Gould alerted the School Committee to the new award at Tuesday’s meeting. The Peabody Education Foundation, he explained, is a private organization designed to offer help to the schools. Its chairman is City Councilor Dave Gravel, and the honorary chairman is Mayor Ted Bettencourt.
Gould described the foundation as businesspeople, community leaders and educators “trying to bring resources from the community into the classroom. ... It’s a group ... that has the kids and their best interests at heart.”
In an interview, Gould noted that the award will encourage people to help the schools in a number of ways. For one thing, it raises the profile of education in the city.
The May event will include a silent auction.
“We’ve been looking to do a signature event,” Gould said.
School board member Dave McGeney called the effort timely in the wake of the Newtown, Conn., shootings. In that case, he pointed out, teachers gave their lives to protect their students. “Many teachers here have given a lifetime to Peabody education.” Giving an award to such people is “such a no-brainer, it makes you wonder why we hadn’t done it sooner.”
Power, hearing about the award for the first time, said the Legacy Award is long-overdue and a gesture George Peabody would have appreciated.