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John Holt III and Brad Sims receive the Robert B. Peterkin Educational Leadership Award

DORCHESTER, Mass., Jan. 18, 2017 -- BELL is proud to announce that John Holt III and Brad Sims are the winners of this year's Robert B. Peterkin Educational Leadership Award.

Holt III, program manager for Baltimore, MD, and Sims, program manager for Mad River, OH, received the prestigious award given annually 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 a pioneer in educational leadership.

The award winners were selected based on their leadership and achievement in academic gains, enrollment, attendance, and overall program excellence. Colleagues describe Holt III as an outstanding educator and role model who is passionate about teaching, advising and preparing scholars for lifelong success. Sims is described as a tireless leader who has been instrumental in improving the Ohio program each year.

"On behalf of our entire BELL family, I would like to congratulate both John and Brad for their achievements in helping to prepare our scholars for academic and lifelong success. They truly embody the mission of BELL, said Dr. Tiffany Gueye, BELL's chief executive officer. "They have inspired all of us by leading exceptional programs, and we wish them continued success in their regions."

Under Holt III's leadership at the Samuel Coleridge Taylor Elementary School, BELL scholars demonstrated gains both academically and socially, with significant improvements in reading and math. Sims has demonstrated consistent leadership in training staff, quality improvement, and is highly accessible to families, Dr. Gueye says.

In recognition of their contributions to the success of scholars this year, the winners will receive a cash gift, an individual plaque, and their names will be added to plaques in BELL offices, joining past winners.