Avondale Schools_USE THIS

Media Contact: Barbara Fornasiero, EAFocus Communications, cell: 248.260.8466, barbara@eafocus.com; Julie Kelly, Avondale School District, 248.537.6002, julie.kelly@avondale.k12.mi.us

Auburn Hills, Mich. —March 24, 2015—- Avondale School District, an achievement-oriented learning community focused on student leadership and success in academics, the arts and athletics, announces that nine district students and educators were honored on March 23 at the annual Excellence in Education awards dinner, presented by the Auburn Hills Chamber of Commerce and held at the Palace of Auburn Hills.

Designed to promote the link between business, education and the community, Excellence in Education captures the qualities of excellence in both students and their educators. Students are selected on the basis of community service, academics and involvement in extra-curricular activities. The selected students name a teacher, coach or advisor who has made a difference in their lives. The event honors students from the Avondale School District as well as the private schools in Auburn Hills: Oakland Christian and Auburn Hills Christian. The following Avondale students and educators were honored:

• Dora Lei, fifth grade, Auburn Elementary; honored teacher, Kristen Little
• Alana May, fifth grade, Deerfield Elementary; honored teacher, Colleen Cartier
• Smilee Chunduru, fifth grade, R. Grant Graham Elementary; honored teacher, Deb Talmage
• Breanna Daniel, fifth grade, Woodland Elementary; honored teacher, Dawn Polizzi
• Allison Drabek, eighth grade, Avondale Middle School; honored teacher, Andrea Martin
• Christopher Sawyers, eighth grade, Avondale Middle School; honored teacher, Ray Went
• Alyssa Fisk, senior, Avondale High School; honored counselor, Kim Olszak
• Christopher Womack, senior, Avondale High School; honored teacher, Lisa Knudson
• Antonio Powell, senior, Avondale Academy; honored teacher, Gabrielle Griffey

Separately, four Avondale High School seniors were each awarded $1,000 scholarships from automotive supplier, Faurecia which also served as program champion for the event. The student recipients were Colin Fultz, David Cowan, Alexia Coleman and Alisson Vargas-Pujols.

Additionally, Sean Jacobson, a 2007 Avondale High School graduate and a 2001 Excellence in Education honoree, received the Special Alumni Student Success Award. At Avondale, Jacobson competed on the wrestling, cross country, track, golf and baseball teams. Following graduation, he continued to serve as an assistant wrestling coach at Avondale High School and Avondale Middle School while attending Oakland University (OU). Jacobson holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Elementary Education from OU and a master’s degree in curriculum and design from Marygrove College. He is in his third year of teaching seventh and eighth grade language arts at Hart Middle School in the Rochester Community Schools. At Hart, he is piloting a sixth grade leadership class, inspired by the leadership initiatives he experienced while at Avondale. Jacobson also coaches cross county at Stoney Creek High School and wrestling at Hart Middle School and continues to assist in leading the Summer Fun program each year in the Avondale School District.

“Excellence in Education is a highly anticipated event each year for the Auburn Hills school communities. Excellence in Education not only honors students, teachers and alumni, but recognizes the encouragement our students receive from their parents, mentors and the broader community,” Dr. James Schwarz, Avondale Superintendent said. “We are very appreciative of the Auburn Hills Chamber and its member companies who support our collective efforts in developing students who will be lifelong learners and contributors to the workplace and society.”

Excellence in Education is made possible by banquet sponsor Palace Sports and Entertainment, program champion Faurecia, program partners DBusiness and Oakland University, event sponsors Avondale Education Foundation, Baker College, Central Michigan University, City of Auburn Hills, Consumers Energy, Northwood University DeVos Graduate School of Troy, Genisys Credit Union, Oakland Community College, Oakland University Credit Union, and business sponsors Delphi Automotive, Lake Trust Credit Union and North Oakland Family YMCA.

About Avondale School District
Avondale School District is a collaborative community of teachers, staff and families working together to assure student success. The district, encompassing portions of Auburn Hills, Bloomfield Township, Troy and Rochester Hills, celebrates the richness of a diverse student population and strives to be a model school community that prepares students to be lifelong learners and contributing citizens to the world that awaits them upon graduation. Learn more about Avondale Schools, an AdvancED accredited district, at www.avondale.k12.mi.us.