The Connecticut Rivers Council of the Boy Scouts of America awarded Naugatuck Valley Community College President Daisy Cocco De Filippis, Ph.D. the Elbert K. Fretwell Outstanding Educator Award at their second annual Vale La Pena Breakfast.
“This award is presented to an individual who makes students better people by modeling and teaching scouting values. An individual who goes beyond striving to provide the best education to all their students. This award is presented to any school employee who equips students to make moral and ethical choices.”
Held in honor of Hispanic Heritage month, the ceremony was emceed by State Representative Geraldo Reyes (D-75). President De Filippis was one of five honorees recognized for their contributions to youth and education: Amando J. Vargas, Esq. - 2019 Vale La Pena Award honoring community and advocacy for Hispanic/Latino youth; President Daisy Cocco De Filippis - Elbert K. Fretwell Educator Award honoring leadership in education; Christopher Ortiz - Community Organization Award honoring civic involvement; Victor Lopez, Jr., Executive Director of the Hispanic Coalition of Greater Waterbury – Non-Profit Organization Award honoring community enhancement and quality of life contributions; and Carmen Romeo – Good Scout Award honoring community contributions having a lasting impact.
Kathy Taylor, Esq., Professor, Legal Studies, and chair of the Center for Racial Dialogue and Communal Transformation, introduced President De Filippis at the event. Taylor commented, “President Daisy Cocco De Filippis is not only an inspiration to our students at NVCC, she stands as a testament to the power of character, resilience, creativity, endurance, and clarity of vision. Over the course of more than a decade; I have watched her; I have learned from her, and I know her as a visionary leader with a beautiful spirit and a formidable strength. She is a force! She is an educator who cares deeply about the communities we serve and each person who lives within it. At Friday's event, she was recognized as not only our Community College President but also for what she represents to the Hispanic community - an able mentor, a fierce advocate, and a firm believer in all of our abilities to be and do more! “
Ron Picard, Ph.D., Professor of English, was also present at the event and noted, “President Daisy Cocco De Filippis has served as a role model for many young faculty, administrators, and students while transforming higher education and building strong community partnerships throughout the Greater Waterbury and Danbury areas. Her work has expanded opportunities for our region’s diverse communities, and ensuring that all students achieve their aspirations. It is very fitting that the Boy Scouts, an organization that fosters clarity of vision, community service, and strong leadership, has recognized her exemplary work.”
Karlene Ball, ESL Program Coordinator at the College’s Academic Center for Excellence, and Advisor to the Hispanic Student Union, accompanied two NVCC students to the event. She commented, “The Hispanic Student Union seeks always to educate and celebrate in all of its activities. For this reason, the students and I were honored to be present at this ceremony during Hispanic Heritage Month in which we could celebrate our President who was the recipient of the outstanding educator award. The message to them as they stood in applause was clear and strong: Be proud of your heritage and be proud of your school.”
The award recognizes the educational impact that President De Filippis has had on students at the College and in the community, because the College touches students from ages 17-72, both traditional and non-traditional. The hallmark of her presidency since 2008, has been a shared vision of community, student-centeredness, collaboration and civic engagement. For a complete bio, please visit the College website. https://nv.edu/about-nvcc/nvcc-going-strong/presidents-message