Manhasset senior Jordan Gardner (middle) received the William A. Shine Award during the Manhasset Public Schools Board of Education meeting. Pictured with the Manhasset Board of Education and Superintendent of Schools Dr. Gaurav Passi (third from right).

Manhasset Board Of Education Honors Three For Their Commitment To Community

The Manhasset Public Schools Board of Education held its meeting on Jan. 18 at the Manhasset/Great Neck EOC Hagedorn Community Center. It was a special evening as one Manhasset student and two Manhasset graduates were honored with awards for their commitment to excellence and for making profound contributions to the community.
The first award that was presented was the William A. Shine Award, created to acknowledge Dr. William Shine’s legacy. Dr. Shine was a former interim superintendent in the Manhasset Public Schools and made a positive impact in the district through his leadership. It was awarded to Jordan Gardner, a senior at Manhasset Secondary School and Adrienne Vaultz, a Manhasset High School graduate and the current vice president of operations and finance at an IT recruiting firm. The board of education praised both recipients by reading positive remarks from teachers, colleagues and more about their many contributions to the community.
Gardner, whose brother Rashaun received the award last school year, was commended for his hard work and his drive to make a difference in the Manhasset Public Schools and in his community. With dreams of one day becoming a police officer, Gardner is part of the criminal justice and law enforcement program at Nassau BOCES Barry Tech. He has participated in the Nassau County Police Explorers program since ninth grade and is currently one of its leaders. In addition, Gardner is an active member of the district’s Children at Play Plus program and Unified Basketball Program. He does all these extracurriculars while also maintaining a part-time job.
The board also presented the William A. Shine Award to Vaultz for her acts of kindness, leadership and drive to make a difference in the lives of young people. She founded The Focus! youth organization, conducts bible studies, is a youth leader at First Baptist Church of Great Neck and serves as vice chairman of the board of directors of the Manhasset/Great Neck EOC.
The last award of the evening was the Maggie Grundman Award, which was presented to Desiree Woodson, a Manhasset graduate and dedicated community volunteer. “The Maggie Award” was named after a longtime Manhasset educator who was the “driving force” behind the Manhasset/Great Neck Adventures in Learning Program and served Manhasset youth through after school and summer programs.
The board praised Woodson for her dedication to helping others as she was described as a “model volunteer.” In high school, Woodson became one of the founding members of the school’s first minority student organization, Voices of Youth. It was here that she organized fundraisers for local charities, raising money for projects to benefit youth. Her drive for community service continued into adulthood and she is currently the chairman of the board of directors of the Manhasset/Great Neck EOC and is a board member of the Manhasset School District’s Teacher Resource Center. Woodson also serves as the commissioner for the Town of North Hempstead Housing Authority as a tenant rep and is the vice president of the North Shore chapter of the NAACP.
Each award recipient received a plaque and was congratulated by members of the board and Superintendent of Schools Dr. Gaurav Passi. The Manhasset Public Schools congratulates Gardner, Vaultz and Woodson on their well-deserved awards.
—Submitted by Manhasset
Public Schools

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