Orange County Human Rights Commission announces 2016 award winners


GOSHEN – Six individuals and one agency have been selected as Orange
County’s human rights awardees, who will be honored at the county
Human Rights Commissioner dinner on April 21.

“These men and women are a wonderful example of citizens who are
committed to making Orange County a better place to live, said County
Executive Steven Neuhaus. “They play an important role in preserving
the rights of all residents.”

The honorees include:

Father Mark Connell, president of San Miguel Academy in Newburgh. An all-boys
middle school that opened in 2006 for underserved students, it offers
a tuition-free, faith based education for boys, grades five to eight.

Sean Donlon and Jennifer Bird-Quigley, both teachers at Orange-Ulster
BOCES in Goshen, co-founded the school’s Society for Acceptance,
which fosters greater respect and understanding among all groups regardless
or racial, religious, or cultural background.

Jacqueline Hesse, an English language arts teacher in the Newburgh Enlarged
City School District, led a project-based learning experience for the
entire 10th grade class at the Excelsior Academy, which culminated in
the Modern Day Slavery Awareness Fair.

John Sheridan, an 18-year-old Florida resident, helps develop relationships
among farm workers at the HRHCare Alamo Health Center and Farmworker Community
Center in Goshen. He lends support to the poorest, most hard-working residents
in Orange County, distributing food and clothing to them, and providing
health referrals.

Newburgh resident Daisy Vale is a member of Latinos Unidos of the Hudson
Valley. She serves as a positive role model for the Latino community,
volunteering her time with translations for Spanish-speaking families.
She has also served on a number of local philanthropic boards.

TEAM Newburgh is a community-based collaborative dedicated to improving
the quality of life of youth in Newburgh. The group is dedicated to “street
outreach” and community relations among diverse groups of residents
and encourages everyone to become equally involved in the community.

The dinner this year will be held at the Fountains in the Town of Wallkill.