Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Kristin Kenavan - St. John's Education Award Honoree

St. John's University had their 8th Annual Education Awards Dinner at the Hilton Garden Inn. You will quickly see, in a flash, in fact the very first frozen shot (don't blink you'll miss it) a picture of the McKee table. St. John's University celebrated the heroic efforts of teachers, staff, parents, students, and administrators towatrds providing relief for Hurricane Sandy victims.

The event was covered on NY1. Check it out:

Here's what I wrote for the journal:

There are many countless stories of the efforts of the Ralph R. McKee Career and Technical Education High School community to reach out to their neighbors after the devastation of Hurricane Sandy. The Guidance Department, on Election Day, travelled to the homes of all of the students who lived in the affected areas and knocked on doors to check on their status and to spread the news that McKee was open, warm, with food, and a safe place. Some members of the Guidance Department outreached to Project Hope, which helped to provide extensive relief to families who were dispossessed from their homes. Some staff members went to the homes of other staff members who had lost all of their earthly belongings and helped to rebuild their home, recover valuables, and navigate the red-tape of FEMA and all the other government agencies.

David Sarno, our Automotive Technology teacher, contacted a school upstate, Unadilla Valley Central School, in Upstate New York, who sent a truck of school supplies, and  cleaning equipment, which was then dispersed to families in need. Kathleen Eberlein, our Assistant Principal of Pupil Personnel Services, contacted an agency that yielded 40 back packs. Joanne Klages, our Social Worker, was the hub to which students could turn to when they needed emotional, social, and nutritional resources.  

Students and staff organized a clothing drive. Students presented staff members who suffered the most severe losses with care baskets. Jeff Pedersen, our Programmer, was the coordinator for the shelter at Susan Wagner High School long after the schools re-opened to attend to the needs of the people who were homeless as a result of the hurricane.
Although the entire McKee community stepped up to the plate to assist our students who were affected by the hurricane, Ms. Kristin Kenavan went "above and beyond." Ms. Kenavan went door to door to the homes of our students to make sure that they were ok. She drove up and down the streets of those affected areas, handing out food and clothing to those in need. She ran into a family sitting in their car shortly after the hurricane and literally took her coat off her back, and gave them whatever money she had in her pocket. She became the 'go to" person for other staff members to find out information about our students. Kristen's classroom became the "holding room" where staff members would bring in food, clothing and toiletries for Kristen to take with her as she drove from door to door helping those in need.

For this reason we acknowledge Kristin's efforts and appointed her to gratefully accept the honor bestowed on our school from St. John’s University.

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