2022 Community Involvement Awards
Honoring Broward County Public Schools outstanding volunteers, mentors, family engagement and community engagement initiatives and partnerships.
Congratulations to the 2022 Community Involvement Awards Winners!
Broward County Public Schools Community Involvement Awards (CIA) Reception was held on Wednesday, May 4, 2022. The CIA was attended by 100 individuals who gathered to honor the District’s outstanding volunteers, mentors, family engagement initiatives and partners.
This year’s event, emceed by Eric Chisem, BCPS Director, Talent Acquisition and Operations (Non-Instructional), featured performances by saxophonist, Will Marcelin and hors d’oeuvres provided by J.P. Taravella High School Prostart program.
DISTRICT PARTNER OF THE YEAR
Dr. Paula Thaqi and The Florida Department of Health in Broward County
During the onset of the pandemic, the Florida Department of Health in Broward, under the leadership of Dr. Paula Thaqi, provided extensive assistance in administering vaccines to our school district employees to mitigate the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic. Dr. Thaqi and her team also prioritized the distribution of vaccines for faculty and staff by providing exclusive appointments at the county vaccine sites. Once vaccines were made available for school-age children, Dr. Thaqi and her team again stepped up and administered vaccines to our students and their families at school sites. They also provided contact tracing, as well as home test kits to staff and students. Thanks to the outstanding partnership with the Florida Department of Health in Broward, Broward County Public Schools was able to effectively operate during this unprecedented pandemic.
SCHOOL-BASED PARTNER OF THE YEAR
Charles S. Drew Elementary School
Mr. Gaydosh contributes his time and services to the Men of Class program at Charles S. Drew Elementary School. The Men of Class program assists disadvantaged male students, ages 10-12 years old. Mr. Gaydosh provides meals for the students and their siblings, who would otherwise not have a meal, as they rely on this as their only guaranteed source of food. He also provides hot meals for several school events such as Parent Night. Mr. Gaydosh’s involvement has promoted parent involvement and a positive school climate, resulting in improved student academic performance and behavior.
Community Education Alliance, Inc.
Dillard 6-12 School
Dillard 6-12 School partners with the Community Education Alliance on multiple literacy and cultural projects. Some of these programs actively engage students in reading and the financial literacy program teaches them how to save, invest, and preserve financial assets. The Community Education Alliance has donated school supplies, school and college dorm room essentials, clothing, food and resources to our students and their families.
SUPERINTENDENT’S STUDENT AWARD
Monarch High School
Karileida Sinanan is an outstanding student at Monarch High School, who has displayed exemplary character and earned excellent grades throughout her high school career. One of her projects that she is most proud of is called Hearing Hearts. This is a mentorship program created by deaf and hard-of-hearing high school students to work together with deaf or hard-of-hearing elementary school students.Diagnosed with hearing loss at around age two, Ms. Sinanan has not let her obstacles get in her way! She plays flag football, is a member of the National Honor Society, Best Buddies, Humane Society Club, and the team manager for the boys’ volleyball team. To date, Ms. Sinanan has more than 3,000 community service hours – 3,020 to be exact.
FAMILY AND COMMUNITY ENGAGEMENT AWARD
Individual of the Year
Ms. Valido is the State Coordinator for the Florida Safe Teen Driving Coalition. She has had a positive and meaningful impact on Hollywood Hills High School and is working toward the development of a District partnership that will help to save the lives of teen drivers.
Group of the Year
Deerfield Beach High School
Be Strong’s mission is to save and improve the lives of our youth using a peer-to peer approach by strengthening mental, emotional, and relational health, building resilience, and preventing bullying. Be Strong has been such an asset to Deerfield Beach High School. Ashleigh Cromer (Executive Director) and her team have provided knowledge on how to help all of students in need.
MENTOR OF THE YEAR
Mentor of the Year – Elementary Level
Fox Trail Elementary School
Megan Demeritt has contributed more than 175 hours this school year, working with students to increase their levels of achievement in science, as well as improving their Social Emotional Learning outcomes. Ms. Demeritt has helped create engaging STEM lessons that motivate students of all ages and abilities to love science. Her experience with the First Robotics program has made her the ideal mentor for the FoxBots team at Fox Trail Elementary. Thanks to her leadership and support, the team has earned some of the most prestigious awards in the competition, including the “Breakthrough Award” and “Core Values” award.
