Boston Celtics Recognize High Achievers At 13th Annual ’Stay in School’ Ceremony

BOSTON (May 27, 2004) - The Boston Celtics honored nearly 700 Boston Public Middle School students at today's 13th 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.

Boston Mayor Thomas M. Menino, Celtics forward Walter McCarty, and SportsCenter 5 anchor Mike Lynch congratulated the students for their achievements. A total of 475 students were honored for perfect attendance during the 2003-04 school year, and 22 were cited for not missing a day of school during their three-year middle school careers. Additionally, another 193 students received recognition for outstanding writing and artwork.

"This program was a fitting tribute for these students who had gone the entire year without missing a day of school as well as those who had achieved excellence in their schoolwork," Lynch said. "Those were remarkable achievements, and the Boston Celtics should be commended for honoring these students. I was glad to see so many parents there to share in the applause, because school achievement is a collaborative effort that demands family support."

Professional dancer and GearUp mentor Khalid Hill performed for the large crowd. He also addressed the students.

Other attendees included Boston Celtics Managing Partner Steve Pagliuca; Celtics legend JoJo White; Peter Roby, Executive Director of Northeastern's Center for the Study of Sport in Society; Antonio Cediel, Deputy Superintendent for Clusters and School Leaders at the Boston Public Schools; and Maura Burke, Executive Director of the New England Sports Museum. WILD/WBOT Radio and Fox Sports Net personality Willie Maye served as master of ceremonies.

"I congratulate the students on their efforts and applaud the Boston Celtics for establishing such a worthwhile program as ‘Stay in School,'" Boston Mayor Thomas M. Menino said. "It is meaningful for the students to know that their achievements will be recognized on such a grand scale by the Celtics. Since its inception, more than 40,000 Boston students have participated in ‘Stay in School.' "

"These students deserve a lot of credit for their commitment to coming to school every single day ready to learn," Celtics forward Walter McCarty said. "Putting forth the effort is vital if students want to succeed in the classroom and in life."

"Stay in School" 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.

The "Stay in School" program is a collaboration among the Celtics, the New England Sports Museum and Boston Public Schools.

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