The Worcester Educational Development Foundation, Inc. (WEDF) is proud to announce the 2023 Class of Distinguished Alumni of the Worcester Public Schools. A celebration of their achievements will be held on October 25, 20223 at the College of the Holy Cross.
Honorees are: Woodrow Adams, Jr. – Public Servant & Community Leader Dimitrios Angelis, M.D. – Cardiologist Matthew Brown – Business Leader Maritza Cruz – Community Leader The Hale Sisters – Entertainers David Klein – Business Leader Brian LaRose – Business Leader Charles Olson (posthumous) – Poet R. Norman Peters – Real Estate Attorney Chloe Nester Sundberg – Educator & Artist Marian Younge, M.D. – Family Medicine
The North High Alumni Association Friend of The Worcester Public Schools
Holmes-Shusas Florist Friend of The WEDF
According to Thomas V. Murray, Jr., chairman of the committee, “We are once again delighted to present such a notable group of alumni who received their educational foundation in the Worcester Public Schools. We look forward to celebrating their achievements.”
Major sponsors for this year’s event are Lamoureux Pagano Associates and UniBank. Dinner tickets for the event are $75 and are available to purchase at the link below. For more information on the event, call 774-389-0740 or email email@example.com.
The Worcester Educational Development Foundation announced more than $40,000 in scholarships and awards for graduating seniors in the Worcester Public Schools. The funds have been provided by foundations, corporations, fund raising events, organizations, and individuals. The recipients are:
Connected Scholars Laptops 40 seniors in eight high schools.
Nina and Miriam Barber Scholarship Taevye Dawkins, North High
Elizabeth “Betty” Reid Scholarship Denesia Rivera, North High Maria Managua Castillo, North High Chelsea Frimpong, North High
North High Alumni Association Scholarships Julieen Nicolas, North High Leilani Castro, North High Juleein Nicolas, North High Crystal Abruzzise, North HIgh Colm King, North High Jaylene Canales Morales, North High Jenny Wu, North High
Ryan Quinn Memorial Scholarship Annie Corrao, Buncoat High
Mary Murphy Spirit Award Mia Haynes, Burncoat High
Dr. Lee Gurel Award for Excellence in Teaching and Learning Advanced Placement English Student Award: Brian Nguyen, Worcester Technical High School Teacher Award: Jessica McGuire, Worcester Technical High School
In addition, WEDF provided gift cards and Table Talk pies to 17 outstanding students in visual and performing arts.
The Worcester Educational Development Foundation, Inc. funded more than $5,000 in mini-grants for educators in the Worcester Public Schools.
The grants funded extraordinary projects to enhance and enrich teaching and learning in WEDF’s areas of focus: Arts and Culture, College and Career Readiness, Health and Wellness, and Science, Technology, Engineering & Mathematics.
The grants were funded through WEDF’s Distinguished Alumni & Friends of the Worcester Public Schools event, the Office of District Attorney Joseph D. Early, Jr., individual donations, and the general funds of the WEDF.
Congratulations to all of the grant recipients, and a huge thank you to our grant review committee!
2023 Mini-Grant Award Recipients
Dina Taylor • Worcester Technical High School • Children’s Library Meg Cook • Elm Park School • Harvesting Healthy Habits Gregory Jones • South High School • Modernizing Physics Classroom Dante Quercio • Claremont School • Cougar Coding Club Jane Dowd • Burncoat High School • BHS Memorial Courtyard Brenda Hernandez • Worcester East Middle School • Peace Over Violence Andrea Cook • Burncoat Middle School • Thrills & Chills Tom Donington • Burncoat High School • Burncoat Billgoats Jackie Latino • North High School • Happy Beans Coffee Shop Alana Juneau • Worcester Arts Magnet • Clay All Day! Debra Bianculli • Tatnuck Magnet School • Light, Shadow & Color Michele Petty • Roosevelt School • Getting Moving In PE!
