2018 Banquet

Thursday April 26, 2018 at the Franklin Plaza in Troy, NY

The Academy for Character Education honors outstanding positive leadership in our schools and communities at our annual Champions of Character Awards Banquet. This event attended by approximately 250-300 individuals honors students, educators, schools, and business and civic leaders and organization throughout the Capital Region and Northeastern United States who have gone above and beyond in the character education initiative by providing leadership and dedication to the vision and mission of fostering positive character development in our school and communities.

Honorary Committee & Supporters: of the 2017 Banquet

Chairmen: Susan C Scrimshaw, The Sage Colleges, President and Allan Stern

Honorable Kathleen Jimino, Rensselaer County

Honorable John T. McDonald III, Assembly Member, District 108

Randy Hall, Commissioner of Social Services, Rensselaer County

Michael J. Castellana, CEO, SEFCU

Fredrick W. Erlich, CEO, Living Resources

Joan Monk

Marra’s Pharmacy

Honorable Paula Mahan, Supervisor, Town of Colonie

Mel Horowitz

Dr. Angelina Maloney, Superintendent, Brunswick CSD

Honorable Lynn Kopka, Troy City Council

Samuel Shevat, CS Arch

Dr. Susan Groesbeck, Emma Willard

Dr. Marie Wiles, Superintendent, Guilderland CSD

Educational Vistas, Inc.


Announcing the 2017 “Champions of Character”


Educators and Students:

Laura Schmitz, Principal, Clayton A. Bouton High School

Elizabeth Floud, Student, Mechanicville CSD

Beth Martinez, Education Director, Albany Region of the Anti-Defamation League

Patrick Mulligan, Teacher Leader, Jonas E. Salk Middle School

Amara Grace Engel, Student, Chatham High School

Linda Bille, Social Worker, Algonquin Middle School

Margaret Rose Goodman, Teacher Leader, West Patent Elementary School

Dr. Ralph Napolitano, Superintendent, Yorktown Central School District

Sarah Hemmerle, Hannah Brisee, Catherine Hannigan, Students, Averill Park CSD

Brian Beaury, Basketball Coach, St. Rose College

Liz Gialanella, Psy. D., School Psychologist, Albany High School

John Sawchuk, Principal, Columbia High School

John Carmello, Superintendent, Troy City CSD

Emiley Filuta, Student, Carroll Hill

Asheena Baez, Youth Advocate, Beacon City School District

Gretchen Lynch, Guidance Counselor, Shenendehowa High School

Cheri Vandenberg, Guidance Counselor, Menands School

Elizabeth Conners, Executive Director of Instruction and Assessment, Fulton City School

Egypt Ufele, Youth Leader, Queens NY

Business and Community Leadership Award:

Lou Stutzke, Business Owner, Fuel-n-Food, Mayfield NY

Seth Appert, Autism Advocate, Capital District

Roberta Sandler and Mary Partridge-Brown, Directors of Grass Root Givers, Albany NY

Jerry Ford, Block Center for Troy Boys & Girls Club, Troy NY

Mark Weintraub, Jewish Community Center of Schenectady, Schenectady NY

TrustCo Bank, Corporate Office in Glenville, NY

The Sage Colleges Champions of Character:

Administrator, Kat Aviza

Faculty, Dr. David A. Salomon

Student, Kathleen Giarratano, Community Counseling of Psychology , Sage Graduate School

Student, Kaylee Dalaba, Creative Arts Therapy, Russell Sage College



NYS School of Character: West Patient Elementary School, Bedford Hills, BCSD

Honorable Mention: Como Park Elementary School, Lancaster, LCSD

Honorable Mention: Lee Road Elementary School, Wantagh, LUFSD