Mentor of the Year – Secondary Level
Hollywood Hills High School
Jabaal Sheard is an alumnus of Hollywood Hills High School and sets an amazing example of the importance and value of giving back. Mr. Sheard is a very busy man. He is currently a free agent NFL player and former Super Bowl winner with the New England Patriots. And with all of that, he still finds time to work with students four days each week, contributing more than 600 hours of service. In addition to providing training and support for the football athletes, Mr. Sheard mentors the young men, and donates meals, sport drinks and equipment. Under his guidance and support the participating students demonstrate improvement in grades, behaviors, and performance on the field.
Mentoring Program of the Year
Bigs in Blue
Big Brothers Big Sisters of Broward County
The Bigs in Blue program features law enforcement serving as mentors in several Broward County Public Schools. As a result of this amazing collaboration our students can interact with members of law enforcement on the school campus providing both the students and the officers a chance to interact in positive ways and share mutual concerns.
Officers from Ft. Lauderdale, Hollywood and Coconut Creek are currently serving students within their communities as well as in several schools including Oakridge Elementary, Sterling Elementary, Lyons Creek Middle, and Coconut Creek Elementary.
VOLUNTEER OF THE YEAR
Adult Volunteer of the Year
Embassy Creek Elementary School
Erica Lamourt has given her heart and soul to Embassy Creek Elementary School through her volunteer endeavors, which include fundraising, school spirit initiatives, and teacher appreciation activities. Ms. Lamourt has used her creative talents to transform school functions, such as the Book Fair and Teacher Appreciation Week into a magical world for students and staff. Ms. Lamourt has been a volunteer with Embassy Creek Elementary for 15 years, and although Embassy Creek Elementary is a very large school with more than 1,200 students, Ms. Lamourt’s vivacious personality, makes it feel like family for so many. Ms. Lamourt’s leadership shines through as she leads through example.
Senior Volunteer of the Year
Hollywood Hills High School
Jonathan Anderson has been actively involved with Hollywood Hills High School for the past five years. He has spent many hours supporting the school through mentorship, participation in school events, and is a former president of the school’s alumni group, the ‘72 Club. Mr. Anderson spends a lot of time speaking with students while on campus. He shares his experiences and wisdom with students and does his best to guide them in the right direction. Mr. Anderson is dedicated to honoring the history of Hollywood Hills High, while building a better future for all Spartans. He is a true advocate who believes in using his actions and voice to make a positive difference in the lives of today's youth.
Youth Volunteer of the Year
Hollywood Hills High School
Johnathan Onesemiuc is an outstanding example of a student leader who believes in serving others before himself. As an Entrepreneurship and Leadership Military Academy Cadet, Mr. Onesemiuc is a key member of his JROTC unit. He is also the top student volunteer for Hollywood Hills High School, with more than 1,400 reported community service hours. Three days per week, Mr. Onesemiuc serves as an after-school peer tutor in the school’s media center with the National Honor Society. He also participates as a member of the School Advisory Council, where he is the voice of other students at the school, helping to make important decisions. Additionally, as the student representative for the Parent Teacher Student Organization, he helps to build a stronger school community and culture.
Advisory/Committee Volunteer of the Year
Gifted Advisory Council
Veronica Newmeyer is the Vice-Chair of the Gifted Advisory Committee, a parent-led organization that advises the School Board on gifted issues. She is a wealth of knowledge on District policy, state proclamations, senate, and house bills, as well as parent and student rights. A constant proponent of public-school education, Ms. Newmeyer often advises parents about the benefits of District schools, the special programs at varied schools, and the benefits of gifted identification. Ms. Newmeyer has volunteered with the District for almost 20 years and is empowered to do it every day, as she believes the greatest gift to our children is advocating for their education to create the leaders of our next generation.
The 2022 Community Involvement Awards is a collaborative initiative between the Office of Communications, 754-321-2300 and the Office of Student Support Initiatives and Recovery, 754-321-1600.