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Education Alliance Recognizes Outstanding Students and Partners in Education

The Partners in Education program of the Education Alliance of Washoe County provides opportunities for relationship-building between schools and community, focusing on securing community resources to strengthen academics. Businesses and organizations are partnered with Washoe County School District (WCSD) K-12 schools to provide classroom supplies, expertise, donations, volunteers, and other resources. A grant from Washoe County to the non-profit Education Alliance supports the development of the program and the recognition of outstanding Partners in Education (PiE).

Funding was used to invite Washoe County High School students to design a PiE emblem for business partners to display in store windows and on their websites. Participating high school graphic and fine art programs were awarded $300 for materials, and the design-winning student received a $1,000 scholarship to be used for post-secondary education. A distinguished panel reviewed submissions and chose the design of Natasha Santiago, a senior at McQueen High School (see video of Natasha learning of her award here). With in-class mentoring by Tony Manfredi, Nevada Arts

Council Executive Director, Natasha’s design was finalized and Washoe County Manager John Slaughter unveiled it in front of an audience of 200 local leaders and WCSD educators participating in Principal for a Day on February 8, 2018 at Renown Mack Auditorium. Natasha was also presented with a $1,000 scholarship at the event.

Pictured left to right: Tristan McElhany, Hug High School, Assistant Principal; Erik Olson, Renown Health, VP and CEO; Kendall Inskip, Education Alliance Executive Director; Michelle Sanchez Bickley, Renown Health, VP of Human Resources.

Pictured left to right: Arch Ruth, Alice Smith Elementary School, Principal; Mike Dixon, Double Diamond Elementary School, Principal; Eric Vetter, Steak ‘n Shake, Owner; Mayelen Garijo, Steak ‘n Shake, Owner; Kendall Inskip, Education Alliance Executive Director; Mary Basso, Principal, O’Brien Middle School.

The PiE Champion Awards were also presented at the Principal for a Day kickoff reception hosted by the Reno + Sparks Chamber of Commerce. Nominations for the

PiE Champion Award were submitted by WCSD educators to recognize their outstanding Partners in Education and reviewed by a community panel. Criteria included length of the partnership, number of schools supported, depth/level of engagement, and the value of their partnership. Renown Health was awarded the Large Employer PiE Champion Award and Steak ‘n Shake was awarded the Small Employer PiE Champion Award (photos above). Awards in the shape of a pie, for Partner in Education (PiE), were presented to the PiE Champions on February 7th where principals and participants were invited to ‘Meet your Match’ before shadowing. Outstanding partner nominees included: Circus Circus/Eldorado Properties; Farmer’s Insurance-Shane McCartin; Living Stones Church; Northern Nevada Medical Center; Pinocchio’s; Read with Me; The Rock Church; and St. Catherine’s of Siena Episcopal.


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