The Worcester Educational Development Foundation is pleased to announce that nominations are now open for the annual Distinguished Alumni of the Worcester Public Schools awards! The program was established in 2011 by WEDF to honor and recognize alumni of Worcester Public Schools who:
Have made exemplary contributions to their professional fields, the Worcester community, Worcester Public Schools and/or the betterment of society
Serve as outstanding role models for current Worcester Public Schools students
Have achieved outstanding success in academics, the arts, community service, business, humanitarian efforts, research and various other fields
This year’s ceremony is scheduled for October 25, 2023 at a banquet held to honor the awardees at the College of the Holy Cross.
If you know of any alumni who meet the above criteria, we strongly encourage you to submit their names to the Foundation. Online and printable nomination forms are available below.
In addition to filling out the basic information about the alumnus, be sure to include a one-page narrative describing your nominee’s accomplishments and why you’re nominating them. Supplementary documents such as newspaper articles about their accomplishments and resumes are also helpful in the review process. If you know of an exemplary candidate, but don’t have time to compile a full nomination, feel free to email your idea to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Worcester Educational Development Foundation is pleased to announce a new addition to our Board of Directors. See a full board list here.
Ginny Pitcher is the Director of Marketing & Corporate Communications for Greenwood Industries, the largest commercial roofing and building envelope solutions provider in the Northeast. Ms. Pitcher is responsible for the company’s brand messaging, content strategy development and deployment, marketing programs, and digital campaign efforts to drive sales and build brand awareness. In addition, she works in tandem with the executive team to create a brand that exemplifies the organization’s mission and ensures that it connects with the values of its customers. Her career spans more than twenty-five years with entrepreneurial experience in marketing, client services, business operations, and human resources.
Before joining Greenwood, Ms. Pitcher was the co-founder and CEO of one of Boston’s leading public relations and social media agencies for consumer and emerging technology brands. As a chief strategist and experienced relationship manager, Ms. Pitcher worked with clients like Staples, Zappos, TrueCar.com, Cumberland Farms, Stop & Shop, Flooring America, and more.
Ms. Pitcher serves on the President’s Council of The New England Center for Children, an independently-operated, private special education residential school in Southborough, Massachusetts. She has also served on the board of Humanity Rises, an international humanitarian organization, focused on helping the Rohingya in Bangladesh.
A Doherty High School graduate, Ms. Pitcher holds a B.A. from Syracuse University and an M.S. in Mass Communication from Middle Tennessee State University.
Were sports an important part of your high school career? Do you have a student athlete in the Worcester Public Schools?
The Worcester Public Schools Athletic Hall of Fame Committee is seeking members to help identify outstanding alumni athletes and plan the spring banquet in May. Proceeds from the event support teams through the purchase of new uniforms and equipment.
The next meeting of the committee is Monday, September 26 at the Field House at Berkshire Bank Field at Foley Stadium.
The Worcester Educational Development Foundation, Inc. (WEDF) is proud to announce the 2022 Class of Distinguished Alumni of the Worcester Public Schools. A celebration of their achievements will be held on October 27, 2022 at the College of the Holy Cross.
Honorees are: Orlando Baxter – Entertainer Nina Barber and Miriam Barber (posthumous) – Educators Brian D’Andrea – Attorney Lainey Feingold – Disability Rights Lawyer and Author Rosemary F. Ford – Philanthropist James Laurie – Journalist and Author Barbara Abramoff Levy – Musician, Conductor and Historical Interpreter Aaron Lubowitz – Private Equity and Investment Banker Sean Mitchell – Public Servant José Rolón – Public Figure, LGBTQ+ Advocate and Wedding Planner The Reverend Jonathan Slavinskas – Spiritual and Community Leader
Quinsigamond Community College is the recipient of the Friend of Education Award.
According to Thomas V. Murray, Jr., chairman of the committee, “We are once again delighted to present such a notable and diverse group of alumni who received their educational foundation in the Worcester Public Schools. We look forward to celebrating their achievements.”
