Distinguished Friend of Education

General InformationRecipients
The Distinguished Friend of Education Awards, established in 1983, honor a person and an organization or corporation for outstanding service to education in Connecticut.

Individual Award

The individual shall:

  • be a person from outside the field of elementary or secondary education.
  • be a person who has no direct involvement in education through his or her employment.
  • be a person noted for a strong contribution of education at the local, state, regional or national level.
  • have made this contribution over an extended period of time, or an extraordinary contribution within a limited period.
Organization or Corporation Award

The organization or corporation shall:

  • have no direct involvement in education through the employment of its members.
  • be noted for a strong contribution to education at the local, state, regional or national level.
  • have made this contribution over an extended period of time or an extraordinary contribution within a limited period.
  • Examples of eligible corporations or organizations would include Rotary, Exchange Club, Stanley Works, Pfizer Inc., etc.

If you wish to nominate an individual or an organization/corporation, please contact Karen Packtor at kpacktoratcasciacdotorg  (kpacktoratcasciacdotorg)  .

1983 Dorothy C. Goodwin, Representative, Storrs (General Assembly)
1984 Lewis B. Sears, M.D.
1985 Bernie Fields (Jeweler)
1986 Mrs. Florence Polens (Humanitarian)
1987 Governor William A. O’Neill, State Capitol, Hartford
Mrs. Grace Martin, Stratford
1988 Robert W. Fiondella, President, The Phoenix Hartford
The Stanley Works, New Britain
1989 Dr. Kay E. Janney, Mystic
The Canton Creative Arts Council
1990 Jon T. Walworth, Cheshire
Johnson Corrugated Products Company, Thompson
1991 Mr. Lodewyk Schryver, Hartford
Central Research Division, PFIZER, Inc., Groton, CT (Groton Site Education Task Force)
1992 Mr. Walter Derynoski, Southington Board of Education member
No Corporation or Organization Award Given
1993 Raymond A. Roncari, Windsor Locks
Berlin Upbeat Community Team
1994 Idella Howell, Middletown
Connecticut & Western Massachusetts McDonald’s Owner-Operators Association
1995 Mr. Sandy Harden, Sikorsky Aircraft, Stratford
Windham Hospital, Willimantic
1996 Albert E. Larson, Kensington (Nominated by Daniel Bugnacki, Principal, New Britain High School)
Historically Black College Alumni, New London (Nominated by Lewis Allen, Principal, New London High School)
1997 Dr. Joan Fung-tomc, Bristol Myers Squibb Corp. Wallingford (Nominated by John Lineen, Principal, Lincoln Middle School, Meriden)
G.E. Elfun Society/GE Fund/GE ED & C (Nominated by Paul Cavaliere, Jr., Middle School of Plainville)
1998 John Anderson, Haddam (Nominated by Virginia Rebar, Haddam-Killingworth MS)
Joseph Goldberg, Guilford (Nominated by Charlotte Nelson, Melissa Jones Elementary)
CIGNA Corporation, Bloomfield (Nominated by Irvin Guidicelli, Burns School, Hartford)
1999 Janice Biercevicz, Seymour
Bristol Chamber of Commerce (Nominated by Bristol Eastern High School)
2000 9th Wave, Inc., Southbury – Edward Gilchrest (Nominated by Tara Rickart & administrators at Nonnewaug H.S., Woodbury)
Loraine Dibble, Naugatuck (Nominated by Alice Carolan, Superintendent)
2001 Attorney Thomas Mooney, Shipman & Goodwin, Hartford (Nominated by CAS-CIAC)
Dr. Robert Cleaver, Fairfield (Nominated by Sandra McLeod, Maplewood Elementary)
Mrs. Margaret Wood, Goshen (Nominated by Margaret Fraser, Goshen Center School)
2002 Kevin Bousquet, Interlaken Inn, Lakeville (Nominated by Kathleen Burkhart, Housatonic Valley)
Frederick Hoxsie, Herlin Press (Nominated the Ron Stancil, West Haven High School)
2003 Boehringer-Ingelheim Pharmaceuticals (Nominated by Immaculate High School)
Mary Kiniry, Danbury (Nominated by Danbury High School)
2004 Dr. Peter Januzzi, Farmington (Nominated by Cheryl Kloczko, Principal, University of Hartford Magnet School)
Carmody & Torrance, LLP (Nominated by Ms. Patricia Emons, Principal, Children’s Community
School, Waterbury)
2005 Mrs. Connie Pike, Old Lyme (Nominated by Jan Guarino-Rhone, Principal of Lyme-Old Lyme High School)
Mrs. Jean Lafave, New Hartford (Nominated by Mrs. Patricia Llodra, Principal of Northwestern
Regional High School, and Dr. Richard Carmelich, former superintendent of Reg. School District #7)
Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Hartford (Nominated by Mr. Paul Stringer, Principal, Weaver High
School, Hartford)
2006 nerac.com, Tolland (Nominated by Joseph Bacewicz, Tolland High School)
Michelle Horan (Nominated by Deacon Carl LaFleur, Sacred Heart School, Groton)
2007 Hamilton Sundstrand (Nominated by Paul Newton, Enrico Fermi High School, Enfield)
Judge Michael Sheldon, Canton (co-winners)
Attorney John FitzGerald, Canton (co-winners)
2008 Beverly Ciurylo, Columbia (Nominated by Francine Coss, Horace Porter School, Columbia)
FOCUS, Farmington (Nominated by Dr. Tim Breslin, Farmington High School)
Dan Hunter, Meriden (Nominated by Dan Coffey, Benjamin Franklin Elementary, Meriden)
2009 Carmela Burns, Seymour (Nominated by Mary Sue Feige, Bungay School, Seymour)
2010 Meriden Children First Initiative (Nominated by Judy Seldner, Nathan Hale Elementary, Meriden)
Judge Thomas Brunnock, Waterbury (Nominated by Anne Marie Cullinan, Assistant Superintendent, Waterbury Public Schools)
Ginger Katz, Norwalk (Nominated by David Hay and Lynne Moore, principals of Brookside Elementary School and West Rocks Middle School, Norwalk)
2011 Maria Susaya, Hartford (Nominated by Elizabeth Michaelis, Supervisory Principal, Parkville Community School)
Trooper First Class Jim Connelly, Westbrook (Nominated by Priscilla Luoma, Associate Principal, Haddam-Killingworth High School)
2012 Nej, Inc., Beacon Falls (Nominated by Robin Henry, Principal of Woodrow Wilson Elementary School, Waterbury)
Mary Barnett, Branford (Nominated by Dr. Susan Iwanicki, Principal, John B. Sliney School, Branford)
2013 Kenneth Kitchings, Old Lyme (Nominated by Dr. Nicholas Fischer, Superintendent, New London Public Schools; and Gina Fafard, Executive Director, Interdistrict School of Arts and Communication, New London)