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Yorktown, Lakeland Foundations Honor Educators

YORKTOWN, N.Y. -- No matter which district Yorktown and nearby students attend, it was apparent over the weekend that district staff members and parents appreciate the educators who teach their children.

The Lakeland Education Foundation's casino night and dinner dance and the Yorktown Foundation for Excellence's casino night dinner dance provided a night to have fun with other involved residents, raise money for another year of grant giving, and thank educators who have done so much to help the organizations and the districts' students throughout the year. Both foundations say the weekend's events were their biggest fundraisers of the year to help their foundations' missions.

This year, the Lakeland Education Foundation honored MaryEllen Herzog, assistant superintendent for Pupil Personnel Services, and Maria Jeffery, a seventh-grade teacher at Lakeland Copper Beech Middle School.

"They really have been huge supporters throughout the years with our events, whether they help us get auction prizes or sell raffle tickets, they really have been our go-to people in the district,” said Lakeland Education Foundation President Denise Kness.

Yorktown honored one educator from each school: Yorktown High School English teacher Pamela Chesser, Yorktown Alternative High School social studies teacher Michael Kovalyk, Mildred E. Strang Middle School guidance counselor Joanne Silverman, Crompond Intermediate School fifth-grade teacher Kathleen Muldoon, Brookside School kindergarten teacher Julia Brotko and Mohansic School speech therapist Sue Zuckerman.

"We decided we wanted to honor character in education," said Jane DeCoursey, vice president of the Yorktown Foundation for Excellence. "There's so much the schools are doing with character in education, so we asked the principals and Dr. Napolitano if there were any teachers who stand out in their own building."

The presidents of the two foundations said their weekend events were often the biggest fundraisers they have. Though each has a separate district to help, their missions are similar, as they both raise money to give back to the schools in grants to teachers.

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