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Alumni Educators Honored at Three Pioneer Valley Excellence in Teaching Award Ceremonies

Posted May 12, 2011


Western New England alumni are among the 147 teachers from the Pioneer Valley who received Pioneer Valley Excellence in Teaching Awards, which are sponsored by the Harold Grinspoon Foundation and the Irene E. & George A. Davis Foundation. The teachers were recognized at three events.

The first ceremony, sponsored by Western New England, took place at the Log Cabin Banquet & Meeting House in Holyoke, MA, on April 28 and recognized teachers from Agawam, Chicopee, Holyoke, Southwick-Tolland, Westfield, and West Springfield School Districts, as well as several private and charter schools in the area. The other two ceremonies took place on May 4 and May 12.

Pictured on April 28 are (L-R) Westfield Mayor Edward J. Gibson ’77/G’99; Michael J. Richard L’98, assistant principal of Belchertown High School; Lisa Hansen, professor of mathematics and computer science at Western New England, Nikali Benkert G’06, a math teacher at Agawam High School; President Anthony S. Caprio; Brenda Garton, professional educator of communication at Western New England; Victoria Bousquet Pascuzzi ’00, a teacher in the Chicopee Public Schools; Springfield teacher Lisa M. Andrews ’98/G’08, Corey Pascuzzi ’00/G’08, a mechanical engineer at Hamilton Sundstrand; and William J. Kennedy ’77, vice president of operations at PTR Precision Technology.

This year’s awardees received an engraved plaque, a three-month YMCA membership, grants for course offerings sponsored by WGBY, Western New England College and Westfield State University, and $500. In addition, Western New England provided each awardee a $100 gift certificate for classroom-related activities.


Western New England University is a private, independent, coeducational institution founded in 1919. Located on an attractive 215-acre suburban campus in Springfield, Massachusetts, Western New England University serves 3,700 students, including 2,550 full-time undergraduate students. Undergraduate, graduate, and professional programs are offered through Colleges of Arts and Sciences, Business, Engineering, and Pharmacy, and School of Law.


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