Celtics Recognize High Achieving Students At 16th Annual ’Stay in School’ Awards Celebration

More than 500 students honored for perfect attendance, top performance in writing and arts

BOSTON (May 24, 2007) - The Boston Celtics honored more than 500 Boston Public Middle School students at today's 16th annual "Stay in School" end-of-year celebration at Northeastern University's Matthews Arena, recognizing them for perfect school attendance and outstanding achievement in writing and the arts.

Celtics forward Al Jefferson, legend JoJo White and President Rich Gotham congratulated the students for their achievements. A total of 400 students were honored for perfect attendance during the 2006-07 school year, and 15 were cited for not missing a day of school during their three-year middle school careers. In addition, another 77 students received recognition for outstanding writing and their participation in an art contest.

"The Stay in School program is a great way to recognize the hard work and achievement of these outstanding students," Al Jefferson said. "These students have a bright future ahead of them, and I am proud to be here and honor them for giving their best effort in school."

WBZ-TV Sports Anchor Steve Burton addressed the students as the guest speaker for the celebration. Other attendees included Peter Roby, Executive Director of the Center for the Study of Sport in Society at Northeastern University; David Woodman, Vice President Fox Sports Network and Sports Museum Board Member and Dr. Muriel Leonard, Deputy Superintendent Chief for Boston Public Schools. "Coach" Willie Maye served as master of ceremonies.

"The Stay in School program is a fitting tribute for these students who have made an extra effort to achieve excellence in the classroom," Gotham said. "Getting the most out of education is the most important thing any young person can do. The Celtics are proud to recognize these students who make the commitment to come to school every day."

The Stay in School program is collaboration among the Celtics, the New England Sports Museum and Boston Public Schools. The program utilizes athletes to motivate students to improve their attendance. This year, Celtics players visited five of the 27 Boston middle schools to deliver an important message with the acronym PRIDE - Positive mental attitude, showing Respect for others, making Intelligent choices, pursuing realistic Dreams and goals, and, most importantly, putting Effort into education.

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