Posing after presentation of the Hodgson Russ Excellence in Collaboration Honor Award are, from left: Andrew J. Freedman, Esq., representing Hodgson Russ; Springville GI School Board members Elizabeth Casey; Jennifer Sullivan, Vice President; Allison Duwe, President; former student Molly Stabell; social studies teacher and club advisor Andrew Beiter; Middle School principal Shanda DuClon, and ECASB President David Lowrey.
Springville Griffith Institute students, along with teacher Andrew Beiter, were recipients of a Hodgson Russ Excellence in Collaboration Honor Award at the recent Erie County Association of School Boards annual award celebration. Mr. Beiter is the volunteer coordinator of Springville’s Students for Human Rights Club. The Club, open to middle and high-school students, is focused on enhancing student leadership and advocacy skills. Students gain these skills while spreading awareness of human rights issues and violations around the world. The group is one of the largest student clubs at SGI and has been active since 2007. Just this past school year, Students for Human Rights raised over $800 for the International Rescue Committee.
Empathetic, compassionate, understanding, informed, historically aware, action-oriented – these are the traits that SGI’s Students for Human Rights are carrying with them when they graduate from SGI and move into adulthood. According to Mr. Beiter, “Our Students for Human Rights are not just gaining the skills and insights they need for a successful and fulfilling future, they are making a concrete and lasting impact throughout their time at SGI. Their actions on behalf of girls in Afghanistan and refugees from Syria have ripples they will never fully comprehend. And, perhaps more dramatically, the conversations they have started and led in Springville, are critical ones for all of us to be engaging in.”
The Hodgson Russ Excellence in Collaboration Awards recognize collaboration that helps improve the educational program, and propel a district toward excellence. These awards recognize a program that is unique, but can be replicated by others.