Brooklyn: Bed-Stuy Student Hosts Inaugural STEMMY Awards Honoring Excellence In Education

May 21, 2024

By Keith Forest

It takes a village whether that is in Harlem or Hollis to raise a child and the village of Bedford-Stuyvesant was in full force supporting the students.

The students were at Dr. Ronald E. McNair public School #5 as they presented their inaugural STEMMY AWARDS honoring educational excellence.

Under the leadership of Principal Lena Gates, students, parents, faculty, and staff literally rolled out the red carpet.  The black-tie student led affair included a surprise guest appearance from rapper Papoose. The Bedford-Stuyvesant native who dropped by to show support also took in a student-led tour that included a visit to Dr. Ronald E. McNair Aviation Center Sponsored by American Airlines, where a cast of young aviators demonstrated topflight instructions via their top-of-the-line flight simulators; PS5’s global urban garden where students are using AI to grow sustainable food, the student-run bookstore, school restaurant, and the Donnie McClurkin Jr.


“… students receive performance-driven instructional lessons …”

Music Room where students receive performance-driven instructional lessons on a variety of musical instruments is the future home of a full-service podcast and music engineering studio.

Co-hosted by Dr. Robert M. Waterman, Sheppard of Antioch Baptist Church, and guest host Dr. Chester, the student-led production kicked off with a STEMMY skit and warm welcome by PS5 Educator Brittney Barriteau, and her 3rd grade class who conceived and created the STEMMY Award program. 


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“The STEMMY Awards is just another incentive to motivate our students,” shared Barriteau. “We know they are intelligent; we know what they are capable of. We need to keep them motivated and continue to push them to try their best. Thank you for attending PS5’s First STEMMY Award.”

PS5 first STEMMY for Education was rightfully given to someone who has accomplished many first in their career.  In 2021 Dr. Lester Young, Jr. was elected as New York State‘s first African American Chancellor of Regent. “This award demonstrates to all of us that not only do we know how to educate our children,” shared Dr. Johnson. “But we also love our children.”  Other educational honorees included District 16 Superintendent Branden T. Mims; Medgar Evers College own Dr. Evelyn Castro; and educator Dr. Brenda Boyd-Bell. STEMMY for educational excellence were also given to students Harold Anderson, Caitlyn Smith, Gerald Smiley, Cach Grandison, and talented artist Asan Enriquez, whose sketched drawing.

“… fighting for this community …”   

STEMMY Awards were also presented to community stakeholders. Individuals within the village of Bedford-Stuyvesant who’ve supported and poured into the success of PS5. Community Honorees included Dr. Divinah “Dee” Bailey, Founder/CEO Watchful Eye.  Ms. Bailey, who attended the affair with a host of family and friends urged the audience to continue, “fighting for this community” and thanked Principal Gates “for providing a safe place for our children to grow and learn.”

Other STEMMY community honorees were Wayne Devenish, Founder of 500 Men Who Make a Difference; Jefferson Avenue Lion’s Club; Tina Watkins, local community volunteer; restaurateurs Sabrina Brockman of Grand Champs and Eduardo Mantelli of Saringhina.  

STEMMY for educational excellence was also given to students Harold Anderson, Caitlyn Smith, Gerald Smiley, Cach Grandison, and talented artist Asan Enriquez, who rendering was voted.

“… in dedication to Maya Angelou’s “Phenomenal Women” poem. …”

Like other award programs, The STEMMY Awards featured plenty of exciting student-led musical intermissions that included drum performances by Brooklyn Arts Council resident drum instructor Mamadou Doumbia, and his student protégé Jaymah McKoy. The United Steppers of PS5 were also on hand. The all-girl step team performed a powerful uplifting drill performance in dedication to Maya Angelou’s “Phenomenal Women” poem.

 The STEMMY Awards is a student-produced award ceremony celebrating community and educational excellence. The S and T in STEMMY stands for State Test and Emmy is for excellence. The program honors and acknowledges educators and community stakeholders who have continuously contributed to the success of PS5 education while embracing the school’s philosophy in providing all children a quality education, in a safe and secure environment.

Keith Forest

Highly motivated and results-driven media relations professional with proven experience producing and managing media campaigns across diverse audiences and industries. Expertise in developing and cultivating media relationships with an outstanding track record of strategically utilizing varied media channels to build brand awareness and loyalty. https://about.me/keithlforest

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