Major sponsors for this year’s event are Lamoureux Pagano Associates, Saint-Gobain and UniBank. Dinner tickets for the event are $75 and will be available to purchase soon. For more information on the event, call 774-389-0740 or email email@example.com.
Worcester Educational Development Foundation is pleased to announce 2022 scholarship and award recipients, including the Dr. Lee Gurel Award for Teaching and Learning Advanced Placement English, Elizabeth “Betty” Reidy Scholarships, the Nina and Miriam Barber Scholarship, North High Alumni Association Scholarships, and the Ryan P. Quinn Memorial Award.
The 2022 Dr. Lee Gurel Award for Teaching and Learning Advanced Placement English has been awarded to student Bryce Maloney of South High Community School and his teacher, Kitren Farrell. Mr. Maloney was chosen by lottery from the pool of Worcester Public Schools students who achieved the highest ranking score on the AP English examination.
Dr. Lee Gurel is a Distinguished Alumnus of the Worcester Public Schools. He established the award in 2006 in honor of his eighth grade English teacher, Miss Wilmot, who taught at the former Woodland Street Preparatory School in south Worcester. He donated an endowment for the award to thank the Worcester Public Schools for the educational foundation he received that prepared him to eventually become a nationally recognized psychologist
Elizabeth “Betty” Reidy Scholarships
Recipients: Donna Le, Genesis Ramirez & Dionelis Texidor
Betty Reidy was a North High graduate and lifelong Worcester resident who dedicated her life to improving the quality of life for individuals in our community. She graduated from Emanuel College, received her Master’s in Social Work from Boston College, and later an Honorary Doctorate from Assumption College. She nurtured her own children to go on and become highly successful individuals.
As a testament to her commitment to children and families, her family established the Elizabeth “Betty” Reidy Scholarship for North High School graduates who intend to pursue a course of study and career in nursing, education, social work, counseling, or the ministry. The 2022 Betty Reidy scholarship recipients are Donna Le, Genesis Ramirez, and Dionelis Texidor.
Nina & Miriam Barber Scholarship
Recipient: Jaida Hough
Nina and Miriam Barber were sisters who graduated from North High School, Nina in the class of 1928 and Miriam in the class of 1929. Raised by their mother in a single-parent home, they were encouraged by their great aunt to go on to college. Both graduated from Middlebury College and became teachers of world languages.
The Nina and Miriam Barber Scholarship recognizes a female North High School graduate with preference for an aspiring world language teacher. The 2022 recipient is Jaida Hough.
In late 2021, WEDF became the fiscal agent of the North High Alumni Association. Each year, the association awards scholarships recognizing student accomplishments in academics, athletics, leadership, and the arts. 2022 recipients are Elvis Adomako (athletic), Ashley Brito (athletic), Nhi Huynh (academic), Mallory Perez (art), Donny Stapleton (leadership), and Lenny Tran (academic).
Ryan P. Quinn Memorial Award
Recipient: Kolby Miller
The recipient of the 2022 Ryan P. Quinn Memorial Award is Kolby Miller, a recent graduate of Burncoat High School and an accomplished student-athlete.
Ryan P. Quinn, Burncoat High School class of 1996, was a star soccer player and golfer, earning Varsity Letters in both sports. Sadly, Ryan passed away in June of 2014. In memory of Ryan, the Quinn Family partnered with WEDF in 2016, to establish the Ryan P. Quinn Memorial Award for graduating Varsity Athletes of Burncoat High School.
Last year, WEDF started Connected Scholars, a scholarship program that provides college-bound seniors with brand new laptops for graduation. In 2021, WEDF presented 31 seniors with computers; this year 50 seniors received them.
A recent grant for the class of 2023 has been received and WEDF will continue soliciting donations for this program. We extend our sincere gratitude to the George F. and Sybil H. Fuller Foundation, the Hoche-Scofield Foundation, Bank of America, N.A., Trustee, and Berkshire Bank for supporting the Connected Scholars.
