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Drexel Honors Teachers Behind Every Graduate

May 25, 2010

Drexel University will present four teachers with the Harold W. Pote “Behind Every Graduate” Award for excellence in secondary teaching at its 123rd commencement to be held on June 11-12. Recipients of the award are nominated by Drexel graduating seniors who recall the high school teacher that inspired them to pursue a college education, seek a new perspective on learning or pursue a particular major or career.

•Cathi Bertrand, a life skills teacher at the Milton Hershey School in Hershey, Pa, a coeducational home and school for children, was nominated by her former student Mason Langguth, a sociology major graduating from Drexel’s College of Arts and Sciences, for teaching him the importance of discipline, integrity and responsibility. According to Mason, “Ms. Bertrand emphasized the importance of community service for its sole purpose in serving others and not for personal accolades or recognition."

•Lori Remmel, a photography and graphic arts teacher at Tamaqua High School in Tamaqua, Pa., was nominated by her former student Eric Hillegass, a film and video major graduating from the Drexel’s Antoinette Westphal College of Media Arts & Design, for inspiring him to find artistic and inventive ways to “think outside the box.” According to Hillegass, “Her insights led me to follow my passion for art. Ms. Remmel helped me to pursue my dream, which is now on the verge of realization.”

•Jeffrey Hagy, a biology teacher at Corning-Painted Post East High School in Corning, N.Y., was nominated by his former student Alexis Bielski, a nursing major graduating from Drexel’s College of Nursing and Health Professions, for not being just a teacher, but a mentor. According to Bielski, “Mr. Hagy expanded my knowledge of the nursing profession and assisted me in my search for colleges to pursue nursing as a major.”

•Louis DiCesare, a business education teacher at Irondequoit High School in Rochester, N.Y. was nominated by Abby Dineen, a business administration major graduating from Drexel’s LeBow College of Business, for his inspirational entrepreneurial spirit. According to Dineen, “I would like to thank Mr. DiCesare for igniting my passion for business, teaching me to love learning, and for motivating me to reach new and as yet undefined levels of success." Each awardee will receive a $2,000 prize from Drexel and an additional $2,000 will be presented to their high school.

In 2006, Drexel University initiated the “Behind Every Graduate” Award for excellence in secondary teaching. Since then, Drexel honored 13 teachers and the students who nominated them. The late Drexel trustee Harold W. Pote was deeply committed to recruiting the highest caliber undergraduate students to the University. Because of the importance of superior teachers in preparing these students, Drexel University is endowing the “Behind Every Graduate” Award in Pote’s name.

About Drexel University Founded in 1891 in Philadelphia, Drexel is the nation’s 16th largest private university and was ranked in 2010 as one of the nation’s most innovative universities by US News & World Report. Drexel is widely recognized for its focus on experiential learning through its co-operative education program, technology and use-inspired research.


News media contacts: Craig Eisenberger, Drexel News Bureau, 215-895-0379 or Niki Gianakaris, director, Drexel News Bureau, 215-895-6741, 215-778-7752 (cell) or

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