Consortium taps six winners at Champions of Learning Awards celebration and makes special tribute

Winners in six categories took center stage Saturday, April 1, 2017 when the Consortium for Public Education presented its annual Champions of Learning Awards.

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2017 Champions of Learning Award Winners

Don Marinelli, Director of Innovation at 535 Media/Inven Global, emceed the event at the Pittsburgh Marriott City Center.

“We had an outstanding group of finalists,” said the Consortium’s Executive Director Mary Kay Babyak. “Every year, I am so impressed at the way community organizations, businesses, educators and volunteers work together to create such rich and varied learning experiences for kids in our region.”

Sharing in the celebration, United Way of Southwestern Pennsylvania presented its “Be There” awards to individuals who go above and beyond to support youth in Allegheny County.

The Consortium presented awards in six categories—the Arts; Business Partnerships; Classroom Teaching; Community Outreach; Leadership and Volunteerism.

Additionally, the Special Tribute for 2017 went to Bill Isler, former President and Chief Executive Officer of The Fred Rogers Co. and former Pittsburgh Public School Board President. Isler was recognized as a lifelong educator and children’s advocate.

In The Arts, Prime Stage took the honors for using arts and entertainment to enhance education. For Business Partnerships, the award went to Blueroof Technologies, a McKeesport community development firm that creates STEM learning and employment opportunities for youth. The award for Classroom Teaching went to Robert Rodrigues, an award-winning History teacher at Chartiers Valley High School. The Isaiah Project, which provides mentoring and other programming to improve graduation rates among at-risk youth in Pittsburgh’s Hilltop neighborhoods, won the award for Community Outreach. The award for Leadership went to Randy Miller, Laurel Highlands School District’s Director of Curriculum and Instruction and Dennis Webber won the Volunteerism award for his service as Board President of the Greenville Area School District and for other ways in which he has volunteered his time there.