Horizons Leadership Celebration Recognizes Outstanding Commitment

The Horizons at New Canaan Country School Board, Board of Governors, faculty, staff, leadership donors, and special guests gathered on Tuesday, October 25 for an evening of recognition and connection.

Board Chair, Tiffany Van Elslander presented the George E. Stevens Visionary Award, established in 2018, which honors a supporter who has contributed to the realization of the vision of the founder of Horizons at NCCS, George E. Stevens, through significant investment and commitment.

The Cedar Hill Foundation was the recipient of this year’s award. Cary and Jen Potter accepted this award on behalf of the Cedar Hill Foundation. Cary said, “The Cedar Hill Foundation is incredibly honored to be associated with Horizons at NCCS. The measurable results that this organization and all those involved have achieved are extraordinary.”

The event also recognized retiring lead swim teacher, Eric Fischman for his integral role in leading the Horizons swim program for thirty years, and serving as a consistent volunteer instructor in our adult swim program as well. As a result of Eric’s calm presence and expertise, thousands of students have passed their deep-water swim test and are more confident in and out the pool.

In his honor, Horizons announced the organization will establish the Eric Fischman Swim Award to recognize one student each summer who has shown courage and determination as they worked toward their personal swim goals. Eric said, “Horizons has always been like a family to me and I plan on staying involved as an adult swim volunteer.”

The evening also included tributes to two extraordinary Horizons champions, Lyn McNaught and Lavone Roberson, who both passed away this October. Lyn McNaught joined Horizons at NCCS in 1977 as the first full-time executive director and built a strong organizational and programmatic foundation that shaped the program into what it is today.

Lavone Roberson had an impressive 14-year career as a teacher and a curriculum writer for the Norwalk Public Schools and served as an academic coach, teaching assistant and lead teacher at Horizons before joining as the Academic Director in 2019. Lavone was an alumna of Horizons at NCCS dedicated her life to creating opportunities for underserved students. Lyn and Lavone’s legacies and passion for equity in education will continue in the hearts of the Horizons community.

Founded in 1964, Horizons at NCCS is the first in a nationwide network of programs that are successfully closing the opportunity gap experienced by under-resourced students. Horizons at NCCS builds deep and lasting relationships with the 400 Kindergarten through post-secondary students from Norwalk and Stamford it serves. The summer program and year-round academic and enrichment programming help students imagine and achieve a brighter future for themselves. For more information, please visitwww.horizonskids.org.

Photos show:

  1. )    Board Chair, Tiffany Van Elslander, Cary and Jen Potter, the Cedar Hill Foundation
  2. )    Executive Director, Nancy von Euler and Eric Fischman


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