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SANTA ANA, CA, October 01, 2009 /24-7PressRelease/ -- Orange County-based education publisher and non-profit research organization, the MIND Research Institute, is honoring participating students and educators from schools throughout Southern California, which have demonstrated excellence in raising students' math test scores through their commitment to MIND's Math Education Process. Proven with over ten years of successful classroom results, ST Math instructional software dramatically raises student proficiency on standardized math tests for all students, regardless of their academic level or socioeconomic background.
2009 Awards Dinner Honorary Chairs are Jim and Vivian McCluney, active philanthropists in our community. Jim McCluney is CEO of Emulex Corporation and a member of MIND's Board of Directors. The dinner committee is co-chaired by Darrellyn Melilli and Ruth Ann Evans, who are leading the 36-member volunteer dinner committee. For the first time ever, the Awards Dinner has collaborated with two premier retailers in South Coast Plaza to raise funds for the thousands of students in need of higher quality education. As a platinum sponsor, fine jeweler Black, Starr & Frost will provide table favors for all guests at the Awards Dinner on Friday October 2nd. FRETTE, another platinum retail sponsor, recently hosted a Patron Party for the grand opening of their new store in South Coast Plaza benefiting MIND Research Institute and provided party favors at the exclusive Underwriters Dinner, an invitation only event for all table sponsors.
2009 Awards Dinner Honorees
**Outstanding Student Daphne Orellana, third grade student in 2008-2009, at Bryant Elementary, in Long Beach Unified School District: Daphne has participated in the MIND Research Institute's ST Math+Music program since 2004 when she began her primary education at Bryant Elementary as an English Learner. With Spanish as her native language, kindergarten was challenging for Daphne. According to her kindergarten teacher, "JiJi (ST Math's penguin mascot) was great because she could learn more math concepts without using words. She was never afraid of math when on the computer."
Daphne now scores advanced proficient in her classroom timed math tests and always scores high when the California Standardized Test comes around. Best of all, she says she finds learning math easy and enjoyable because of JiJi.
**Outstanding Student Deionte Haywood, eighth grade student in 2008-2009, at Portola Middle School, in Orange Unified School District: Deionte Haywood, an eighth grade student in the 2008-2009 school year, is a young man raised by a single mom. He and his mother have become very close since his older brother was shot and killed last year.
2008 was Deionte's first year using the MIND Research Institute's Algebra Readiness program. Not only did his math test scores greatly improve but he made improvements in all subjects. Deionte is involved in many other educational programs because he wants to be the first in his family to attain a higher education.
According to his math teacher, other students in his Algebra Readiness class looked up to Deionte because he not only excels in mathematics, but is always willing to help explain math concepts to others. The MIND program has helped Deionte realize that he has the potential to be a strong leader and to be very successful in school.
**Outstanding Music Instructor Karina Aviles, at Maxwell Elementary and Royal Oaks Elementary in Duarte Unified School District: Karina was born in Whittier, California and grew up in the San Fernando Valley. She developed her love for music at a small Christian high school. In 2002 she graduated from First Lutheran High School and enrolled in Azusa Pacific University as a music major. As a voice major, Karina performed in a variety of groups such as the Oratorio Choir, Gospel Choir, and was involved in an internship as a youth choir director. In May 2006, she graduated with a Bachelors Degree in Music and shortly after received her single-subject credential enabling her to teach music from the pre-school to high school level.
During this time, Karina began substitute teaching for the District of Duarte where she also worked with the high school's band director. There she began conducting the Jazz, Concert and Jr. High Band, as well as helping with the high school's choral program. After substituting for 5 months, she was offered a job working for two Duarte Elementary schools--Maxwell and Royal Oaks Elementary, as a music instructor teaching the music component of MIND's ST Math+Music program. Along with attending and being involved in many of the MIND workshops, she was a speaker at the 2009 Symposium, advocating for the music curriculum. In June of 2009, Karina completed two years of teaching the curriculum to 1st through 5th grade students. Her hope is to educate students on the value and importance of music in society, as well as give them the skills to be independent, proficient, and artistic musicians.
**Outstanding Principal Dr. Charles Lewis, from Key Elementary, in the Anaheim City School District: Dr. Charles Lewis is a fifth generation Californian who grew up in the Venice Beach area of Los Angeles and moved to Orange County in 1992. His career in education began at Inglewood High School where he served for almost three years before joining the Anaheim Union High School District. While teaching at the junior high level, Dr. Lewis went on to earn his masters degree and received his doctorate of education from USC. In 1996, Dr. Lewis became a vice principal at the junior high level, then joined the Anaheim City School District in 1997 as an elementary school vice principal. In 1998 he was appointed principal of Guinn Elementary, where he served for six and one-half years. Guinn Elementary was named a California Distinguished School shortly after he was appointed to Key Elementary, then the lowest performing school in the district and one of a handful of year-five Program Improvement schools in Orange County.
In addition to instituting other new programs, Dr. Lewis incorporated the MIND Research Institute's ST Math program into Key's curriculum, thanks to a generous donation from Jim and Sheila Peterson to MIND's School Assistance Fund. Since his leadership began in 2005 and with the help of transformative programs such as ST Math, Key made all state testing targets in 2007 and achieved an amazing 48 point gain on the Academic Performance Index. In 2008, Key exited Program Improvement, and student test scores continue to make dramatic improvements.
The 2009 Awards Dinner is MIND's annual fundraising event and includes entertainment, dinner, awards ceremony and fund-a-school auction. Sponsorships are available for $25,000, $12,000, $6,000, $3,000 and $1,500. Individual ticket prices are $300 each. Lead sponsors of the event to date include: Black, Starr & Frost, Budge and Carol Collins; FRETTE, Jim and Sheila Peterson; Sherry and John Phelan/Capital Group; Bill and Pat Podlich; Ted and Janice Smith and Microsemi Corporation. Additional major sponsors include: Bruce and Karen Cahill; Capital Group; Kris and Linda Elftmann; Catherine and Jim Emmi; Ellie and Mike Gordon; The Horowitz Group; Mathew and Roberta Jenkins Family Foundation; Jim and Vivian McCluney; David and Darrellyn Melilli; Tim and Mary Beth Molnar; Walkie and Janet M. Ray; Schools First Federal Credit Union; Southern California Edison; Taco Bell Corporation; TOSA Foundation; The Dirk Family - TROY Group Inc.; and Wells Fargo Bank. For additional information about the event, please contact Maria Cervantes at (714) 751-5443, ext. 239, or visit MIND's website at www.mindresearch.net.
About the MIND Research Institute
The MIND Research Institute is a neuroscience and education research-based, non-profit corporation. MIND applies its distinctive visual approach to illustrating math concepts and building problem-solving skills as the basis for innovative, research-proven math education programs for elementary and secondary schools. In 2009, MIND's programs currently reach over 125,000 students and 5,000 teachers in over 700 schools in 22 states. For more information, visit http://www.mindresearch.net.
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