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The original item was published from 3/2/2017 4:36:39 PM to 4/3/2017 12:00:02 AM.

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Posted on: March 2, 2017

[ARCHIVED] Town of Babylon Celebrates Black History Month

Babylon Town Supervisor Rich Schaffer and the Department of Human Services recently hosted the Town’s 29th Annual Black History Month Celebration at Amityville Memorial High School. This year’s event was titled “The Crisis in Black Education,” and featured a variety of performances as well as local honorees. Deborah Payton-Jones, who serves as both the Volunteer Coordinator at the Fashion Institute of Technology and the Election Inspection Coordinator for the Suffolk County Board of Elections, was the Mistress of Ceremonies for the event. A keynote address was delivered by Gina Talbert, Assistant Superintendent for Curriculum and Instruction at the Wyandanch School District. Also in attendance were Town Deputy Supervisor Tony Martinez, Town Councilwoman Jackie Gordon, Suffolk County Presiding Officer DuWayne Gregory, Suffolk County Legislator Kevin McCaffrey, and representatives from the offices of State Senators Phil Boyle and John Brooks.

Honored at the event were:
- Unity Award (posthumously): Dotty Coleman—Community Educator
- Excellence in Education Award: Lasheca Lewis—Wyandanch Union Free School District, Class of 2011
- Excellence in Education Award: Renee Locker—Chairperson, Science Department, Walter G. O’Connell Copiague High School
- Excellence in Education Award: Jennifer Trotman—Educator, Amityville Union Free School District
- Excellence in Education Award: Dr. Desiree Williams Wells—Educator, North Babylon Union Free School District

The invocation was delivered by Reverend Alexia Burgess-Huart of Grace Community Church in Amityville. Performing the “Star Spangled Banner” was Britney Aiken, a 2012 graduate of North Babylon High School. The event also featured live performances by the Amityville Memorial High School Jazz Ensemble as well as the Venettes Cultural Workshop of Dix Hills.

Pictured (standing) from left to right are Presiding Officer Gregory, Tammy Williams (from Senator John Brooks’ office), Councilwoman Gordon, Ed Wiggins (from Senator Phil Boyle’s office), Legislator McCaffrey, Human Services Commissioner Madeline A Quintyne, Deputy Human Services Commissioner Traci A Fonville, Deborah Payton-Jones, and Deputy Supervisor Martinez. Pictured (seated) from left to right are Lasheca Lewis, Yves Richards (accepting on behalf of Dotty Coleman), Jennifer Trotman, Renee Locker, and Dr. Desiree Williams Wells.
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