MEDIA RELEASE: United Ways of Tennessee presents awards at annual “Hill Day” in Nashville

Contact: Mary Graham
President, United Ways of Tennessee  615-791-1464  mary.graham@uwtn.org

NASHVILLE, TN (March 1, 2011)

United Ways of Tennessee (UWTN), the association of 38 United Ways in the state, today gathers for its Hill Day to support preservation of pre-k funding and to present its 2011 Advocacy Leadership Award and Teaching Effectiveness Champion Awards.  The day includes a legislative breakfast at the Tennessee Performing Arts Center, followed by a training session in the Senate Chamber to provide United Way staff, volunteers, partners, and other stakeholders the tools they needed to be effective during their visits with their legislators.  The program concludes with the award ceremony. 

Governor Bill Haslam is receiving this year’s Advocacy Leadership Award from United Ways of Tennessee.  “He has long been a supporter of United Way and of its mission to improve education, financial stability and health in the east region and in our communities throughout the state,” said Bryce Haugsdahl, United Ways of Tennessee’s Board Chair.  “United Ways of Tennessee will be partnering with him closely in the coming years to help improve the quality of life for all Tennesseans,” he said.

2011 is the first time United Ways of Tennessee has presented Teaching Effectiveness Champion Awards as part of its statewide effort to improve teacher effectiveness in Tennessee.  Its first awards are going to a partnership:  Mayor Karl F. Dean and Dr. Jesse Register, for innovative collaboration to improve the quality of teaching.

“Urban school districts often have difficulties in recruiting and retaining the teachers they need,” noted Haugsdahl.  “Mayor Dean was instrumental in bringing Teach for America and The New Teacher Project to Metro Schools and has worked closely with Dr. Register to fulfill the vision of Metro Schools that it will be the first choice for families.”

Margo Dalimonte, a 7th grade teacher at Holston Middle School in Knox County School District, is also receiving a Teaching Effectiveness Champion Award.  “Ms. Dalimonte is a wonderful example of how teachers throughout the state are continuously working to increase their effectiveness and to advocate and help build a world-class educational system in Tennessee,” said Mary Graham, President of United Ways of Tennessee.

The Corporate Teaching Effectiveness Champion Award is being presented to Unum. “Unum is truly a model for the many ways that corporations can actively support quality education,” said Graham.  “Through its work with Hamilton County Schools on the Principal Leadership Academy and the Strong Schools grant program, Unum has demonstrated their commitment to students, teachers, and schools,” she noted.  “Its $100,000 gift to Hamilton County Schools to help create a leadership program for aspiring principals will also have a tremendous impact on teaching quality, as well as the more than 50 mini-grants it has awarded to teachers in Hamilton County Schools this year,” Graham said.

For more information on United Ways of Tennessee’s Hill Day and awards, or to find and contact your local United Way about activities in your community, visit  www.uwtn.org

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