Three Recipients from District Awarded the New York Post Liberty Medal
The New York Post launched the first annual Liberty Medal program with presentations made at Gracie Mansion on September 27th, 2002. Of the eleven recipients, three were from the Alternative Supereintendency.
Mayor Bloomberg hosted the Ceremony while the emcee was Regis Philbin. VIP guests included Gov. Pataki, Jerry and Jessica Seinfeld, Producer Harvey Weinstein and Mike Wallace. Col Allan, editor-in-chief of the New York Post, stated that the Award was the Post’s way of “ Acknowledging the contributions, big and small, of ordinary people in this city in the spirit of the sacrifice, the courage, the decency that we all experienced in the past 12 months is a fitting, decent, good thing for this newspaper to do.” Post readers nominated over 1500 people from which the eleven winners where chosen.
The three recipients were: Tom Porton, teacher from Monroe Academy for Visual Arts and Design; Jonathan Stewart, student from Lower Manhattan Outreach; and Rich Kosik, teacher from Rikers Island.
As you read through this issue of Alternative
Acclaims, you cannot help but be struck by the
continuing impact of the World Trade Center tragedy.
More than one year later, our lives remain indelibly
affected by the events of 9/11, even as we try to go
about our daily business. Nevertheless, the resiliency
of New Yorkers to rebound from the after effects is
readily apparent when you see the work being done by
the staff and students in our schools and programs.
Throughout the last school year and continuing into this school year, our community of students and teachers have found ways to reach out and move forward, to apply lessons learned from the tragedy and to develop a greater appreciation for the cultural diversity that exists in every corner of our great city. In this issue of our newsletter are several examples of extraordinary projects that connect different groups of people who would otherwise be invisible to each other. Through their Values into Community Action Art Project, the New York office of the law firm Allen & Overy connected students from twelve alternative high schools to lawyers and staff in their firm. Additionally, in our cover article, we read that students from Superior, Montana connected in a very meaningful way with students from Brooklyn College Academy as evidenced by the excerpts from the students’ letters.
As we now enter yet another challenging phase of the aftermath of 9/11, with the economy in a downturn, with the prospect of budget cuts impacting all aspects of our quality of life, we must find a way to call upon the reserves that exist within us to rise yet again out of the rubble.
It has never been more obvious to me that the education of our children remains the key to any and all rebuilding efforts. We cannot afford to create yet another Lost Generation of children as we saw during the mid-70’s in our schools. Our energy and resolve must stay focused upon educating children today to insure that we will all have a future tomorrow.
The challenges will be real, but I am convinced that we have the fortitude to prevail. To do otherwise is to plunge our city into yet another tragedy. New Yorkers will find the way to prevent that from happening.