunteers Recognized
Posted on 06/07/2019
By: Kathy Malone, Kennedy-Longfellow Instructional Technology Specialist

On Wednesday afternoon, May 22nd, 2019, Cambridge School Volunteers hosted The Annual 28th Mack I. Davis II Awards and 14th Annual Kenneth S. Neal Award Reception which includes a volunteer recognition ceremony. The event was held at the Broad Institute and began with an ice cream social hosted by Lizzy’s ice cream and Cambridge School Volunteers. The event included musical selections performed by the Cambridge Street Upper School orchestra, awards that recognize volunteer longevity. The Kennedy-Longfellow School is very fortunate to have strong CSV presence and many of the adults recognized included volunteers who participate in the Kennedy-Longfellow Reading Buddies Program with Volpe Transportation and KeyPal Program in partnership with Draper, IBM, and MIT.

The Kennedy-Longfellow Reading Buddies Program volunteers recognized from Volpe were Bill Sullivan for 20 years of volunteering. Additionally, Amy Hayde, Annalynn Lacombe, Elaine Lyte, Kathryn Bernazzani, Kelly Curran and Margaret Petrella were recognized for 5 years of volunteering. Ingrid Bartinique, Roberta Gould, Calvin Pires, David Duncan and JoAnne Key were recognized for 10 years of volunteering.

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This year the Kennedy-Longfellow KeyPal Program celebrates its 25th anniversary with our unique partnership with Draper, IBM, and MIT. The program pairs adult volunteers from each of these institutions with Kennedy-Longfellow Fifth Graders in an email/penpal relationship that fosters career awareness and builds communication skills while students share their projects with their mentors.

The Kennedy-Longfellow KeyPal Program volunteers recognized were Doreen Lopes-Smith of MIT for 20 years and was also past Mack I. Davis recipient in 2011. Gorham Palmer and Tony Leonardo from IBM, Robert Murphy, Lex Dimatteo of Draper for 10 years of volunteering, Leslie McClain of MIT, and Rochelle Moore of Draper for 5 years of volunteering.

The Mack I. Davis II Award is named for the late Mack I. Davis II, who suddenly passed away in June of 1989 from an aneurysm at the age of 45. Mack served as Assistant Dean of the Faculty of Arts and Sciences at Harvard University, as well as, a CSV board member who was well known for his public service. One of the four Mack I. Davis II award recipients was KLO KeyPal Tony Leonardo from IBM. Tony has served as a strong role model for many of our boys. He is very helpful with checking in, offering words of encouragement and making strong connections with KLo students. He has a unique way of supporting the boys in their writing and make great connections to the importance of putting positive effort into their school work.

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In attendance was retired Kennedy-Longfellow assistant principal, Kenny Neal, who dedicated his Cambridge Public School career to making a difference for his students. Kenny is credited in the creation of the KeyPal Program, along with Lisa Van Vleck of Cambridge School Volunteers. After his retirement in 2005, CSV created the Kenneth S. Neal award in his name to honor Cambridge Public School educators who mirror Kenny’s dedication and efforts in making unique educational experiences by taking a role in CSV programs that open new doors of endless possibilities to our students. Kenny was the first recipient in 2005.

This year, Christine Burke, KLo grade 5 teacher was the 2019 recipient of the Kenneth S. Neal Award. Twenty years ago, Kenny asked Christine to help to facilitate the KeyPal Program. Christine has been instrumental with the long term success of the program. Kenny Neal said that she is “respected by students, parents, and colleagues which is the perfect trifecta for a teacher.” In receiving the award, Christine credited the program’s longevity due to many players involved from CSV, our partners, and KLo. Upon learning that she was to receive this award, Christine was extremely honored to be receiving an award in Kenny’s name. She stated that “Kenny is pretty amazing in my eyes.” During his time as her colleague he was known for “setting high standards while being supportive, pragmatic and humble.”

Additionally in attendance, former Kenneth S. Neal award recipients and KLo teachers, Kathy Walsh-Malone (2007) and Jenny Phillips (2018) for her long term commitment to Volpe Reading Buddies Program with her third grade, current KLo principal Christine Gerber, Cathleen Finn, Kristen Reichlen, and Carissa Crawford of IBM, and Christine Burke’s husband Joel and daughters Veronica and Bianca.

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Suzette Abbott who volunteered with storytelling and acting workshops in Jo-Ann Freitas and Kate Murphy’s kindergarten classrooms was recognized for 10 years of volunteering in Cambridge Public Schools.

As we close out the 2018-2019 school year, we would like to acknowledge the tireless support of Anya Bear, MIT KeyPal Site coordinator and Government and Community Relations Associate; Paul Parravano, Co-Director of Office of Government and Community Relations at MIT; Draper’s KeyPal Site Coordinator Robert Murphy; and the long term support from IBM, specifically Cathleen Finn, New England Manager of IBM Corporate Social Responsibility, IBM KeyPal Site Coordinators Kristen Reichlen and Carissa Crawford. We would be remiss if we didn’t acknowledge the support given by our Principal Christine Gerber, Nancy Wyse our Family Liaison, and teachers Christine Burke, Donna English, and Maryrita Nicolora-Vaz, Meredith Peiffer, and Jenny Phillips.

The Kennedy-Longfellow School staff and students are extremely appreciative of the support we receive from Cambridge School Volunteers specifically Susan Reynolds, Director of Reading Buddies and KeyPals, as well as, Jennifer Fries, Executive Director. This year we very fortunate to have the additional support of Megan Andres and Meg Ramsdell both of CSV. From our corporate partners from Volpe National Transportation Systems Center, IBM, MIT, and Draper. The impact these volunteers have in our students’ lives is immeasurable. We thank everyone for a terrific year!
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