Joe Pantoliano, Phylicia Rashad, Steve Buscemi, Antwone Fisher, Lawrence O’Donnell Jr. 

Present 2005 Spotlight Awards for Teachers Making A Difference

Washington, DC (Thursday, July 7, 2005) – It’s back to school in July when The Creative Coalition and American Federation of Teachers bring public school alumni — actor and Co-President of The Creative Coalition Joe Pantoliano, actor Phylicia Rashad, actor Steve Buscemi, and screenwriter Antwone Fisher– together with the outstanding teachers who significantly influenced their lives. 

Lawrence O’Donnell Jr. (The West Wing, The McLaughlin Group) will moderate a lively dialogue between the teachers and their former students whose lives they impacted.  The event will be capped by the presentation of the 2005 Spotlight Awards for Teachers Making a Difference. 

The awards will be presented before 2,000 teachers and other educators who are members of the AFT, national policymakers, Congressional and White House leaders, and the media.

Earlier in the day, honorees and alumni will be honored at a luncheon at Le Paradou presented by Platform Learning and hosted by Washington Life magazine. 

Generous gifts are being made to the alma maters by LG Electronics, Scholastic, and Kenneth Cole Productions.


WHO:   Joe Pantoliano; Phylicia Rashad; Steve Buscemi; Antwone Fisher, and Lawrence O’Donnell Jr. with: 

 Donna Regan (Cliffside Park High School, Cliffside Park, NJ); Carl Riccobono (Shaw Avenue School, Valley Stream, NY); Brenda Profit (Parkwood Elementary, Cleveland, OH); Doug Stoll (Canyon Charter School, Santa Monica, CA); Vivian Harrison (GBM Turner Elementary School, Houston, TX); James Harrison (Contemporary Learning Center, Houston, TX).

WHAT:            2005 Spotlight Awards for Teachers Making a Difference

                        Hilton Washington (Grand Ballroom)

                        1919 Connecticut Avenue, NW; Washington, DC

WHEN:            Thursday evening, July 7, 2005

                        7:15 pm         Photo opportunities

                        7:30 pm         Alumni Dialogues and Award Presentation

                  9:00 pm         VIP Reception

All press MUST BE CREDENTIALED.  For reception press credentials, please contact Chip Schrager, The Creative Coalition:  212-614-2527 / 917-544-8446 / c@thecc.org or Janet Bass, American Federation of Teachers:  202-879-4554 / 301-502-5222 / jbass@aft.org

The Creative Coalition (www.TCConline.org) is the leading nonprofit, nonpartisan, social and public advocacy organization of the arts and entertainment community.  Founded in 1989 by prominent members of the creative community, The Creative Coalition is dedicated to educating and mobilizing its members on issues of public importance, primarily public education, the First Amendment, arts advocacy, and runaway production.  Headquartered in New York City, The Creative Coalition also has offices in Washington, DC, Los Angeles and San Francisco. The Creative Coalition does not endorse or raise funds for political parties or candidates.

The AFT represents 1.3 million teachers, paraprofessionals and other school–related personnel, higher education facility and staff, healthcare workers, and state and local government employees.

Additional information:

Platform Learning is one of the leading providers of Supplemental Education Services (SES) to low-income students attending public schools that have been identified as being “In Need of Improvement” under the federal “No Child Left Behind Law”.  They are very active all over the country and are currently servicing over 50,000 children nationwide.  Platform Learning’s mission is to deliver high-quality instructional services that help students make considerable achievement gains while building their self-confidence.

Washington Life is the premier luxury-lifestyle magazine in the Washington, D.C. metropolitan area.  Since 1991, Washington Life features Washington’s most prominent people, places and parties.

LG Electronics USA is the North American subsidiary of global technology leader LG Electronics Inc. The company is a leading provider of digital display and media products as well as mobile phones and home appliances. Ideal for educational applications are LG’s award-winning L1980Q LCD monitor and GSA-5163D external 16X Super-Multi DVD writer. LG Electronics USA is proud to support the Creative Coalition and the American Federation of Teachers in honoring our nation’s public education excellence.

Scholastic is the world’s largest publisher and distributor of children’s books and a leader in educational technology. Scholastic creates quality educational and entertaining materials and products for use in school and at home, including children’s books, magazines, technology-based products, teacher materials, television programming, film, videos and toys. The Company distributes its products and services through a variety of channels, including proprietary school-based book clubs, school-based book fairs, and school-based and direct-to-home continuity programs; retail stores, schools, libraries and television networks; and the Company’s Internet site, www.scholastic.com.

Kenneth Cole Productions is one of the most widely revered and consistently focused fashion houses. It is the parent company for three lifestyle brands: Kenneth Cole New York (KCNY) for the sophisticated, urban man and woman, Reaction Kenneth Cole geared towards a hip, more casual customer and Unlisted shoes and accessories for the younger and trendier teen.

Le Paradou offers an unrivaled dining experience.  Maintaining an airy elegance, created by award-winning design firm, Adamstein & Demetriou, and showcasing celebrated Chef Yannick Cam’s range of exquisite and inspired ingredients, Le Paradou is the embodiment of the modern French dining Chef Yannick helped introduce to the United States nearly three decades ago.  Riddled with contemporary art, including a 420-piece hand-blown glass chandelier by Robert Kuster, Le Paradou exemplifies the revitalization of Washington’s Penn Quarter and the reassertion of DC’s position as a world-class metropolis across the cultural spectrum.  www.leparadou.net


Press Release:


Contact:    Chip Schrager, The Creative Coalition:   212614-2527/917544-8446 / c@thecc.org

                Janet Bass, American Federation of Teachers:  202-879-4554 / 301-502-5222 / jbass@aft.org