On Thursday, June 8, more than 70 mentors and their guests filled the Legends Club of TD Garden for AMP!, Boston Partners in Education’s annual Academic Mentor Party. During the event, Boston Partners delivered awards in seven categories to honor the committed volunteer academic mentors, teachers, and corporate partners who serve Boston’s public school students. This year, the AMP! format was restructured as an awards breakfast, which was sponsored and hosted by our partners at TD Bank.

In her welcoming remarks, Executive Director Pamela Civins shared how our volunteers and school partners have helped Boston Partners commemorate our 50th anniversary, and explained our vision for the coming years. Special thanks were given to Paula Warchol, Charmaine Delano, and Marion Colombo from TD Bank for making the event possible at the historic TD Garden, and for providing guests with a behind-the-scenes tour of the arena.

“I’m always so humbled and impressed by the dedication and hard work that you — our mentors, teachers, school leaders, Board members, and staff — bring to make Boston Partners’ academic mentoring mission a reality,” shared Civins.

“Boston Partners is one small piece of a really big pie, but we’re all in this together to help young people in Boston achieve inside and outside the classroom. What you give to students is priceless, and we wanted to make this event something special to recognize that.”

We wish to thank our volunteer academic mentors and school partners for another successful year of meeting children in the classroom, and helping them reach their fullest potential. We are honored to celebrate their achievements and efforts with them at the 2017 AMP! Awards.

Please meet your 2017 AMP! Honorees:


Joyna Bozzotto Award:

Presented to a dedicated volunteer who has been with Boston Partners in Education for five years or more. The recipient embodies the spirit of volunteerism, giving effortlessly year after year. The award is given to a volunteer whose time has positively affected students within Boston Public Schools, but also whose own life has been positively influenced by their volunteer experience in the schools.

Honoree: John Montgomery

John Montgomery is a 10 year veteran academic mentor, serving in Power Lunch at the Blackstone School in the South End. He is also a Big Cheese Reader. A Boston area native, John lives in Dedham with his family and works at Westfield Capital Management as a Portfolio Strategist and Chief Operating Officer.

“Business is all about learning, listening, trying to understand, and learning as we go. Reading and getting enjoyment from the learning process is critical. It’s fun to work with kids who are learning to read and get that buzz from the process.”


Nicholas A. Lopardo Corporate Partner Award

Presented to an organization that is dedicated to the education of students in the Boston Public Schools. The organization chosen encourages individuals from within the company to volunteer in the Boston Public schools. These corporate volunteers support the students as both a tutor and a mentor, exposing the student to professional possibilities. The organization’s volunteers’ commitment to the students in Boston Public Schools is above the norm.

Honoree: Boston 25 News

Boston 25 News is a trusted source for local news, weather, sports, and entertainment programming. They serve more than 2.5 million households in the Boston Television market across all digital platforms. Boston 25 has partnered with Boston Partners in Education for nearly two years now in the Big Cheese Reads program, as in-class academic mentors, and as annual gala sponsors. Boston 25 is Boston Partners’ official media partner for our 50th Anniversary.

“Boston Partners is doing their part to prepare the future leaders of our city. It is Boston 25’s honor to spread the word about this wonderful organization, help to encourage and recruit more volunteer mentors, and participate as volunteers in the classroom.”


Isabel G. Besecker Award

The recipient has demonstrated a passionate support of public education. This person leads by example, advocating for Boston Public Schools and its students. S/he involves friends, family, and the community in the cause of providing excellent education to all students.

Honoree: Kim Connolly

Kim Connolly grew up in Melrose, MA and currently resides in Dorchester. Kim brings her extensive experience in the education field to her role as the Assistant Director of Social Emotional Learning and Wellness Operations for the Boston Public Schools. This is Kim’s first year as a volunteer academic mentor at the Trotter School.

“I believe the disparity between the haves and have-nots is everyone’s problem, whether they have kids in public school or not. Everyone should contribute in some way even if they don’t have a direct investment. In the long-run if someone makes a small investment now it will have a big payoff later. Boston Partners makes it so easy for someone to make that impact, it’s just an hour a week.”


Boston Partners in Education Family Engagement Award

Presented to a parent or guardian who has demonstrated a commitment to being interested and involved in the education and development of their own child, their children’s peers. S/he demonstrates leadership for other parents by volunteering their family time to the Boston Public Schools.

Honoree: William Gordon

William Gordon has lived in the Boston area for 20 years. He has three children, who all attend the Boston Public Schools. William is an Accelerate Math academic mentor in a third grade class at the Jackson Mann K-8 School, where his youngest daughter is a student. He is currently studying paraprofessional education at Urban College of Boston, will continue his degree at Endicott College, and is on track to begin his new career as a teacher.

“I love volunteering. In fact, I learn more from my mentee than she learns from me! If I can, I will continue volunteering with Boston Partners, even after I become a teacher. There’s no doubt that I will use mentors in my classroom in the future.”


Betsy A. Nelson Educator of the Year Award

Presented to an educator currently working with our programs who goes the extra mile to ensure that his or her students receive the instruction and support they need for success. This person demonstrates sincere dedication to the volunteers that come into his or her classroom. S/he supports the volunteers’ efforts and recognizes the true value of their time and work with students.

Honoree: Katy Ramón

Katy Ramón is in her third year teaching at the Garden Pilot Academy in Allston, and has taught in Boston for seven years. She is a graduate of the University of Washington in Seattle. Katy participated in BPE’s Boston Teacher Residency and has a Boston University graduate certificate. For the past two years she has hosted Boston Partners in Education’s academic mentors in her classroom.

“Mentors are reliable, well versed in content, step in, and know exactly what to do. Really nice people!”  


Pamela L. Trefler School Partner Award

Presented to the school that goes the extra mile to make the volunteers and programs welcome and successful additions to the school. The entire school community works together to recognize and support the volunteers in their school. The school incorporates the volunteers into the school culture and makes them feel a part of the group of caring adults who work to support the whole child.

Honoree: Sarah Greenwood School

The Sarah Greenwood K-8 School, located in Dorchester, has built a strong relationship with Boston Partners and volunteers over five years. The Greenwood is one of five Boston Public schools with a dual-language program in Spanish/English. The Greenwood School focuses on culturally sustaining practices, restorative justice, STEAM, and Ethnic Studies initiatives.

“Boston Partners is a strong partner because they provide access for students to mentors and supports that bring knowledge from the outside and the community into the classroom. The mentors amplify student voice in their learning and reinforces the importance of new ways of inquiry.”


John C. Rennie Volunteer of the Year Award

The volunteer of the year demonstrates a sincere interest in the education of Boston Public School students. S/he demonstrates a true understanding of the tenets of Boston Partners by supporting the cooperating teacher requests for assistance and by being a valuable role model for the students. The volunteer respects the school, teacher, and students and shows that s/he values the learning process.

Honoree: Peter Olive

Peter Olive is a long-time resident of Boston and a self-employed consulting engineer for medical devices.  Peter is a second year Accelerate Math academic mentor at the Sarah Greenwood School.  He is happy to be able to use his expertise in mathematics to support students who struggle with it.

“The most fulfilling part of being a mentor is feeling like a rock star; it’s so exciting when you walk by a classroom and someone recognizes you, or when kids randomly say hi. And ‘gotcha’ moments — when the kids really understand and everything connects.”

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