This year, 12 students and 13 educators at Philadelphia’s 12 Community Schools were recognized for their dedication to their communities, and their work in helping further the goals of the community schools initiative. Congratulations to all!
Russey Baez, 5th grade, Cramp Elementary School
Russey is president of the student council, a member of the Healthy You, Positive Energy council, and a 1st grade tutor. “Russey is incredibly kind and an excellent role model with a wonderful spirit of service,” said William Reed, Community Schools Coordinator.
Joaquan J. Williams, 12th grade, Dobbins CTE High School
“Joey,” as his friends call him, is a student in Dobbin’s Culinary Arts program. “Joey deserves this award for working extra hard…doing everything and then some with grace, style, and charm,” said culinary instructor Chef Penny Greenberg.
Donte Smith, 6th grade, F.S. Edmonds School
Donte Smith is an active member of the Edmonds community. He is an “excellent leader who sets a tone of compassion and diligence for his classmates” said Robin Torrence, Community Schools Coordinator. “He is always the first person to lend a hand at community events, and his help is so appreciated.”
Faith Haggans, 8th grade, Edward Gideon School
Faith often serves as a manager at Gideon’s Farm Stand, and takes an active role in the monthly Kids Bites Backpack Food program. “Faith brings leadership that helps makes Gideon a better place,” said Gregory Wright, Community Schools Coordinator.
Preston Elliot, 8th Grade, Samuel Gompers School
Preston started at Gompers in kindergarten and graduated this year. “He heads towards a bright future,” said Rennie Parker, Community Schools Coordinator. Preston is well known for always helping others and will move on to Randolph Skills Center, where he intends to learn the skills necessary to become a firefighter and serve the City.
Alfremiri Florentino, 12th grade, Kensington Health Sciences Academy
Alfremiri joined the KHSA family only two years ago but left quite the impression on those around her during that time. She served as an ambassador for ELL student support, and is a fixture at many community events, and was a Healthy Schools intern. “Alfremiri has quickly grown to be a leader among her peers.” said Antonio Romero, Community Schools Coordinator
Danaejah Jones, 8th grade, Alain Locke School
Danaejah encourages her peers to do their absolute best, and was a student ambassador when Dr. Hite visited the school this year. “Danaejah is a pleasure to work with,” said Pamela Evans, Community School Coordinator. “She’ll be starting at Central High School next year, and I can’t wait to see what greatness she achieves.”
Brandon McDonald, 8th Grade, Logan Elementary
Brandon is always willing to help, has represented the the school during parent conferences, and is and active member of several school clubs and programs. “Brandon is an exceptional student and community leader,” said Richard Washington, Community Schools Coordinator.
Alayshia Bridges, 12th grade, South Philadelphia High School
Since her junior year, Alayshia has served as a Community School advocate and a member of the Community School Committee. She has championed many causes that benefit her peers, including the Community Closet. “Her student feedback has been very important in making sure I am addressing the real needs of the students,” said Janelle Harper, Community Schools Coordinator.
Kimlynn Nguyen, 8th grade, Southwark School
Kimlynn has participated in many programs and serves as a “safety helper,” helping younger students find their way to their classrooms. “Kimlynn is always eager and interested to sign-up for new student programs at Southwark,” said Beth Dougherty, Community Schools Coordinator. “She sets a great example for what it means to be a student leader.”
Brionna Williams, 8th grade, William Tilden Middle School
Brionna regularly attends the Community School Committee meetings at Tilden, and is a fixture at the school’s community events. She also received the Youth Community Leader Award from TownWatch Integrated Services. “She is an engaged student who has a track record of success,” said Regina Young, Community School Coordinator. “I’m always so happy to see her at an event, because I know she truly wants to be there to help.”
Emani Goode, 12th Grade, George Washington High School
Emani is editor of the yearbook, a peer mediator, and an active participant at events. “Emani has demonstrated leadership skills beyond her years, and will surely leave a mark wherever her journey takes her.” said Caitlyn Boyle, Community Schools Coordinator.
Educators at Community School were also recognized. Like the honored students, these individuals were selected based on their passion and support of the work being done through the Mayor’s community school initiative. This year’s recipients are as follows:
- Brenda Ortiz-Horan, William Cramp Elementary
- Chef Penny Greenberg and Chef Marjorie Kloss, Murrell Dobbins CTE High School
- Kristen Heifert, F.S. Edmonds Elementary School
- Rachael Gordon, Edward Gideon Elementary/Middle School
- Jenifer Felix, Kensington Health Sciences Academy
- Toshiko Reed, Logan Elementary
- Sean Davis, South Philadelphia High School
- Laura Schad, Southwark Elementary
- Marianna Rende, William Tilden Middle School
- Jarryd Huddock, Samuel Gompers School
- Tamarra Cannon, Alain Locke School
- Michel Sorkin-Socki, George Washington High School