WEDF Launches “Connected Scholars” Computer Scholarship Program

In Spring 2020, the Worcester Educational Development Foundation (WEDF) announced the launch of its Connected Kids Campaign, designed to support Worcester Public Schools’ urgent goal of providing every student with a computer.

The district identified the additional funds it needed to make this goal happen. With the support of WEDF, we are pleased to say it did--all students were assigned computers this school year.

With the most urgent need met, WEDF’s goal for 2021 was to assist seniors in preparing for the next phase of their education. This was the basis of the “Connected Scholars” program.

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Nominations Now Open for our Distinguished Alumni Awards!

The Worcester Educational Development Foundation is pleased to announce that nominations are now open for the annual Distinguished Alumni of the Worcester Public Schools awards!

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Worcester Alumni & Friends: A Place for Alumni and Supporters to Gather

We are thrilled to announce our brand new online community Worcester Alumni & Friends, which will allow us to establish greater connections with our graduates and the community.

Through this new alumni network, all Worcester Public Schools alumni, supporters and community members will be able to stay connected and receive regular updates and news articles. Over time, we aim to expand through special events, mentoring and volunteer opportunities. An Alumni Directory allows you to easily find and connect with other alumni, no matter where they’re located.

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Penelope Bitzas: Performing Artist/Educator – South High School

Mezzo-soprano, Penelope Bitzas is an Associate Professor of Music in Voice at Boston University and in 2007 she received the prestigious Metcalf Award, which is Boston University’s highest honor for excellence in teaching. She received her Bachelor of Music in Voice Performance and Music Education from Ithaca College, magna cum laude and the Masters of Music in Voice Performance from The New England Conservatory of Music.

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Peter J. Kazanovicz: Ocularist - North High School

Peter Kazanovicz is a Board Certified Ocularist who specializes in the fitting and fabrication of hand crafted custom artificial eyes. He currently practices in locations throughout New England and his work has twice been featured on the cover of National Geographic. Over his 35 year career, his talent and commitment to the field of Ocularistry has improved the quality of life for thousands of patients.

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Rev. Dr. Lester A. McCorn: Educational and Spiritual Leader - Doherty Memorial High School

The Reverend Dr. Lester A. McCorn is a visionary leader, scholar, author, activist and college president. He is the 13th President of Clinton College. Clinton College is a private historically Black college (HBCU) founded in 1894 by the African Methodist Episcopal (A.M.E.) Zion Church. It is located in Rock Hill, South Carolina, just south of metro- politan Charlotte, North Carolina. Newly branded as “A Beacon for Leaders,” Clinton has experienced dramatic growth in student enrollment and has implemented new programs focused on student success, including a leadership/ mentorship program called Everyday COACHES, the Department of Education Project Success program, which provides emergency assistance to students in financial crises, and a new Academic Success Center. 

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Dianne Benson Davis: Conservationist/Author - Burncoat High School

In her words, Dianne Benson Davis observed, “The education I received from the Worcester Public Schools provided support, guidance and inspiration that continues to serve me to this day. At Tatnuck Elementary School, Miss Marjorie Smith, an Audubon instructor, was invited to our 5th grade class. She introduced me to the world of nature. The librarian at Chandler Junior High showed me the book, Summer of the Falcon, which heightened my interest in falconry and birds of prey. My guidance counselor, Mr. Jeauno, made me aware of the agricultural program, studying animal and plant sciences, at Burncoat Senior High which was not my quadrant’s school. I was the only girl in the program. Burncoat provided me with a work study opportunity by earning credit at the Worcester Science Center as an animal caretaker and volunteer in a newly created Junior Naturalist program. After high school, the Science Center hired me as a zookeeper.”

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