AP NEWS

Community: Stamford celebrates excellence in public education

March 23, 2019

Stamford celebratesexcellence in public educationThe Stamford Public Education Foundation’s 12th annual Excellence in Education Awards took place Thursday with over 400 attendees.The event, designed to celebrate excellence in education, highlighted the work of a handful of educators.The SPEF Educator Award was given to Stamford High School teacher Janell Iyer, while the 2019 Teacher of the Year award was handed to to Julia A. Stark Elementary School teacher, Katelyn Tavolacci, during the ceremony at the Sheraton Stamford Hotel.Westhill’s Jazz Ensemble welcomed attendees into the event, who were then ushered downstairs to a networking reception. Sixty baskets were on display at the silent auction, which included items donated by The Palace Theatre, Zaza Restaurant, OrangeTheory, and other SPEF supporters. The award ceremony began with Project Music and Turn of River seventh grader Jade Rueda singing the National Anthem.The SPEF Leadership Award was awarded to Barbara Dalio for her efforts in supporting public education in Connecticut as the co-founder and director of The Dalio Foundation. NatWest Markets CEO Paul Stevelman accepted the SPEF Philanthropy Award on behalf of the company for its volunteer efforts.The SPEF Educator Award went to Iyer, who received a $1,000 donation for her classroom/learning environment.Islamic Center to host professional networking eventThe Stamford Islamic Center will host an event titled “Tri-State Youth Speaker Panel” for high school and college students and young professionals Saturday from noon to 4 p.m., at 10 Outlook St. in Stamford.The event will feature speakers Tariq Farid, CEO and founder of Edible Arrangements; Adnan Durrani, CEO and founder of American Halal; Suhail Farooqui, CEO and co-founder of K12 Insights; and Afraz Khan, community liaison for the American Civil Liberties Union.The event will feature panels on “growing up as an American Muslim” and “the American Muslim dream.”For information, call 203-550-0067.Temple Beth El to host immigration forumTemple Beth El will host an immigration forum March 31 from 9:30 a.m. to 11 a.m. at 350 Roxbury Road in Stamford.The forum, entitled “Immigration: Separating Fact from Fiction,” will cover what is going on nationally as well as what is happening in Connecticut and Stamford, and how to support immigrants in the community.The two speakers are Catalina Horak, executive director of Building One Community in Stamford, and Aleksandr Troyb, an immigration lawyer in Stamford with Benjamin, Gold & Troyb in Stamford.John Mayer sends nonprofit $25,000 to combat AIDSFairfield native and Grammy-winner John Mayer donated $25,000 to Stamford CARES and its mission to ensure HIV/AIDS-afflicted residents receive high-quality services and care.The $25,000 grant from Mayer’s donor-advised fund — the Back To You Fund of Fairfield County’s Community Foundation — comes at a critical time for CARES, according to a news release.“We are enormously grateful for John Mayer’s ongoing commitment to his Fairfield County roots and his investment in the work we do for people living with HIV/AIDS,” said Dennis Torres, Family Centers’ vice president of Health Care Programs.“While there have been incredible advances in HIV/AIDS research and treatment, we must continue the battle against this virus and the stigma that continues to surround it.”Stamford CARES offers a host of counseling and education services to help children and adults with HIV/AIDS. Services include case management, emergency financial assistance, support groups and referral services. Stamford CARES also oversees all HIV/AIDS prevention services in the Stamford area.Mayer created The Back to You Fund with the Fairfield County Community Foundation in 2003. Since, the fund has donated thousands to nonprofits that promote local community centers, homeless shelters, domestic violence programs, food banks and programs serving people with HIV/AIDS.Gallery to presentStamford artist solo showStamford artist Julliette Tehrani’s solo show, titled “Nature Abstracted,” will be on display in the Phillips and West Galleries at the Stamford Loft Artists Gallery at 575 Pacific St., from March 30 to April 28.An opening reception will take place April 6, from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m.The exhibit includes Tehrani’s new paintings on aluminum, reflecting her ongoing artistic journey where she explores new ideas and materials.“I love working on aluminum, because it enables the paint to be moved around in ways not possible on more traditional surfaces,” Tehrani said. “Magic is created when intended outcomes develop into unplanned random occurrences.”Tehrani returned to painting, her lifetime passion, following a highly successful career as a senior executive in finance. Originally from London, Tehrani’s artistic themes are influenced by her extensive travels. She paints in her studios in Stamford and the French Riviera.