City workers to be honored for going above and beyond
When a 17-year-old victim of sexual abuse did not want to go back to high school, Boston Detective Lanita D. Cullinane was there, pushing her.
“She was trying to overcome so many obstacles,’’ Cullinane said. “I was trying to be the voice for her.’’
Cullinane was working in the city’s Crimes Against Children Unit at the time. Rather than allow the teen to make such a detrimental decision,the detective went out of her way to provide what the victim did not have - a support system. Cullinane offered her rides and made the needed phone calls to get her back into school.
The police detective is among eight city employees who will receive theHenry L. Shattuck Public Service Award on Thursday. The Boston Municipal Research Bureau issues Shattuck Awards each year to honor workers who go above and beyond their duties to provide exceptional public service.
“These are the people that really make the city work,’’ said Samuel Tyler, president of the Boston Municipal Research Bureau. “They’ve been nominated and selected because of their dedication, commitment, and extraordinary work ethic.’’
The bureau is a nonprofit organization that analyzes public policy issues in order to promote a more responsible and efficient city government.
Jeremiah Ford is another 2011 Shattuck recipient. He is the principal and headmaster at the Horace Mann School for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing. His mission is to provide students with the same opportunities as their peers.
Though he has assisted in orchestrating many projects for the school, Ford said he takes the greatest pride in his students’ accomplishments.
Take Marcy, who graduated and went on to a full-time job with a Massachusetts housing authority. Or Gary, who came from the island of Montserrat in the West Indies and now works for the Boston Public Schools and the Bank of New York Mellon.
“We are much more than a school. We are a social service agency,’’ he said. “I see myself as a liaison between the deaf students and the world.’’
Ford has helped raise more than $200,000 during the last 15 years to purchase crucial teaching equipment for Horace Mann classrooms. He also organized a series of American Sign Language classes that take place Saturdays across the city. The classes are open to anyone and are meant to bridge the gap between the deaf and hearing communities.
“There are so many people who have brought wonderful experiences to deaf children,’’ Ford said. “I have to keep that as a foundation, and I have to bring the best to our students.’’
Thomas W. Lema, another recipient of the award, is a Boston police sergeant assigned to area A-1, which includes neighborhoods such as Beacon Hill, Downtown Crossing, and Chinatown. He does everything from working with vendors at Faneuil Hall to securing shelter for the homeless.
The award is named after Henry L. Shattuck, a businessman, lawyer, and politician who dedicated his life to public service. He died in 1971.
In the past, only department heads nominated candidates. Now, the Boston Municipal Research Bureau receives suggestions from multiple sources, including past Shattuck recipients, other city employees, and the public.
“We’re not able to recognize everybody we’d like to recognize,’’ Tyler said. “There are some people who haven’t been nominated and should have been.’’
The bureau also is giving two Shattuck City Champion Awards, which recognize those in the private sector who have made significant contributions to Boston.
The 2011 City Champions are Lyndia Downie, president and executive director of the Pine Street Inn, and Jack Connors Jr., chairman of Partners HealthCare.
During the last 26 years, the Bureau has recognized 197 city employees.
The awards will be presented Thursday at the Seaport World Trade Center in Boston.
“These are the unsung heroes of Boston in that they are doing the work without a lot of public recognition,’’ Tyler said. “This award signifies that public service is an honorable profession that should be celebrated.’’
Here are the 2011 recipients of the Shattuck Public Service Awards:
Elmo Baldassari, deputy commissioner for the Public Works Department
Christopher Byner, director of external affairs for the Boston Centers for Youth and Families
Lanita D. Cullinane, Boston Police detective
Jeremiah Ford, headmaster at the Horace Mann School
Lynda Fraley, risk financing manager for the Office of Budget Management
Randi Lathrop, deputy director of community planning for the Boston Redevelopment Authority
Thomas W. Lema, Boston Police sergeant
Cheryl Odom, building inspector for the Inspectional Services Department
Amanda Cedrone can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.