Annual Scholarship & Community Service Awardees

The annual Bernie Scholarship Awards Program’s Awards Event, with dinner, is a celebration of our new scholars.  We honor their hard work, courage, drive, resilience and persistence. ​Our awardees work hard to complete their applications and present themselves to Board members on Interview Day. The Awards Event is our chance to congratulate them on their accomplishments and their educational and career goals.

Some awardees speak at this dinner, and it is always inspiring.  In addition, we award a community leader the distinction of our Community Service Award (CSA). The Bernie Board chooses a member of the community who exemplifies our values and what we hope for in our awardees’ futures. The speech that the CSA winner gives at the event is always uplifting and offers encouragement and guidance to our scholars. Below are spotlights on our most recent Community Service Award recipients.

Spotlight:  Hon. Craig Rice, 2017

Craig Rice was first elected to the Montgomery County Council in 2010, after having been a member of the Maryland House of Delegates for 4 years.  He chairs the Council’s Education Committee and is also on its Health and Human Services Committee.  Since 2016, Mr. Rice has been on the Maryland Commission on Innovation and Excellence in Education, where members review educational funding in Maryland.

Spotlight:  Catherine Leggett, 2016

Catherine Leggett is Senior Vice President for Human Resources at ICMA-RC.  She is a lifetime board member of Montgomery Hospice, Chair of Maryland State Commission for Public Art and was named Democrat of the year in 2007.  She completed a J.D. and a B.A. in sociology and psychology from Howard University.  As First Lady of Montgomery County, she serves on many nonprofit committees and is very active in the Montgomery County community.

Spotlight:  Scott Murphy, 2015

​Scott Murphy is principal of Watkins Mill High School in Gaithersburg and director of secondary curriculum and district-wide programs.  Among Mr. Murphy’s innovations at Watkins Mill are the opening of a Wellness Center that takes a culturally sensitive approach to offering medical care, counseling, and health education to students, installation of a new stadium field, developing community partnerships, and new teaching practices replicated throughout the County. ​​​​



Community Service Awardees from 1996 to 2014

1996: Carolyn Snowden, Community Activist
1997: Mary D’Ovidio, MCPS Principal
1998: Dr. Robert Parilla, former President of Montgomery College
1999: Officer George Hackey, community policeman
1999: Hon. Henry Heller, former State Delegate
1999: Dr. George Thomas, Co-Founder of George B. Thomas, Sr., Learning Academy/Saturday School
1999: Ed Bohrer, former Mayor of the City of Gaithersburg
2000: Dr. Hiawatha Fountain, former Associate Superintendent of. MCPS
2001: Gene Ford, Sr., former Chair of Edgewood Management, Affordable Housing Developer
2001: Norman Cohen, former HOC Commissioner
2001: Wangul Njuguna, BCC Student
2002: Joyce Siegel, Community Activist
2002: Roscoe Nix, former President of NAACP
2003: Teresa Wright, Educator and Student Advocate
2004: Chuck Lyons, Publisher of the Gazette Newspapers
2005: Rose Cramer, former Montgomery County Councilwoman
2005: Blair Ewing, MCPS Board Chair
2006: Dr. Stewart Edelstein, Executive Director of Universities at Shady Grove
2007: Hon. Ike Leggett, County Executive
2008: Kathy Dougherty, former Director of Social Programming for Edgewood Management
2009: Clarence Arthur Eubanks, Co-Founder of  the George B. Thomas Sr. Learning Academy/Saturday School
2010: Frankie Blackburn, Community Activist
2011: George Payne, Vice President, Workforce Development and Continuing Education at Montgomery College
2012: Dr. Frieda K. Lacey, former Deputy Superintendent of Montgomery County Public Schools.
2013: Wilma K. Holmes, retired principal of Flower Valley Elementary School
2014: Shirley Brandman, past President of the Montgomery County Board of Education

Scholarships Awarded

1996 4
1997 3
1998 4
1999 7
2000 7
2001 11
2002 16
2003 17
2004 17
2005 20
2006 17
2007 27
2008 24
2009 23
2010 24
2011 29
2012 30
2013 32
2014 35
2015 37
2016 39
2017 38