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Special Programs

In addition to grants and scholarships, Ronald McDonald House Charities of Connecticut and Western Massachusetts offers special programming to further its mission of helping children. One such annual program is the Local Hero Awards, which recognizes area teachers for their hard work and commitment to shaping the futures of children from Connecticut and Western Massachusetts.

2014 Local Hero Awards

RMHC of CT and Western MA recently honored 10 area teachers with the 8th annual RMHC Local Hero Awards. The selected teachers from Connecticut and Western Massachusetts have all exhibited tremendous dedication to their profession and outstanding efforts in servicing their schools and communities. To further recognize each recipient, RMHC awarded a $1,000 grant to each teacher’s school in his/her honor. The 2014 recipients are as follows:

  • Caitlin Costello, Middle School World History Teacher, North Middle School – Westfield, MA
  • Karen Schweitzer, 2nd Grade Math Teacher, Williamsburg Elementary School – Williamsburg, MA
  • Kathleen Chamberlain, 4th Grade Math Teacher, Lincoln Elementary School- Springfield, MA
  • Catherine Freeman, Special Education Teacher of 6th,7th,8th Grade Math, Sage Park Middle School- Windsor, CT
  • Dana Jeanette-Kneen, High School English Teacher, Shelton High School – Shelton, CT
  • Diane Jennings, Middle School Library Media Specialist, Mabelle B. Avery Middle School- Somers, CT
  • Jill Dailey, Elementary School Library Media Specialist, Louise Duffy School – West Hartford, CT
  • Kenneth Craig, Elementary School Music Teacher, Naubuc School- Glastonbury, CT
  • Sibani Sengupta, High School Science Teacher, Sacred Heart Academy – Hamden, CT
  • Lori Kramarz, Elementary School Title I Teacher, Washington Elementary School – Waterbury, CT

2013 Local Hero Awards

  • Mrs. Anne Marie Osheyack, English Teacher - Northampton High School and Springfield Central High School
  • Mrs. Katie Bevan, Fourth Grade Teacher - Sumner Avenue Elementary School
  • Ms. Denise Chabot, First Grade Teacher - Jeffrey Elementary School
  • Mrs. Lauren Dion, First Grade Teacher - Woodland Elementary School
  • Mrs. Kathy LaPlatney, Mathematics Teacher - East Lyme Middle School
  • Mrs. Mary Madru, English Language Arts Teacher - North Middle School
  • Mrs. Joan Mastromonaco, Social Studies Teacher - East Hampton High School
  • Mrs. Joleen Pillar, Library/Media Specialist - The Gilbert School
  • Mr. Robert Rose, Language Arts Teacher, Grade 7 - Smith Middle School
  • Ms. Alicia Schiavo, Fifth Grade Teacher - Washington Elementary School

2012 Local Hero Awards

  • Autumn Baltimore - Language Arts Teacher, Trinity College Academy/ Hartford, CT
  • Nikali Benkert - Mathematics Teacher, Agawam High School/ Agawam, MA
  • Jason Burns - Social Studies Teacher, Hopkins Academy/ Hadley, MA
  • Deborah Costello - Art Teacher, Canton Intermediate School/ Canton, CT
  • Henry Laudone - History Teacher, Norwich Free Academy/ Norwich, CT
  • Jeanne Manfredi - Spanish Teacher, Lyme-Old Lyme High School/ Old Lyme, CT
  • Conor Martin - Language Arts Teacher, JFK Middle School/ Springfield, MA
  • Judy Medina - Third Grade Teacher, Brookings Magnet School/ Springfield, MA
  • Eric Nyquist - Theater Teacher, Hamden High School/ Hamden, CT
  • Sherri Poi - English Language Learners Teacher, Pine Grove School/ Avon, CT