Cheryl Niedzwiecki, Hospitality & Entrepreneurship Instructor for Stafford Technical Center, was the recent recipient of the Leavey Award for Excellence in Private Enterprise Education on March 17 at the Loews Philadelphia Hotel in Philadelphia, PA. Mrs. Niedzwiecki was one of 15 educators in the United States to receive this prestigious award and the only educator from New England to be recognized. The award, established in 1977 by the Thomas and Dorothy Leavey Foundation honors outstanding elementary, middle, high school and college teachers who inspire students to gain a better understanding and appreciation of the free enterprise system. These educators act as role models for others to teach students to create value for society through innovative and sustainable ways. The award also included $7500 that Mrs. Niedzwiecki will use to purchase equipment for her program.
She received this honor for her “Entreprenuership and the Triple Bottom Line” which was implemented by the students in Stafford’s Hospitality and Entreprenuership Program. People, the planet, and profit represent the triple bottom line and are seen as goals to be achieved by individuals and corporations. The students put these components into practice with the daily operation of the school based enterprise, Campus Common Grounds (school store) which serves over 1200 students and sells food and clothing items. The “people’ bottom line was met through community service which included a fundraiser for the Vermont Disaster Relief Fund. The “planet” bottom line was met by being the first and only school based business recognized as “green” by the Vermont Business and Environmental Partnership. In terms of “profit”, this past school year Campus Common Grounds made nearly $16,000. But “profit’ is not only about money-the students also realized a profit from the experience and knowledge gained by running a business.