NEW BEDFORD — Six New Bedford middle school students were recipients of the Max Warburg Courage Curriculum Essay Award today at a ceremony and luncheon held in their honor at the New Bedford Whaling Museum, which was attended by family members and teachers of the honorees and hosted by Max Warburg Courage Curriculum, Inc. and the New Bedford Whaling Museum.

Two sixth grade students from each of the city’s three middle schools were recognized.

From Keith Middle School: Presley Silva and Anna Vongsouna, were accompanied by their teachers, Ms. Rachel Cesarini and Ms. Stenfanie Machado; from Normandin Middle School: Scarlett Quiterio and Andrea Orellana, were accompanied by their teachers, Mr. Timothy Beaudoin and Ms. Ashley Pereira; and from Roosevelt Middle School: Henry Aj and Jaylei Pacheco, were accompanied by their teachers, Mrs. Sioch and Mrs. Ashworth.

Also attending from the schools were Dr. Jason DeFalco, Deputy Superintendent, Mr. Josh Almeida, Keith Principal, Nancy Hait, Keith Content Instructional Leader, Laura Garcia, Normandin Content Instructional Leader, Mr. Daniel Bossolt, Roosevelt Principal, and Vanessa Santos, Roosevelt Content Instructional Leader.

Of the selection process, Merry Conway, Max Warburg Advisory Board Member noted, “We gathered 35 volunteers who read nearly 400 essays and we then sent more than 50 essays to Boston for the final reading at the Boston Public Library. We couldn’t do this without the teachers’ willingness to take on this extra assignment. The readers also commented on the inspiration that they gained from reading the stories.”

Students were presented with medals, certificates and a copy of their book by Max Warburg Board President, Stephanie Warburg, Advisory Board Member Jonathan Warburg, and Dr. Lisa Dion, New Bedford Public Schools Manager of Curriculum, Data and Assessment.

--New Bedford Public Schools