Michael B. Yanney and Dr. Maryanne Stevens, RSM, to be Honored


September 1, 2015

Contact: Christine Dunn, (402) 345-5401, ext. 107

or cdunn@vgagroup.com


JoAnn Deak, PhD

JoAnn Deak, PhD

Michael B. Yanney and Dr. Maryanne Stevens, RSM, to be Honored at 2015 Phoenix Academy Scholarship Luncheon

Tickets Now Available

Omaha, Neb. – Phoenix Academy is proud to announce its 2015 Scholarship Luncheon to be held on Friday, October 2 at Hilton Omaha.  Phoenix Academy educates and inspires students with learning differences to achieve academic success. It is a full-day school that fulfills its mission by using a phonics-based education model. Most Phoenix Academy students are one or more school years behind in reading and/or math, so addressing each child’s individual learning style and needs is paramount, as is providing a nurturing learning community.

Dr. JoAnn Deak will be the keynote speaker at the Luncheon. Her book, “Your Fantastic Elastic Brain” teaches children that they have the ability to stretch and grow their own brains and delivers the crucial message that mistakes are an essential part of learning. Education Associations, teachers and parents have heralded Deak’s ability to demystify complex issues of child development, learning, identity formation and brain research.

The luncheon will also recognize two champions of literacy in the Omaha community. Michael B. Yanney will receive the 2015 Holland Literacy Advocate Award and Dr. Maryanne Stevens, RSM, will be the recipient of the 2015 Mactier/Clark Literacy Educator Award.

The Holland Literacy Advocate Award is presented for advocacy work that creates and increases awareness, resources, and dedication to advancing literacy and education. For more than 25 years, Michael B. Yanney has given his time, energy and resources to disadvantaged youth.

In 1989, Yanney co-founded what is known today as Partnership 4 Kids, which has grown to provide goal setting, mentoring, and college access programs for more than 5,000 students in 21 Omaha Public Schools. He currently serves on the boards of directors of several prominent civic and community organizations including as Chairman of the Board of Building Healthy Futures, a nonprofit organization created to improve health for our community’s underserved children and youth through thoughtful collaboration and advocacy.  In addition, Yanney is a past president of Junior Achievement of Omaha and also served as a Director of the Horatio Alger Association, one of the nation’s largest providers of privately funded, need-based scholarships, having awarded more than $100 million to more than 20,000 students.

The Mactier/Clark Literacy Educator Award recognizes work that advances proficiency in literacy and education. Dr. Maryanne Stevens, RSM, who took the helm as President of College of Saint Mary (CSM) in 1996, was selected for the honor in recognition of her contributions to Omaha’s secondary school and university communities.

Dedicated to creating an environment to call forth potential and foster leadership, CSM has developed several innovative programs under the leadership of Dr. Stevens. Specifically, CSM has added a residence hall allowing single mothers of college age to live with their children on campus; Marie Curie scholarships for low-income women majoring in science or math; the Latina and African-American Summer Academies for ninth and tenth grade high school girls and the development of a unique online doctoral program for educators. Dr. Stevens’ passion for the education and advancement of women cannot be more evidenced than by her leadership of numerous capital campaign and scholarship initiatives that have allowed College of Saint Mary to take its rightful place in the regional landscape of higher education.

Proceeds from the Luncheon will be used to provide scholarships to students who otherwise would not be able to receive the specialized assistance offered by Phoenix Academy. Of the school’s diverse student population, 70 percent qualify for financial assistance and 45 percent qualify for free or reduced lunches.

Tickets for the Phoenix Academy Scholarship Luncheon are now on sale, and all proceeds will support student scholarships. Individual standard tickets start at $100, and a standard table of 10 starts at $1,000. Patron options are also available.  To purchase tickets or for more information about Phoenix Academy, visit http://www.phoenixacademyomaha.org or contact Elizabeth Balazs at ebalazs@vgagroup.com or (402) 345-5401, ext. 102.

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