This from Susan Maritan (personally, I love that marimba band, so my personal congratulations to Mr. R too!!) –
David Ruggiero Selected to Receive Robert C. Maguire Global Perspectives in Education Award
Last week members of the Robert C. Maguire Award Committee met to review the nominations submitted by the Medfield community for MCPE’s Robert C. Maguire Global Perspectives in Education Award.
This award, honoring the recently retired Superintendent, is given to a Medfield Public School staff member whose efforts embody Bob’s vision for further developing students’ global understanding and readiness to engage in the expanding global economy. The recipient is someone who inspires students to look beyond the town of Medfield and learn more about the global community through innovative programs and technologies. After reviewing the applications received, the award committee came to a consensus that David Ruggiero, a Medfield music teacher who teaches at Memorial and Dale, was the best candidate.
The members of the Bob Maguire Award Committee were extremely impressed by his passion and commitment to his students, music and the marimba program he started in the schools.
Mr. Ruggiero, fondly known as “Mr. R” by his students, wrote an MCPE grant proposal several years ago to start the Ngoma Dzakanaka Marimba Band. The marimba is an instrument from Zimbabwe, and the title of the band means “beautiful songs”. The grant was funded, and he has been leading the marimba band since its inception in January 2011.
“The introduction of the marimba band exposed our community beyond the usual confines of our music curriculum,” wrote one parent. “By bringing music from Zimbabwe into the schools of Medfield, Mr. R added a whole new dynamic and energy both to student learning and to concerts. Kids connect to music, and our marimba band students and those who have heard them really connected to the rhythm and beat of the songs. Music, like history, art and language, can enhance the cultural proficiency of our schools and students. Mr. R has given us this gift and this insight.”
The nominator went on to say, “The marimba bands have helped with the Dale Street School fundraising for Zimbabwe and, in so doing, students have seen the connection between their work in school and the music.”
“Music is a powerful tool to build bridges with other cultures, and Mr. R has shown us what is possible. By integrating something diverse and unique into our school communities, he truly serves as a role model for others.”
Mr. Ruggiero will be recognized and presented with the award on Wednesday, May 27th at 7 PM at the Zullo Gallery when the Medfield Coalition for Public Education holds its annual meeting. The public is invited to attend.
The Medfield Coalition for Public Education (MCPE) is an independent, non-profit organization funded to provide system-wide support and academic enrichment for the Medfield Public Schools, with particular attention to academic needs that exceed the parameters of the school budget.