Two community volunteers, a school project, a teacher and a community organization won honors June 3 at the 2015 Academy Awards Dinner in Kresge Hall at the Riverfront Museum Park in Rockford. The annual awards recognize exemplary service and thank staff and volunteers with the college and career academies in the Rockford Public Schools.
The winners were among 69 people and organizations nominated in five categories. Michael Mendoza, who graduated this year from Jefferson High School, addressed about 130 attendees. He said being in the Health Sciences Academy at Jefferson led him to engage in school and build relationships with people of similar interests. His experiences also helped him realize he could be a surgeon. His mom, brother and sister are nurses. “HS Academy changed my life,” Mendoza said.
The categories and the awards were:
Council Member of the Year—Chad Moe, Rockford Fire Department
Academy Support Team Member of the Year—Sam Basile, Trekk
Project of the Year—Jefferson Freshman Academy Quality of Life Project
Academy Staff of the Year—William Rose, Business, Arts, Modern World Languages and Information Technology Academy (BAMIT) team leader, Business and Social Studies teacher at East High School
Community Organization of the Year—Rockford First