DECEMBER 1, 2010

Celebrate Paradise

Community members recognized for their contributions to PVCC

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PHOENIX – Paradise Valley Community College, a Maricopa Community College, recognized three community leaders, givers and partners for their support of excellence for education in the community during the First Annual Community Awards and Donor Recognition Reception held Nov. 10 at Roy’s in the J.W. Marriott Desert Ridge Resort. 

“We are so grateful for the many contributions and collaborative work of these community members over the years in developing the college and its outstanding programs,” said PVCC President Dr. Paul Dale. “Their support of excellence in education is invaluable to our mission of providing students with learning opportunities that help them achieve their education and career goals.”

The 2010 honorees are:

Beth Koehnemann, Outstanding Community Leader
Beth Koehnemann was recognized for her vital role as one of PVCC’s founding community members and chairperson for the Greater Paradise Valley Community Council Community College Task Force. During the 1980s, Koehnemann tirelessly fought to build a college in the North Valley despite initial reluctance by the Maricopa County Community College District Governing Board. Her leadership and perseverance was instrumental in the development of the Union Hills campus, which provides North Valley communities convenient access to an affordable college education. Mrs. Koehnemann now resides in Ahwatukee, yet she continues to offer leadership and service to PVCC through participation on the President’s Circle advisory council, and she exemplifies the significance of dedication and commitment to excellence in higher education.

Bradley and Nancy Sharpe, Donor of the Year Award
Bradley and Nancy Sharpe were honored for their longstanding and generous support of PVCC’s Athletics Program. Their personal gifts to the Athletics Scholarship and Support Fund and their leadership of an annual golf tournament benefit has provided many talented student-athletes the opportunity to excel in sports while pursuing higher education. The Sharpes’ daughter, Sarah, played for PVCC’s inaugural women’s soccer team for two years and was the team captain. She had just accepted a soccer scholarship to play for Grand Canyon University to pursue her degree in elementary education when, tragically, she was killed by a drunk driver in 2003. The Sharpes hosted a golf tournament in her memory for five years to raise funds for her high school and PVCC soccer programs, and each August PVCC hosts the Sarah Sharpe Alumni Soccer game. Mr. and Mrs. Sharpe are both employed by Honeywell Aerospace and reside in Phoenix.

City of Phoenix Fire Department, Outstanding Community Partner Award
The Phoenix Fire Department, led by Chief Bob Khan, was awarded for its collaborative role in supporting PVCC’s joint Fire Science and EMT/Paramedic programs. Phoenix Fire Paramedic/Capt. Dan Donahue and Capt. Paul Sunder are directors of the program, and their many years’ of experience and knowledge of emergency medical and fire services are a great asset to students pursuing EMT, Paramedic, and Fire Science certificates and degrees. The partnership between PVCC and the City of Phoenix Fire Department began in August 2005.  Since then, PVCC has conducted 12 Firefighter Operations Academy classes, providing entry level Firefighting education, training and professional development to 469 Firefighter candidates. PVCC students receive both classroom and hands-on experience to prepare them for life-saving careers and service to the community. This partnership is valued at more than $1 million with the use of equipment, tools and apparatus and use of the Phoenix Regional Training Academy classrooms, burn buildings and props. Phoenix Fire Department has hired more than 125 PVCC graduates and an additional 185 are working as firefighters across the nation. Student interns also provided more than 27,000 hours of volunteer fire service.

The inaugural awards reception was held jointly with The Foundation for Public Education, which recognized the community partners, sponsors, donors and volunteers who support the Paradise Valley Unified School District. More than 100 supporters attended this first event, which both organizations hope becomes an annual tradition.
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