Earlier this week, nearly 200 parents, students, principals, colleagues and other friends and family members came out to salute the 2009 Blackboard Award “Teachers of the Year.” The June 8 cocktail reception and awards presentation—-marked by tears, laughter and many rounds of applause—-was held at Fordham University Law School, on West 62nd Street. Kevin Sheekey, deputy mayor for government affairs, served as the evening’s host, along with New York Family editor Eric Messinger.
The Teacher Awards grew out of Manhattan Media’s Blackboard Awards for Schools, an education series created eight years ago to highlight the many success stories in New York City’s diverse school system. Four years ago, the company launched a separate issue and event for teachers, to honor a handful of educators whose work so often goes unrecognized. To the city’s parents, and especially the city’s children, these teachers are heroes, and their inspiration can last a lifetime.
Out of the more than 400 nominations that were submitted, Manhattan Media selected 20 individuals to honor in person at the awards ceremony and in a special section of Our Town and West Side Spirit newspapers, published June 4. We hope the event and Blackboard Awards issue gives these outstanding educators just a little bit of the “thanks” they deserve.
In his welcoming remarks, Father Joseph McShane, president of Fordham University, praised the “unsung heroes of the city” who nurture students from preschool to high school and beyond.
“You dream dreams for them before they know how to articulate what those dreams are,” McShane said.
Council Members Gale Brewer and David Yassky both presented awards at the event, along with Richard Farkas, vice president for middle schools for the United Federation of Teachers.
The event was sponsored by Manhattan Media, The United Federation of Teachers, the City University of New York and Fordham University.