Golden Hornets Awarded to Public School Educators

Joanne Seaman, Maria Schmidt, Ross Cowman, and Joe Janack were among 145 Manchester Essex teachers, staff and coaches recognized


This week Spaulding Education Fund delivered almost 400 Golden Hornet awards to school district teachers, coaches and staff who have made a difference in students’ life at school. 

Awards were determined by students, and honorees come from all four public schools in
ME Regional School District, the district’s administrative office, and in the athletic department.

Under the program, students award a “Golden Hornet” along with a $10 donation to Spaulding
Education Fund, an independent, non-profit organization providing support for programs that enhance the MERSD academic curriculum.  Their Golden Hornet recipient receives a golden hornet pin, a personalized dedication badge, and a certificate reflecting their words of gratitude.

Spaulding also presented a Diamond Hornet to the individual receiving the most Golden Hornets.  This year that honor went to Maria Schmidt, Administrative Assistant at Manchester Memorial Elementary School.

One student said about Ms. Schmidt, “You manage to make it look easy, juggling it all, and always with a smile! We are so lucky to have your wonderful energy greet us every day.  Thank
you for all you do!” Another raved, “You are the heart and soul of our school! You make everyone feel welcome and keep every detail in order.  You are amazing.  We see you and appreciate everything you do!”

Other educators receiving significant numbers of Golden Hornet awards include:

Joe Janack, band and music director at the middle and high schools (“’Band is Good’ has become the unofficial mantra of band, but I sincerely believe that the reason band is so good is because of Mr. Janack.  He has sparked in so many students a genuine interest in Music and has created a space in which everyone feels welcome to learn and make mistakes.”)

Memorial’s school nurse, Joanne Seaman, who is retiring this year (“Thank you for all of the love and care you show our children and our school community over the many years.”)

Ross Cowman, sixth-grade science teacher (“You’re an awesome educator! Thanks for making science fun and interesting!”).

Golden Hornet donations will pump more than $3,000 into MERSD in educational program grants to teachers.  This spring, Spaulding awarded more than $27,000 for innovative projects across all schools and grade levels, supporting opportunities that can’t be funded through the tax-supported school budget.  The Next Spaulding grant cycle opens September 9, 2024.