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Sandy Springs Education Force Honors Volunteers

sandy springs patchThe sixth annual VIP Breakfast also allowed stakeholders to learn how the organization’s programs are helping students.
Sandy Springs, GA
By Kristal Dixon (Patch Staff) source

SANDY SPRINGS, GA — Sandy Springs Education Force, the city’s leading public education-focused nonprofit organization, recently honored the efforts of community volunteers and supporters at its annual VIP Breakfast at Heritage Hall.

Roughly 140 guests enjoyed breakfast prepared by student chefs from Riverwood International Charter School’s Culinary Arts program under the direction of Chef Elissa Oliver.

Mayor Rusty Paul and Interim Fulton County Schools Superintendent Ken Zeff both reiterated a strong commitment to Sandy Springs public school students and to the organization’s mission of inspiring at-risk students to stay in school, graduate and go on to productive futures.

Presentations then highlighted three SSEF programs. Business Bridge was eloquently presented by Riverwood’s Chef Oliver. Emma Sizemore, a Spalding Drive Charter Elementary fourth-grade student, stole everyone’s hearts with the robots she designed and built in her SSEF STEAM grant-funded robotics club.

Link with a Leader was presented by Julian Pouncy of 100 Black Men of North Metro, Aldrin Torres of the Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers, and students Vanessa Lovinsky of North Springs Charter High School and Darlin Piedra and Ahmed Mahmoud, both of Riverwood.

SSEF also presented four special awards in honor of community partnerships:

  • Betty Klein was named the Carolyn Axt Volunteer of the Year for her continued substantial support of SSEF programs;
  • Carol Ciepluch of North Springs Charter High was named School Program Champion of the Year for her six years of dedication to SSEF’s STEAM Showcase;
  • Victoria Brossy represented Comcast as Sponsor of the Year for their support of STEAM programs and projects; and
  • Janice Flowers of J Flowers Web Design was named Business Supporter of the Year for seven years of website design and support.

“We appreciate the work of our SSEF Board members, volunteers and community members,” said SSEF Executive Director Irene Schweiger. “Now more than ever, we must work together to help the large number of students who live in poverty and experience obstacles to graduation. We are hopeful that together we can continue to make a difference.”

Photo 1: From left to right are Loire Lewis, SSEF chair; Betty Klein; Carol Ciepluch; Janice Flowers; Victoria Brossy; Irene Schweiger, SSEF executive director.
Photo 2: From left to right are Mary Schmidt, ESOL department chair at Riverwood; Aldrin Torres of the Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers; Riverwood student Ahmed Mahmoud; Riverwood student Darlin Piedra; North Springs student Vanessa Lovinsky; Julian Pouncy of 100 Black Men of North Metro; and Valerie Jackson, College and Career Counselor at North Springs.
Photo credits: Sandy Springs Education Force

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