Awards and Recognition
Each year, the New Haven Schools Foundation recognizes individuals and organizations that have exceeded all expectations in support of our programs. These awards bestow our highest honors and are named after local education’s biggest advocates.
Guy Emanuele Community Service Award
The Guy Emanuele Community Service Award is presented to a person who has devoted extensive amounts of time and resources to the Foundation, generally in a sustained manner over a number of years. Emanuele founded NHSF in 1981 for the purpose of coordinating community resources in support of education and is the inspiration for this honor.
2024 - Michael Ritchie
Michael Ritchie has served on the NHSF Board of Directors since 2010, after successfully spearheading the New Haven Boosters Association’s drive to save student activities during severe budget cuts. Best known as chair of our Earth Day Fun Run events, in recent years he has also organized our Stars on Stage fundraising events. Part of our Executive Committee, he has been Vice President of NHSF since 2019.
2023 - Tracie Noriega
Tracie was the district appointee for the NHSF for six years and served as Secretary. She was also the liaison for PASE, the Pilipino American Society for Education, and helped coordinate a large block of scholarships. Tracie provided an important educational viewpoint as we evaluated grant applications and selected programs for funding. She supported every fundraiser and activity hosted by our organization – always supporting our students and our schools.
2022 - Cathie Kelly
Cathie was a substitute teacher and served as an elected School Board Trustee for 12 years. She is also a former board member of the NHSF and created and runs Miss Kelly’s Closet at the Union City Family Center, helping to provide clothing for needy students.
2020 - Rhonda Neagle
Rhonda Neagle has served on the NHSF board since 2011 when she retired as an administrator for NHUSD. Half that time she was Secretary and kept the nonprofit records. She is the Wrangler in Chief of the annual Mutt Strut, and raises her hand to volunteer wherever she is needed.
2019 - Albert and Marsha Badella
2018 - Richard Valle
2017 – Don del Pilar
Don retired from his role as a counselor with New Haven Unified School District, but he hasn’t gone far. He continues to serve as an active volunteer on school campuses and is a board member for the New Haven Schools Foundation. In addition, Don provides funding for a number of college scholarships every year, and is a key member of the Pilipino American Society for Education (PASE.)
2016 – Cheryl Kuhlmann
2015 – Eileen Riener
2014 – Barbara Aro-Valle
2012 – Julie Zhu
2011 – Jo Baig
Jo Baig was an active Foundation board member for over 30 years. She first joined as part of her official capacity as Vice President and Branch Manager for Bank of the West in Union City and went on to serve as the board’s Co-Treasurer after her retirement. She continues to support NHSF programs and ideals. Jo is also an active coach and instructor for SCORE.
2010 – Phil Crosby
2009 – Art Kuhlmann
Kuhlmann has served on the Foundation board for over 25 years. Art is a retired employee of the New Haven Unified School District, but stayed actively involved as a volunteer for many years. Upon his retirement from NHSF, we created an annual award to honor an exemplary scholarship sponsor and named it after Art and his wife, Cheryl.
The Tom Kitayama Business Service Award
The Tom Kitayama Business Service Award, named in honor of Union City’s longtime mayor, recognizes a business in the community that has provided extraordinary support for the New Haven Schools Foundation and its programs. Contributions may include sponsorship, monetary or in-kind donations, or provision of resources that help us to offer quality programs for our schools.
2024 - Republic Services
As one of the biggest supporters of New Haven Schools Foundation, Republic Services is a strong voice for education in our community. Republic’s environmental services and automotive technology scholarships help build the workforce of tomorrow, and their Earth Day sponsorships help spread the word on climate change. Thank you to Republic Services for being a champion for our students and schools!
2023 - Washington Township Medical Foundation
As part of the NHSF family, Washington Township Medical Foundation has supported our programs to enhance the educational experience and create a bright future for our students. Besides being a key sponsor and benefactor, WTMF can be seen serving on our board of directors and in attendance at our fundraising events. We see them walking their dogs at the Mutt Strut, presenting scholarship awards, and raising their hands to bid at our auctions.
