Dr. Waveline Bennett-Conroy honored at first Proud to Serve Mount Vernon Street UnGala
As the sun set, community leaders gathered for the first annual Proud to Serve Mount Vernon Street UnGala on the steps of city hall in Mount Vernon on September 27, 2022. The Wellness and Community Affairs division of the Mount Vernon Police Department celebrated and honored changemakers in the community who have inspired innovative pathways for better police-community engagement.
Dr. Waveline Bennett-Conroy, superintendent of schools, was among those honored for her work on building and bettering the relationship between the Mount Vernon City School District and the Mount Vernon Police Department in support of the community.
“I am overwhelmed with gratitude to have been selected to receive this award,” said Dr. Bennett-Conroy. “Having been an educator for over 42 years, of which 21 years have been right here in Mount Vernon, I understand it takes an entire village to raise a child.”
Dr. Bennett-Conroy went on to thank her cabinet members, administration, principals, teachers, parents, parent liaisons and scholars for their untiring support and hard work.
Additionally, she spoke on how wonderful it has been to work with Deputy Commissioner Jennifer Lackard and Mayor Shawyn Patterson-Howard, referring to them as her “twin sisters”.
“I was delighted to see Dr. Bennett-Conroy get the position of superintendent because in order to make change you need people who understand but are not afraid to make those decisions,” said Lackard. “She has invited us into the school system. We are now doing things in the short couple of weeks and months that have not been done before. So, for us to be at this space where we are moving together for the safety of our children, I wanted to highlight this woman in her new role as superintendent of the Mount Vernon City School District.”
This event focused on supporting the overall mental health and wellness of the residents. By combining resources from the police department, city council, schools, churches, libraries, etc., the community can receive the support and aid it needs.
Others who were honored were:
Dr. Kimberly Johnson, assistant professor, clinical mental health counseling program at Touro University, for her work with officer wellness programs for the police department.
Nicholas DeCicco, senior assistant county attorney of Westchester County, for his work with the Peer Youth Court students who also volunteered at the event.
“When you say community, if you really break it down, it talks about having a common unity,” said Patterson-Howard. “Our common unity is safety, it is our children, it is our elders, it is about quality of life in our neighborhood, it is about having thriving businesses, and a strong community.”
On Tuesday, November 21, 2023, the Mount Vernon City School District partnered with Aramark and the Masonic Progressive Lodge #64 of Mount Vernon in a Thanksgiving turkey drive. The drive provided a free full Thanksgiving meal to the members of the community.
Ndaba Mandela continues to follow in his grandfather, Nelson Mandela’s, footsteps and visited two Mount Vernon City School District schools to discuss how students can foster change in the world themselves on Tuesday, November 21, 2023.
Students at Mount Vernon Honor Academy rejoiced with one another as they celebrated Thanksgiving with a brunch before the holiday break on Tuesday, November 21, 2023. The feast included an assortment of food including bagels, sausages, muffins, pasta, complete with a charcuterie board and a sandwich station.
Students at Hamilton School gathered around to give thanks and appreciate one another before Thanksgiving break with a feast on Tuesday, November 21, 2023. The arrangement of food included turkey, fried chicken, mashed potatoes, vegetables, and various desserts brought by families from the school community.
Coach Robert Cimmino was inducted into the Westchester Sports Hall of Fame on Wednesday, November 15, 2023. Coach Cimmino received this recognition for his exceptional career coaching the Mount Vernon Knights varsity boys' basketball team.