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Academy for Character Education to Recognize Several Area Leaders

CONTACT: Steve Mullen (518) 629-8063
FOR RELEASE: Immediate, Thursday, March 20, 2003

The Academy for Character Education at Hudson Valley Community College will recognize five Capital Region individuals with the Character Education Leadership Award at the Fourth Annual Northeastern United States Conference on Character Education. The award ceremony will be held on Tuesday, March 25, at 1 p.m., in Hudson Valley's Bulmer Telecommunications Center auditorium.

Each of the awardees will be honored for their work in promoting character development. Dr. Carolyn Curtis, the Vice President for Academic Affairs at Hudson Valley, will distribute the awards. Additionally, Rensselaer County Executive Kathy Jimino will deliver a special award to one of the conference's keynote speakers at the award ceremony. The five categories of award winners include: educational administrator, business leader, community leader, teacher, and parent.

William Wolfanger of Cobleskill, the Director of Pupil Personnel Services in the Cobleskill-Richmondville School District, will be given the educational administrator award for his work on installing an exemplary character education program at Ryder Elementary School in Cobleskill, which in turn, has affected the entire community. Wolfanger also served as the first chairman of the Cobleskill Character Education Committee.

Kwang Pai of Clifton Park, the owner of Pai's Academy of Tae Kwon Do in Clifton Park, is being recognized in the business leader category for teaching character developing principles through tea kwon do and for promoting character development in his advertising.

John McDonald III of Cohoes, the Mayor of Cohoes, will be given the community leader award for taking the initiative to create the Character Counts program in Cohoes. He brought business, religious, educational and civic leaders together to develop an impressive Character Counts program.

Kate Evanhoff of Niskayuna, a social studies teacher at Hoosic Valley High School, has been a strong advocate of character education at Hoosic Valley. As an active member of the New York State Council for the Social Studies, Evanhoff has made presentations on character education across the state. She will be receiving the award in the teacher category.

As a parent, Deborah Faraci of Troy has promoted character education throughout the Lansingburgh School District. An active member of Lansingburgh's parent-teacher organization, her promotion of character development is a model for the entire Capital Region.

The Conference on Character Education will be held at Hudson Valley on March 25-26, from 8 a.m. to 3:45 p.m., and consists of four nationally recognized keynote speakers and more than 50 breakout sessions. The conference is geared toward business leaders, civic leaders, religious leader, teachers, parents, and anyone who works with children. For more information on the conference, call (518) 629-7512 or visit the academy online at

Hudson Valley Community College, located at 80 Vandenburgh Avenue in Troy, offers more than 50 degree and certificate programs in four academic divisions: Business; Engineering and Industrial Technologies; Health Science; and Liberal Arts and Sciences; and an Educational Opportunity Center for academic and career training. One of 30 community colleges in the State University of New York system, it has an enrollment of more than 11,000 students each year, and is known as a leader in distance learning initiatives and workforce training.