A national nonprofit founded in 1992

BELL recognizes outstanding program leaders with Robert B. Peterkin Award

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Dalexis Valdez
Site Manager, Kenny Elementary
Boston, MA

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Dr. Ronnie Johnson
Program Manager, P.S. 5
Brooklyn, NY

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Rita Moore
Program Manager, Hall-Woodward Elementary
Winston-Salem, NC

BOSTON, MA - March 6, 2013, Today BELL announced the 2012 winners of the Robert B. Peterkin Educational Leadership Award. The winner for the 2011-2012 BELL After School program is Dalexis Valdez, who served as Site Manager at the Kenny Elementary School in Boston. Winners for the 2012 BELL Summer program include Dr. Ronnie Johnson, Program Manager for the Boys of BELL program at PS 5 in Brooklyn, NY, and Rita Moore, Program Manager for BELL Summer at the Hall-Woodward Elementary School in Winston-Salem, NC.

The Peterkin Award is one of BELL's highest employee honors. Its recipients are honored for their leadership excellence in the BELL Summer and BELL After School programs. They earn the award based on BELL staff nominations, scholar assessment data, scholar engagement measures such as retention and attendance, quality assurance measures, and feedback from parent and teacher surveys.

The Program Committee of BELL's governing Board of Directors and its leadership team select winners each year in honor of Dr. Robert B. Peterkin, a longtime BELL board member, former Director of the Urban Superintendents Program at the Harvard Graduate School of Education, and pioneer in educational leadership. Learn more about Dr. Peterkin here.

Recipients of the award will be invited to participate in key projects and initiatives and apply their leadership skills in helping to shape the future of BELL. In recognition of all of their contributions, each winner will receive an award and a check for $1,000. Their names will be engraved on a plaque in each BELL office, joining winners from prior years: Sherrinne Reece, Bethy Verano, Collette Tallow, Daniel Guillen, Jr., Cynthia Francis, and Janine Royal.

Dalexis Valdez, BELL After School 2011-2012

Dalexis joined BELL in April, 2005, and has served in several roles in schools throughout Boston. In the 2011-2012 BELL After School program, Dalexis led a site of 86 scholars. He took on additional responsibilities, demonstrated strong teamwork, led by example, and was highly attentive to scholar needs. BELL staff and parents have a lot to say about Dalexis' impact:

"Dalexis has served as a leader for the Boston Team and is often willing to take on many roles beyond his own. He developed great skills as a coach for other Program Managers."

"Dalexis is great with scholars, families and BELL staff. He leads by example and is an asset to his site and the region. He always goes the extra mile for his peers and is highly committed to the BELL mission and values."

"Dalexis created a great sense of community. The scholars were very excited to be there and were especially excited to see him. He clearly had a strong connection to scholars and their families."

Dr. Ronnie Johnson, BELL Summer 2012

Dr. Johnson joined BELL's team to plan and deliver the Boys of BELL program at PS 5 in Brooklyn, New York. Dr. Johnson worked closely with the Bedford-Stuyvesant community to create a memorable learning experience for 193 grade boys from three neighborhood schools, PS 5, PS 21, and PS 35. Dr. Johnson was strongly committed to BELL's mission and values, led by example, and demonstrated an unwavering commitment to quality and excellence. BELL staff and parents shared their thoughts on Dr. Johnson's impact:

"Dr. Johnson, in one summer, truly transformed the lives of the boys in his program."

"Dr. Johnson organized a Closing Ceremony that was extraordinary. He fostered a high level of parent and community engagement, as evidenced by the strong turnout, while paying attention to small details that made the event stand out - from having crowns for each scholar to a music system to a well-planned event program. I've never seen a better Closing Ceremony, and the feedback I heard from teachers and parents proved beyond doubt that Dr. Johnson is an excellent nominee for the award."

"Ronnie's enthusiasm as a Program Manager and team leader is contagious. He put on a terrific BOYS program this summer and "lived and breathed" BELL mission and values for the Summer. He is a real professional. He was very committed to the BELL motto and led by example. This new format of the program was amazing and in every aspect he was aware and involved!"

Rita Moore, BELL Summer 2012

Rita joined BELL's team in 2012 to help plan and deliver BELL's first summer learning programs in Winston-Salem, NC. Rita led a site that served 190 scholars in grades K-5. She demonstrated outstanding professionalism, was particularly accessible and supportive of school and community needs, and was highly attentive to scholar needs. Her colleagues and scholar parents shared their thoughts on her leadership excellence:

"Rita at Hall-Woodward ran an excellent site in Winston-Salem. She served as the "host" for the Open House for all of Winston-Salem. She did a great job speaking about BELL and the other staff members raved about her. She is most deserving of this recognition."

"Rita's team had done a great job of making the BELL values very visible at her site. She also had a very positive attitude and clearly cared deeply about the scholars."

"The staff at the site absolutely loved her and said she led by example."

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