One of the most important tasks of any school district is to recognize the achievement of those students who have excelled academically during their time in school. As organizations, athletic achievement is regularly celebrated by schools and districts, as it should, but the recognition of academic excellence is often an afterthought. As learning and achievement is the primary objective of any school, it is sometimes disappointing the lack of attention academic distinction receives in many circles.
Since 1987, CASDA has done its part to remedy that oversight. Our annual Scholars Awards dinner brings together the top students from almost all of the area high schools to be recognized for their high achievement and congratulated on the fruits of their labor.
Just last week, 122 students from 114 area high schools enjoyed a wonderful evening at the Renaissance Hotel in downtown Albany. They were joined by each student’s nominee of the teacher who has had the greatest impact upon them through their academic career to date. It is a heart-warming and impactful evening for anyone who attends. Parents, students, teachers, and many administrators get to see the results of the work of these fine young people who are some of the best and brightest of our academic stars. Pictures of the event are elsewhere in this newsletter, as well as a flyer that was a part of the Albany Times-Union in the Thursday, May 17, 2018 edition.
Another amazing aspect (perhaps not as amazing as it seems at first glance) is that some of the teachers attend this dinner year after year. That is, those same teachers are chosen multiple times by different students as the teacher who had the greatest impact upon them. These are also our stars, those educators who year after year provide students with the support and nurturing needed to excel. Amazing teachers who have received multiple invitations to this event over the years demonstrates the impact they have had on the lives of many students.
I would be remiss if I did not take a moment to thank some of our sponsors to this event. The cost of an event of this type is enormous, and it would be impossible for CASDA alone to shoulder the expense of such a grand evening. The University at Albany’s School of Education, Freihofer’s Bakery, and the legal team at Whiteman, Osterman and Hanna were major financial supporters of this event, and we are very thankful that they see the value of this wonderful evening. Additionally, thanks to the following firms for their continued support: CS Arch, CSEA, JCB Specialties, Inc., Saratoga Financial Services, Key Bank, the BBL Family of Companies, and Vicarious Visions. Together, these companies provided most of the cost of the evening, but CASDA also provided financial support to ensure this event happened for the scholars being recognized.
Congratulations to the academic stars that joined us on May 16, and we at CASDA wish you the best as you continue on your path to success.
Interim Executive Director