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Academy for Character Education Presents Awards to Several Area Leaders

CONTACT: Steve Mullen (518) 629-8063
FOR RELEASE: Immediate, Friday, March 28, 2003

The Academy for Character Education at Hudson Valley Community College presented five Capital Region individuals with the Character Education Leadership Award at the Fourth Annual Northeastern United States Conference on Character Education.

Each of the awardees were honored for their work in promoting character development. Dr. Carolyn Curtis, the Vice President for Academic Affairs at Hudson Valley, distributed the awards. The five categories of award winners include: educational administrator, business leader, community leader, teacher, and parent.

Rensselaer County Executive Kathy Jimino also was present to deliver a special proclamation to Dr. Thomas Lickona, the Founding Director of the Center for the 4th and 5th Rs in Cortland. Dr. Lickona is a leading international authority and speaker for character education. The author of "Raising Good Children" and "Educating for Character: How Our Schools Can Teach Respect and Responsibility," Dr. Lickona was awarded the Character Education Lifetime Achievement Award in 2002 from the Character Education Partnership in Washington, D.C.

The individuals who received awards from The Academy for Character Education were:

William Wolfanger of Cobleskill, the Director of Pupil Personnel Services in the Cobleskill-Richmondville School District, was 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, was recognized in the business leader category for teaching character developing principles through Tae Kwon Do and for promoting character development in his advertising.

John McDonald III of Cohoes, the Mayor of Cohoes, was 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 received 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.

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.