Cambridge School Volunteers (CSV) honored four outstanding volunteers with Mack I. Davis II Awards, and one Cambridge Public Schools educator with a Kenny S. Neal Award, on June 1 at the Broad Institute of Harvard and MIT.
Cambridge Superintendent of Schools Dr. Victoria Greer and Mayor Sumbul Siddiqui thanked volunteers at the event. Dr. Greer called special attention to the fact that over 600 elementary school children had their school days enriched by a volunteer’s work in the current school year. Mayor Siddiqui said she “wouldn’t be here” without the support of volunteer tutors at Cambridge Rindge and Latin School (CRLS), and made special note of the adaptability of CSV volunteers in serving students during the first two years of the pandemic.
Suzette Abbott received a Mack I. Davis II Award from Cambridge School Volunteers. Abbott taught Grade 1 at the Baldwin School in Cambridge for 13 years. Her next CPS role was teaching early childhood educators how to use Vivian Paley’s Storytelling/Story Acting Method. When she retired from CPS in 2010, she enrolled with Cambridge School Volunteers to continue her work with children in the lower grades. Suzette currently volunteers using the Storytelling/Story Acting Method with 7 early childhood classrooms at 3 different schools in the district.
Fletcher Maynard Academy preschool teacher Corey Kempton says, “What I appreciate the most about Suzette is that she brings just herself, no technology needed. In a world that moves fast and has lots of screens, Suzette's program slows us down, giving my scholars the chance to be creative and shine.”
Susan Hartnett, another Mack I Davis II Awardee this year, has volunteered for the past two years as a Reading Buddy with students at the Kennedy-Longfellow School. In addition, she volunteers at the Cambridge Public Library as an ESL teacher and is a climate activist with Extinction Rebellion. Sally Peterson, who coordinates the Reading Buddies Program for CSV, says that Hartnett’s “students are always laughing and talking when they read with her and they pick up on her infectious joyfulness. She has a great sense of humor that is paired with kindness and a deep ability to listen.”
Haihao Liu, who also received a Mack I. Davis II Award, has been volunteering with CSV for 4 years. During that time, he has served in CSV’s Intergenerational Math Program, NetPals Program, and Tutoring Center at CRLS. Megan Andres, CSV’s director of high school programas, said “I have gotten to know many volunteers and to know who I can count on to tackle the demanding roles–Haihao is that person. He is a volunteer who is truly committed to the young people of Cambridge.”
Anson Wright received a Mack I.Davis II Award as well. A volunteer since 2014, she has served in three different CSV programs, supporting students in a wide range of ages. She was a one-to-one tutor for students at Vassal Lane Upper School for 2 years; and supported literacy in a Kindergarten classroom for 4 years. For 3 years, Wright has also served as a mentor in CSV’s outdoor learning program for Grade 4 and 5 students, called Art and Science in One. Sarah Carpenter, the
Kindergarten teacher at the Martin Luther King, Jr. School, said “Each student she worked with felt her compassion and her empathy towards how challenging learning can be. She never gave up!” Julie Croston, manager of Art and Science in One, said Wright “has lived out the program’s ethic of finding, for each student, a just-right pathway to connect with outdoor, hands-on science practice.”
Library Media Specialist Melisa Paulino-Smith of Amigos School/Escuela Amigos, received CSV’s annual Kenneth S. Neal Award for a CPS educator whose collaboration demonstrates dedication and excellence. Paulino has been the coordinator of the after-school Learning Center for Grade 6–8 students at the school for eight years.
Cambridge School Volunteers introduced a new award category at this year’s event, to honor volunteers who have been in service for only one or two years. Recipients of the Outstanding New Volunteer Award are:
Leonor Felipe who tutored a Grade 6 student this year
Camila Campos Herrera who mentored four students in Art & Science in One over the past 2 years
Maija Pratt Rojas who tutored students in the CRLS BRYT Program, and
Lis Wolfson who in her first year has volunteered in 3 different programs in the elementary grades
At the ice cream social and volunteer appreciation event where the awards were announced on Wednesday, CSV also marked several milestones, including 15 years of partnership in 2021 with the Novartis Institutes for Biomedical Research.
The organization celebrated two volunteers who have served continuously for 20 years, Corrine Johnson, who advises the high school’s Science Olympiad team and also tutors students individually; and Jim Peterson, who tutors at the CSV/CRLS Tutoring Center and also volunteers in the school-day program called Academic Support at the high school. In addition, CSV honored 2 volunteers celebrating their 15-year mark, 7 volunteers celebrating 10 years of volunteering, and another 11 celebrating a tenure of 5 years.
Volunteers Marking Milestones
Ramya Balusu, Learning Center
Alexandra Bouchereau, NetPals (Oracle)
Pooja Bovard, KeyPals (Draper)
Thomas Harper, NetPals (Novartis)
John Koschwanez, Drop-in Math & Science Tutoring (photo, below)
Martin Magid, Tutoring Center
Melissa McGaughey, Art & Science in One
Debbie Merriam, Learning Center
Joanne Mullan, Art & Science in One, Reading Buddies
Juliana Pakes, Learning Center
Alexis Rizzuto, Art & Science in One
Harland Alpaugh, Science Olympiad
David Bass, Tutoring Center
Leon Cantor, Tutoring Center, SEI support at VLUS, 2017 Mack Davis Recipient
Mauro Ferdman, Tutoring Center, 2019 Mack Davis Recipient
Sue Hall, Tutoring Center
Melinda Koyanis, Publishing Center, Art & Science in One, CCMP (Photo, below, with student mentee)
Deborah Lee, Publishing Center, PreK & JK Classroom Assistant, Art & Science in One
Maggie Pancost-Heldebrecht, NetPals (Novartis), 2015 Mack Davis Recipient
Jeff Quateman, Science Olympiad, 2013 Mack Davis Recipient
Corinne Johnson, Science Olympiad & Tutoring Center, 2015 Mack Davis Recipient
Jim Peters, Tutoring Center, Academic Support, 2006 Mack Davis Recipient
CSV celebrates over 15 years of partnership with the Novartis Institutes for Biomedical Research.