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February 13, 2018 > Excellence in Education Gala honors Mahesh Patel and Sharon Coco

Excellence in Education Gala honors Mahesh Patel and Sharon Coco

Submitted By Sherea Westra

The Fremont Education Foundation (FEF) will be holding its annual ?Excellence in Education Gala? on Friday, February 23 at the Fremont Marriott. The gala is the sole fundraiser for the Foundation?s Innovative Education Grant (IEG) Program, which provides grants to teachers in the Fremont Unified School District (FUSD) for innovative teaching. Guests will be surrounded by the look and feel of Las Vegas as Viva Las Fremont is created. FEF will honor and recognize a community member and a FUSD staff member for their service to public education in Fremont.

FEF is very excited to be able to honor Mahesh Patel as the 2018 Excellence in Education Community Honoree. Patel is the owner of Suju?s Coffee and Tea. Many in the community frequently visit his two coffee shops, but more importantly, they are places where relationships are built, where business occurs, and where you see friends. His coffee and treats are delivered for various school events and activities across the FUSD. No matter the occasion, Patel always has the heart to help out. His 25-year business in our community and dedication to helping at school sites and at various FEF events makes him very deserving of this recognition.

Michael Rivera, FUSD teacher and FEF Board of Director, says, ?When I think of Mr. Patel, the first word I think of is supportive. Getting the opportunity to teach both his boys, he always supported the classroom and me. If there is a school/community event, he is there providing delicious coffee and treats. He supports kids, teachers, and Fremont?s school community, without hesitation.?

We are also extremely pleased to also announce that the 2018 Excellence in Education FUSD Honoree is Sharon Coco. Coco recently retired from the Fremont Unified School District after 40 years serving our district. She began her career as an instructional aide at Brookvale Elementary School and later served many roles at the school site, including office assistant. Ten years later, she accepted a position at Azevada Elementary School where she was the school secretary for 13 years. An opportunity arose for Coco to serve as staff secretary to the Director of Federal and State Programs. She most recently was the administrative assistant to the superintendent and Board of Education and retired from that position after 15 years.

Former FUSD Superintendent and FEF Board of Director Dr. James Morris spoke enthusiastically about Coco saying, ?Sharon Coco served for many years as the face, heart, and historian of the Fremont Unified School District. She exemplifies what it means to serve and support district staff and the families of Fremont.? The Fremont Education Foundation is honored to recognize Coco for her stellar career serving FUSD students, staff, and the School Board.

FEF President Fahria Khan states, ?The Fremont Education Foundation's Excellence in Education Gala is a wonderful way to bring the community together to honor outstanding community members while raising much needed funds for Fremont's classrooms. The gala serves as our premier fundraiser for our Innovative Education Grant program. This year, we are proud to recognize and honor two selfless individuals, FUSD Honoree Sharon Coco and Community Honoree Mahesh Patel. We hope that you will join us for a fabulous evening celebrating our honorees while raising funds for the innovators of tomorrow.?

Tickets for the 2018 Excellence in Education ?Viva Las Fremont? Gala are on sale now at

Excellence in Education Gala
Friday, Feb 23
5:30 p.m.? 9:00 p.m.
Fremont Marriott
46100 Landing Pkwy, Fremont
(510) 659-2561
Tickets: $80

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