BOE Celebrates National Essay Winners and Teachers

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During the district’s board of education meeting on April 29, Superintendent of Schools Dr. Nicholas Stirling, along with the board, honored two outstanding students and their teachers for recently earning national recognition in the Jackie Robinson Breaking Barriers Essay Contest. 

Among the 10,000 essays that were submitted, Shaw Avenue Elementary School fifth grader Asma Kaukab was selected as the grand prize winner for grades 4-6. Her classmate, Hafsa Asghar, was also recognized as one of eight MVP National winners. Sponsored by Scholastic and Major League Baseball, the contest encourages students from across the country to write about overcoming personal obstacles or barriers through the examples that Jackie Robinson set while breaking the color barrier for Major League Baseball. The students were asked to incorporate Robinson’s nine values into their entries – citizenship, commitment, courage, determination, excellence, integrity, justice, persistence and teamwork. 

Although Hafsa was unable to attend the meeting due to her recent move to Brooklyn, Dr. Stirling expressed how proud he was of both students, stating that it was not only an accomplishment for them, but also the district.
“I can’t tell you how proud I am of what you have done and more importantly, of the person that you have become,” he told Asma, who proudly sat with her family during the meeting. 

Dr. Stirling also expressed his appreciation for the support of the students’ loved ones and teachers Karin Savino, Kerry O’Connor and Maria Neckonoff. He praised all three teachers for their commitment to the students of District 30. 

“The work that you do, not just this year but in all the years that you have been in the district, is most appreciated,” said Dr. Stirling. 

To congratulate Asma and her teachers, each received a bouquet of flowers from the board.