2023 School Year Hall Of Heroes
Abigail "Abby" Zwerner
2023 National Abby Zwerner Hero Teacher Award Recipient (Virginia)
In recognition of Zwerner's bravery, the Uvalde Foundation for Kids, a nonprofit organization that was formed following the Uvalde Elementary School shooting in Texas last year, has announced it will give the Newport News first-grade teacher a special $1,000 inaugural grant award named in her honor
Zwerner's most recent update from her attorney says that she is still recovering, and it is uncertain whether she will ever return to the classroom again.
In the aftermath of the tragedy, the Uvalde Foundation for Kids established a division in Newport News to help the school and community deal with the mental impact of the violence through additional trauma support and safety resources.
Now, they've created the "Abby Zwerner HERO Award," which will be inaugurally presented to Zwerner herself in the form of a plaque. The award also grants Zwerner $1,000 from the foundation, which she can grant to a teacher of her choosing she believes is worthy of this award.
"Specific to Newport News and Richneck in that area, we were looking at all this tragedy and we said there is a light. There are heroes as a result of this. There are students who are heroes," said the Uvalde Foundation's National Director Daniel Chapin. "But there are teachers like Abby who stood up for her students, is recovering, and is still dedicated to children."
Chapin said the award will essentially be given to other teachers in the future "who have overcome extreme circumstances & continue to serve as positive role models for their students & school communities."
2023 National Student Hero Award Recipient (Ohio)
The Foundation For Kids, National Hero Award Was Presented To Casey Orloski, From Chesterland, Ohio, This Morning To A Standing Ovation, At The Ohio School Safety Summit In Columbus, Ohio! To Say We Are Beyond Proud Is An Understatement!
In April 2023, Casey Reported A Bullet Found in The Bathroom Of West Geauga High School In Ohio; Resulting In The Apprehension Of A Student With Plans To Shoot Other Students At The School. Casey's Actions Saved Lives!
2023 Emergency Aide Grant Award Recipient (Iowa)
Over $750 Emergency Aide Grant Presented By The Uvalde Foundation For Kids For Des Moines, Iowa NonProfit School, Where 2 Students & Founder Shot.
The Uvalde Foundation For Kids Announced Late February 2023, That It Has Awarded An Emergency Grant To, "Starts Right Here," Founder, William Holmes, In Des Moines, Iowa.
The Foundation, Itself Dedicated To Ending School Violence On A National Level; Responded Earlier This Month To Support Holmes; Shot While Attempting To Protect Students At The Des Moines School He Founded. 2 Students Shot Lost Their Lives. Holmes Is Currently Recovering From His Injuries & Assures That His Organizations Work For Youth Will Continue. Over $750 Was Granted & Presented To Mr. Keys For Recovery Aide.
Officers Engelbert & Collazo/Metro Nashville Police
2023 National Hero Award For Bravery & Dedication (Tennessee)
NASHVILLE, Tenn. – The Metro Nashville Police officers who stepped into action Monday morning to stop the suspect opening fire inside a Nashville private school are being awarded for their bravery.
The founder of the Uvalde Foundation for Kids, formed in response to the Robb Elementary School shooting in Uvalde, appeared in Nashville Tuesday to recognize responding law enforcement officers for what foundation President Michael Stevens referred to as, “textbook, yet heroic action by officers to save students.”
Officer Rex Englebert, a four-year MNPD veteran, and Officer Michael Collazo, a nine-year MNPD veteran, were among several officers who did not hesitate and went inside the Covenant School to thwart the threat.
The foundation will be awarding each officer a medal of honor.
“These officers did what they failed to do in Uvalde,” foundation founder Daniel Chapin said in a media release. “These officers did what they failed to do in Columbine. From the moment they arrived on scene, officers wasted no time … they executed perfectly within 14 minutes.”
Newport News Police Department (Virginia)
2023 Commendation Award For Service (Virginia)
NEWPORT NEWS, Va – The Uvalde Foundation says that it is recognizing Newport News police officers who responded to the Richneck Elementary School shooting. This recognition comes after body camera footage was released from the day of the shooting that showed officers working to get students out of the school safely.
In one of the body camera footage clips, you can see an officer leading students through the hallway with a smile on his face so as to not worry or frighten the kids.
2023/2024 National Hero Award For Bravery & Dedication (New York)
National Director, Daniel Chapin noted in the release, "In the midst of chaos school officer, Jeff Lynch not only kept his composure in attempting to intervene to protect students, but risked his own life for those students entrusted to his care. Individuals such as these are why our foundation supports officers on campuses & heroes such as Mr. Lynch."
Annual Nominations For Our Recognitions Are Received & Reviewed By Our Selection Committee On An Ongoing Basis.
Connect With The Uvalde Foundation For Kids To Learn More Or To Nominate A School, Teacher Or Student For The Upcoming 2023/2024 School Year.