2022 - Lions Club of Union City
The Lions Club has sponsored college scholarships for decades. The organization supports NHSF fundraisers and its members have served on our board and as volunteers at our events. The Lions also helped build the greenhouse at Kitayama Elementary School.
2020 - Oh Cake!
Laurel Seymour Beebe, founder and chief baker for Oh Cake!, is famous for crafting the spectacular cakes that we auction off at our Diamonds in Education galas. She has been a tremendous supporter of the Foundation and epitomizes community involvement.
2020 - Tom's Flowers
Tom Medeiros, owner of Tom’s Flowers, has been a NHSF partner as long as we have been having events. He provides all of our floral arrangements and centerpieces, ensure our guests always have fresh flowers for our scholarship luncheon and annual gala.
2019 - Rotary Club of FUN Sunset
2018 - New Haven Unified School District
2017 – City of Union City
2016 – Washington Hospital Healthcare System
2015 – Kaiser Permanente
2014 – Too Much Fun Club, Inc.
2013 – Fremont Bank
2012 – Masonic Homes of California
2011 – Tri-CED Community Recycling
Art and Cheryl Kuhlmann Award
This award was created to recognize a person or organization that helps students achieve a higher education by providing one or more scholarships to graduating New Haven students.
Art Kuhlmann served on the Board of Directors for New Haven Schools Foundation from 1982 through 2017 and Cheryl taught at Logan High School for 20 years. Since retirement from NHUSD, they volunteered with the New Haven Schools Foundation, and are very generous donors, as well. The Kuhlmann’s received a Lifetime Achievement Award in 2017 when this award was created in their honor.
2023 - The Blue Family
The Blue family created the Ross Blue Memorial Scholarship in 1997. Ross Blue was a teacher at James Logan High School for 25 years. He was also a water polo and swim coach, scout leader, church youth group leader, and a frequent speaker at the Hayward City Council meetings. As of today, the Blue family has awarded 51 scholarships to students throughout the years. Each of these students carry Mr. Blue’s legacy as they give back to their communities.
2022 - District African American Advisory
D3A, as it is commonly called, is a group of educators, parents, and involved residents who actively support academic excellence in our youth. Their scholarship program was launched in 2016 and grows every year through fundraisers and generous donations, helping more students attend college every year.
2021 - PASE (Pilipino American Society for Education)
As an organization of committed educators, PASE’s focus has been two-pronged. First, they aim to ensure Filipino-American students understand the history and impact of their culture. They lobbied the State of California for the inclusion of Filipino culture in ethnic studies programs throughout the state. Locally, they supported renaming a middle school in honor of civil rights activists Larry Itliong and Philip Vera-Cruz. Their second mission focuses directly on students and includes a robust scholarship program that recognizes the work of today’s youth.
2020 - The Kitayama Family
As a legacy commitment to the youth of the city, the Kitayama family has provided support for the Foundation’s grants program and they began awarding scholarships from the beginnings of the Foundation’s program in 1981. It was named the Tom Kitayama Jr. Memorial after Tom Jr. passed away in 1983. It again changed to the Tom Kitayama Jr. and Sr. Memorial with Tom Sr.’s death in 2007. After Heidi’s death in 2013, it became the Kitayama Family Scholarship. The fund has been supported over the years by many family and friends in their honor.
2019 - Randy and Maria Inciong
2018 - Migrant Parents Advisory Committee
2017 – Tim and Denise Lawson-Curry
Thank you to all of the people and organizations who sponsor scholarships to help our students succeed in life!
Over $5,000 Annually
- Tim Curry & Denise Lawson-Curry
- Arthur & Marsha Badella
- Michael Byron & Catherine Duterte-Byron
- Michael and Cindy O'Brien
- District African American Advisory
- PASE - Pilipino-American Society for Education
- Don del Pilar and Barbara Scheifler
- Evangelista-Bobadilla Family Fund
- Republic Services