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February 14, 2006 > A sentimental journey

A sentimental journey

by Arathi Satish

Keeping pace with Fremont's 50th Anniversary, The Fremont Education Foundation's (FEF) Fourth Annual "Excellence in Education" gala's theme is "Sentimental Journey." FEF encourages community involvement and investment in Fremont schools. The gala will benefit Innovative Education Grants to Fremont Unified School District (FUSD) teachers. It will be held on Feb. 24 at the Fremont Marriott, from 6 to 10 p.m.

This foundation is an independent organization that works closely with FUSD and has been a chamber member since 2001. FEF honors two individuals every year, one from within the school district and other from the greater Fremont community. They are selected for outstanding contributions to education excellence. This year, the FEF is honoring Sandi Pantages as its "Excellence in Education" Community Honoree, and Cheryl Cook-Kallio as its "Excellence in Education" FUSD Honoree. Nina Moore, vice president, said that the foundation takes into consideration the breadth and depth of contribution the person makes to the community. Moore praised both the honorees this year for their remarkable work and said the response to the event has been excellent.

Sandi Pantages has served on the Fremont Education board for the past 13 years. Sandi has worked in the Fremont Main Library for 32 years and for many years at the Library of Congress. Sandi has helped in providing opportunities to students in Fremont. She has contributed to society in different ways like creating the Alameda County Library Foundation, working for the local League of Women Voters, Fremont Symphony Guild, Niles Rotary, Fremont Police Chief's Citizens Advisory Committee, and the city's Downtown Advisory Committee.

Cheryl Cook-Kallio has been a teacher of the FUSD since 1979. Cheryl was the 1997 Madison Fellow for California, a Congressional Fellow in 2002 and worked at Senator Diane Feinstein's office. In 2004 Cheryl was named "Woman of the Year" by State Senator Liz Figueroa. In 2005 she was the first Madison Fellow to have the honor of working in the education division of the federal courts. Cheryl has received numerous professional honors, grants and fellowships for her teaching, mentorship and excellence in the field of social sciences. In 2005 she led her "We the People" constitutional debating class in Irvington High School to national finals. They finished fourth in the nation. She states, "The mission of the A.P. (Advanced Placement) United States History 'We the People' class is to foster a love for history and an understanding of the United States."

The annual gala helps in funding the foundation's grants to teachers in amounts up to $3,000 for innovative approaches to teaching core academics, visual and performing arts and programs that foster creativity, critical thinking and leadership. FEF has included health and physical fitness, and conflict resolution and diversity education as two new categories for grant eligibility.

Tickets for the event are $75 each or $750 for a sponsored table of 10. For additional information, visit or call (510) 413-3700.

Fremont Education Foundation's Gala
Friday, Feb. 24
6 to 10 p.m.
Fremont Marriott
46100 Landing Parkway
(510) 413-3700

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