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On Monday, May 20, we will honor NYC Council Member Rita Joseph, Chair of the Committee on Education, at our 2024 Gala.

Monday, May 20, 2024

6:30pm Cocktails
7:30pm Dinner & Student-Led Program

583 Park Avenue at 63rd Street
Festive Attire

This year’s Gala will celebrate NYC Council Member Rita Joseph for her deep commitment to NYC’s students and her continued advocacy for our work in schools. As always, our program will be led by students who attend our partner schools, and will highlight the ways in which we support success through immersive learning experiences and daring exploration.

The evening will also include the presentation of the R. Gaynor McCown Excellence in Teaching Award to an impactful and deserving educator within our network. Funds raised from our Gala help ensure that we can continue to provide equitable, immersive and joyful learning experiences to NYC’s public school students.

Meet our Honoree

Rita Joseph

Rita Joseph

NYC Council Member and Chair of the Committee on Education


New York City Council Member Rita Joseph was elected in 2021 to represent Flatbush, Prospect Lefferts Gardens, Kensington, Ditmas Park, and Southern Crown Heights. Before serving in the City Council, Ms. Joseph was a public school teacher, a community activist, and a proud union member. Currently, Council Member Joseph serves as Chair of the Education Committee in the New York City Council.

After immigrating to the U.S. from Haiti in her youth, Ms. Joseph began her life of advocacy at 19 years old organizing her first rally with a group she founded, Haitian Enforcement Against Racism. This rally was done in order to protest the FDA’s discriminatory “bad blood” rules that prevented people of Haitian descent from donating blood. The rally succeeded in its mission, and the FDA rescinded the racist rule.

Despite being a teen mom who was only able to attend college because of a full tuition scholarship, Ms. Joseph spent her twenties raising her children while organizing protests against police brutality, and equity in education, even while working a full-time job as an educator at P.S. 6 for over two decades.

Among many other successes, Ms. Joseph was able to provide for her school financially, securing hundreds of thousands of dollars for technological improvements that help thousands of children receive a better education, including funding from the City, State, and Federal Government.

Council Member Joseph is currently Chair of the Committee on Education in the New York City Council overseeing the New York City Public School system. She remains committed to improving public schools, advancing economic development, fighting for affordable housing, combatting the climate crisis, and achieving real criminal and social justice reform for New Yorkers.

Gala Chairs

Vicki & David Foley

Jeffrey & Paula Gural

Alphonse Lembo

Pamela & Gifford Miller

Nancy & Burt Staniar

Gala Vice Chairs

David Dase & Jacqueline Flake

Patricia L. Francy

LaRue Gibson/LRG Wealth Advisors

Jane Greenman

Timothy Greensfelder & Sari Granat

Jonathan Miller, Miller Ryan, LLC

Sue & Ravi Yadav

*List updated as of 5/15/2024

The R. Gaynor McCown Excellence in Teaching Award

The Gaynor McCown Award was established to honor the memory of R. Gaynor McCown, a former public school teacher, longtime Board member of NYC Outward Bound Schools, Executive Director of the Teaching Commission, and champion of the profession of teaching. The Award recognizes a teacher or other staff member from NYC Outward Bound Schools’ network of schools who exemplifies the qualities that Gaynor herself exhibited as a teacher and that she sought to nurture and support in others.

Corey Sapp

Dean and Social Studies Teacher at CSSJ

Corey Sapp is a Dean and teaches 9th and 10th grade social studies at the Community School for Social Justice (CSSJ), a NYC Outward Bound school in the South Bronx. A Bronx native himself and a product of the NYC public school system, Corey has high expectations for all of his students. He works hard to ensure that his curriculum is culturally responsive and encourages students to make historical connections to current day issues that matter to them. Corey helps capture every day life at CSSJ by serving as the school’s videographer, and is currently earning his second master’s degree through New York State’s School Building Leadership program.

Congratulations to all of the outstanding teachers who were nominated for this year’s award!

  • Shikira Chang, Kurt Hahn
  • Charene Chapman-Santiago, Brooklyn Collaborative
  • Jana Fears, Launch
  • Adam King, MELS
  • Marie Lewis, James Baldwin
  • Brandon Lotti, Leaders
  • Cheryl Manne, Channel View
  • Evan O’Connell, A School Without Walls
  • Corey Sapp, CSSJ
  • Christine Sloan-Ward, Gaynor McCown
  • Nicole Zernone, West End Secondary School

Purchase Your Ticket or Table

Use the form below to buy tickets or tables now via credit card.

Avoid transaction fees by paying by check, wire or stock transfer. To do so, complete this Pledge Form and email it to [email protected]. We particularly encourage this for $50,000, $25,000 and $10,000 tables.

Questions? Contact Beth at [email protected] or (929) 233-7831.

Thank you to our lead supporters & corporate sponsors!


Vicki & David Foley

Jeffrey R. Gural, GFP Real Estate

Alphonse Lembo

Pamela & Gifford Miller

Nancy & Burt Staniar

John Mahoney


David Dase & Jacqueline Flake

LaRue Gibson/LRG Wealth Advisors

Jane Greenman in loving memory of Isabelle Friedlieb

Tim Greensfelder & Sari Granat

David Jaffe in loving memory of Isabelle Friedlieb

Nicholas Lembo

Jonathan Miller

O’Melveny & Myers

Muriel F. Siebert Foundation

Sue & Ravi Yadav


Mark Abramowitz

Dwayne Andrews/Patrick B. Jenkins & Associates

A&O Shearman

Carol and Norman Barham Family Foundation 

Capital One

Allison R. Feldman

McGuireWoods LLP

Amie & Scott Nuttall


Brian & Erin Pastuszenski

Arthur Sulzberger

Browse Photos & Videos from Past Years

Gala 27_Students and Honorees on Stage

2023 Gala

In 2023, we honored Hon. Adrienne E. Adams, Speaker of the NYC Council, and longtime Board Member LaRue R. Gibson, Jr., Managing Director and Partner, LRG Wealth Advisors, a Hightower Advisors Firm. 

Gala 27_Students and Honorees on Stage

2022 Gala

After a two-year hiatus, we once again hosted our in-person Gala at 583 Park on Tuesday, May 24. We honored David C. Banks, Schools Chancellor, NYC Department of Education, and Gregory Worrell, Scholastic Incorporated Senior Consultant: Education.

2021 Gala

Our first-ever Virtual Gala took place on May 19, 2021, honoring three champions of educational equity —Hon. Mark Treyger, Dr. Lester Young, Jr., and Richard Stopol. Watch a full video recording of the Virtual Gala.

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