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October 28, 2005

RSD Names Winners of Coveted Founder’s Awards

From: RSD - Oct 25, 2006

RSD Names Winners of Coveted Founder’s Awards

ROCHESTER, N.Y., Oct. 25-- The Rochester School for the Deaf has named Gilman Perkins and Carla Bonaldi as recipients of its coveted Founder’s awards.

The Perkins Founder’s Award honors an individual who has provided outstanding service to the school as a benefactor, volunteer, member of the board or community leader, and who has helped continue the work originally started by the Perkins family.

This year’s recipient, Gilman Perkins, of Pittsford, has been a board member for 34 years, serving from 1967 to 1973 and then from 1977 to 1988. He also served as president of the board for the last two years of his term. Since 1988, he has served on the Advisory Council and was an honorary co-chair for Adventures in Education in 2000, and has been leading the recent Oversight Committee to explore new fundraising opportunities for the school. He played a pivotal role in RSD’s first capital campaign, which helped fund the addition on Westervelt Hall, which houses the Learning Resource Center, the auditorium and swimming pool. He is the great-grandson of Gilman H. Perkins, whom with his wife founded Rochester School for the Deaf in 1876, and follows a long line of family members who have served on the Board.

“Gil’s unwavering support and commitment to RSD students have been tremendous,” said Harold Mowl, RSD superintendent. “This award is just a small token of our deep appreciation and gratitude for his dedicated service for so many years.”

Carla Bonaldi, of Greece, is being honored with the Lyon Founder’s Award for her exceptional professional contributions toward educating deaf people, as typified by Edmund Lyon during the early years of RSD.

Bonaldi, who has worked in deaf education for 26 years, started her career at the Learning Center in Framingham, MA before coming to RSD in 1987, where she teaches elementary and middle school students. She has worked summer school each year and has actively participated on various curriculum committees, RSD’s 125th planning committee and the Adventures in Education committee.

Additionally, Bonaldi has provided after-school programs related to space exploration and has accompanied RSD 6th grade students on their annual trip to space camp in Alabama since 1989. She has served as an advisor to the Junior National Association for the Deaf, worked with teachers of the deaf from Hungary and visited programs for deaf children in Rome, Italy. She frequently volunteers for RSD activities and assists with interpreting to ensure equal access. These accomplishments, as well as her innovation in the classroom led to a nomination for Teacher of the Year award from the New York State Association of Educators of the Deaf.

“Carla is one of those exceptional teachers who leaves a lasting impression with her students,” said Mowl. “Not only is she excellent inside the classroom, but Carla also puts in countless hours before and after school working with students. Her passion for education has made such a positive difference in the lives of her students.”

Founded in 1876, Rochester School for the Deaf provides quality education to deaf students throughout central and western New York.