SPEF’s 2020 Excellence in Education Awards took place on Monday, June 22nd at 6PM virtually via www.spefct.org. This annual event brings together community members, corporations, school administrators, teachers, parents, and other nonprofit agencies to celebrate the power of public education for students and families in Stamford.

We are Proud to Present the Following Awards:

SPEF Educator Award: Brenda Zanga, AITE

Each Stamford Public School’s parent-teacher organization can nominate one employee for the SPEF Educator Award. All nominees are recognized at the Excellence in Education Awards, with the winner receiving a $1,000 Classroom Donation. The Winner is selected by the SPEF Board of Directors based on the following criteria: enhances student learning with enrichment, embraces community collaboration by bringing outside resources into the classroom, demonstrates a commitment to continuous professional development of self and others, exemplifies a commitment to supporting the Stamford community.

Congratulations to the 2020 Educator Award winner, Brenda Zanga, from the Academy of Information, Technology, and Engineering (AITE).

“Brenda brings her experience of knowing what the business world is really like to teach students not only the concepts, but also how their learning will help them in later life. She makes learning relevant, fast-paced and exciting, which is needed for this new generation of learners.”

AITE - Brenda.Zanga

Congratulation to the Following Nominees

  • Christina Dinardo, Rippowam Middle School
  • Brenda Zanga, Academy of Information Technology and Engineering
  • Beth Orstad, APPLES Early Childhood Education Center
  • Anthony Scaturchio, Cloonan Middle School
  • Bill Margiotta, Davenport Ridge Elementary School
  • Jason Deluna, Dolan Middle School
  • Allyson Schenker, Hart Magnet Elementary School
  • Maureen Calorossi, Julia A. Stark Elementary School
  • Jessica Febbraio, KT Murphy Elementary School
  • Ryan Henderson, Northeast Elementary School
  • Steve Staley, Rogers International School
  • Kristyn O’Brien, Roxbury Elementary School
  • James Neufeld, Scofield Magnet Middle School
  • Berta Yanez, Springdale Elementary School
  • Melissa Giordano, Stamford High School
  • Joseph Zaremski, Stillmeadow Elementary School
  • Seth Goldstein, Strawberry Hill Elementary School
  • Daynel Brown, Toquam Magnet Elementary School
  • Jane Lambert, Turn of River Middle School
  • Carley Grant, Westhill High School

SPEF Leadership Award: Wendy Block and Vicki Craver, Founders of Impact Fairfield County


Wendy Block

Vicki Craver

 Vicki Craver

Wendy Block and Vicki Craver founded Impact Fairfield County in 2015, whose mission is to unite women of Fairfield County, Connecticut, by providing large, transformational grants to local non-profits.  As a collective giving circle, Impact FFC strives to reach the under-served and improve the lives of those in our community. Since its initial grant year, it has provided $775,000 in grant funding including six $100,000 Impact FFC Grants to organizations in the areas of child welfare, education, and college/career readiness.

SPEF Philanthropy Award: Pitney Bowes

Pitney Bowes (NYSE:PBI) is a global technology company providing commerce solutions that power billions of transactions. Through its long-term support of literacy and education, the company and the Pitney Bowes Foundation focus on Pre-K through Grade 12 public education to ensure all children have the opportunity to grow to their full potential. The company also takes special pride in the enthusiastic contributions of Pitney Bowes volunteers, who donate thousands of hours each year to help our communities worldwide.

Stamford Public Schools’ Teacher of the Year Award

Once again the Stamford Public Schools (SPS) presented its Teacher of the Year Award. This annual award is presented to a peer-selected teacher who epitomizes the highest standards and aspirations of the profession; the winner will represent Stamford Public Schools in the State and National Teacher of the Year program.  This year Stamford Public Schools named Individuals Achieving Independence Teacher Lisa Legato-Howlett 2020-2021 Stamford Teacher of the Year, Emeritus, and Toquam Magnet Teacher Barbara Hanauer, 2020-2021 Stamford Teacher of the Year.  The finalists were Stamford High School Science Teacher Saleh Jahangir and Toquam Magnet School Special Education Teacher Diana Pelliccia. Congratulations!

All proceeds from the event benefited SPEF’s educational programs, including the nationally-recognized Stamford Mentoring Program.

Our Generous 2020 Sponsors

Click on the photos below to get a glimpse into 2019’s event:

Click on the photos below to browse moments from previous Excellence in Education Awards!