About the Program
WEDF wanted to make a larger impact so Worcester students would be able to transition into the next stage of their education prepared for everything that lies ahead of them. Part of this is outfitting students with the tools they need to get the most out of their collegiate studies.
Seniors who wished to apply for the program were required to meet the following qualifications: • Acceptance at a two- or four-year college or university • Positive attitude and strong work ethic
WEDF was fortunate to have plenty of support from guidance departments within the district, and especially that of Whitney Goodwin, the College and Career Readiness Liaison. As a result, the foundation was able to provide computers to 50 WPS graduates from eight high schools.
We are so pleased with the success of this program and look forward to continuing to build it in the future!
If you would like to help provide computers to graduating seniors in 2023, click below to donate.
Hannah Afriyie • Worcester Technical High School • University of Massachusetts Amherst Lloydia Agyemang • South High School • Northeastern University Lizmarie Alicia Pena • Worcester Technical High School • Worcester State University Xio Alvarado • South High School • Clark University Rosan Alzuhairi • Worcester Technical High School • Quinsigamond Community College Danice Andre Diaz • Doherty Memorial High School • Quinsigamond Community College Afua Asare • South High School • Massachusetts Institute of Technology Maureen Bittner • South High School • Bay Path University Rhylie Bray • Gerald Creamer Center • Worcester State University Nathan Bui • South High School • Worcester State University Tyler Burns • North High School • Assumption University Mah Oumou Camara • North High School • Quinsigamond Community College Hailey Choruzek • Doherty Memorial High School • Quinsigamond Community College Jonathan Cruz • South High School • Quinsigamond Community College Hayder Daffie • North High School • Worcester State University Janes Delice • Claremont Academy • Worcester State University Maryanna Dornelas • Worcester Technical High School • Bunker Hill Community College Beninskee Dorvilien • North High School • Quinsigamond Community College Favour Enwereuzor • Worcester Technical High School • Assumption University Adonay Estrada • North High School • Quinsigamond Community College Antoinette Gruanue • University Park Campus School • University of Bridgeport Chyanne Guzman-Rios • Doherty Memorial High School • University of Massachusetts Dartmouth Janyia Hampton Hutchins • South High School • Nichols College Yeiliani Hernandez Colon • Burncoat High School • Quinsigamond Community College Virginia Hilli • Burncoat High School • Quinsigamond Community College Aya Ishwa Murad • Worcester Technical High School • Quinsigamond Community College Musa Kabundi • University Park Campus School • Worcester State University Tiffany Kago • Doherty Memorial High School • Navy / St. John’s University Mackayla Kent • Burncoat High School • Quinsigamond Community College or Mass Art Jasmine Kibunja • Doherty Memorial High School • TBD Isaiah Kparyea • Doherty Memorial High School • Endicott College Sieda Mohamud • Worcester Technical High School • Worcester State University Uendi Mullaj • Doherty Memorial High School • Assumption University Cherise Namaganda • North High School • Worcester State University Desire Ndihokubwayo • North High School • Bridgewater State University Diana Nguyen • Worcester Technical High School • Tufts University Lionel Nieves • Burncoat High School • Quinsigamond Community College Rena Nurhussien • Worcester Technical High School • Boston University Chase Owen • South High School • Clark University Kayden Pham • Doherty Memorial High School • Clark University Derek Quinones • North High School • Worcester State University Isaiah Reyes • Burncoat High School • Quinsigamond Community College Isa Reyes • Worcester Technical High School • Anna Maria College Billie Jo Servie • North High School • Worcester State University Randy Torres • Doherty Memorial High School • Quinsigamond Community College Harry Valle • Burncoat High School • Quinsigamond Community College Michael Vazquez • Doherty Memorial High School • Assumption University Jaden Vega • Burncoat High School • Quinsigamond Community College Evelin Zacarias Cruz • Claremont Academy • Worcester State University Jenkins Zziwa • North High School • Worcester Polytechnic Institute