Annual Scholarship & Community Service Awardees

The annual Bernie Scholarship Awards Program's Awards Event, with dinner, is a celebration of our scholars.  We honor their hard work, courage, drive, resilience and persistence. ​Our awardees work hard to complete their applications and present themselves to Board members on Interview Day, The Awards Event is our chance to congratulate them on their accomplishments and their educational and career goals,  

Some awardees speak at this dinner, and it is always inspiring.  In addition, we award a community leader the distinction of our Community Service Award (CSA). The Bernie Board chooses a member of the community who exemplifies our values and what we hope for in our awardees' futures. The speech that the CSA winner gives at the event is always uplifting and offers encouragement and guidance to our scholars. Below are spotlights on our most recent Community Service Award recipients.


Spotlight:  Hon. Craig Rice, 2017

Craig Rice was first elected to the Montgomery County Council in 2010, after having been a member of the Maryland House of Delegates for 4 years.  He chairs the Council's Education Committee and is also on its Health and Human Services Committee.  Since 2016, Mr. Rice has been on the Maryland Commission on Innovation and Excellence in Education, where members review educational funding in Maryland.


Spotlight:  Catherine Leggett, 2016

Catherine Leggett is Senior Vice President for Human Resources at ICMA-RC.  She is a lifetime board member of Montgomery Hospice, Chair of Maryland State Commission for Public Art and was named Democrat of the year in 2007.  She completed a J.D. and a B.A. in sociology and psychology from Howard University.  As First Lady of Montgomery County, she serves on many nonprofit committees and is very active in the Montgomery County community. 


Spotlight:  Scott Murphy, 2015

Scott Murphy is principal of Watkins Mill High School in Gaithersburg and director of secondary curriculum and district-wide programs.  Among Mr. Murphy's innovations at Watkins Mill are the opening of a Wellness Center that takes a culturally sensitive approach to offering medical care, counseling, and health education to students, installation of a new stadium field, developing community partnerships, and new teaching practices replicated throughout the County. ​​


​Spotlight: Shirley Brandman, 2014

In 2014, we provided this distinction to Shirley Brandman, past President of the Montgomery County Board of Education and longtime Bernie Scholarship supporter, Shirley Brandman was recognized for her many contributions to education in Montgomery County. In accepting the 2014 Community Service Award, she shared her story of confronting challenges as a first generation American and child of immigrants; this resonated with many of the scholarship awardees as they face similar challenges. Ms. Brandman's friends honored her by funding several scholarships in her name.


Spotlight: Wilma K. Holmes, 2013

Retired principal of Flower Valley Elementary School still serving on: County Executive Ball Committee, Family Justice Fund Raising Committee and member of Leadership Montgomery; the Montgomery Chapter of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc., Silver Spring Chapter of The Links, Inc. and Montgomery Women. Ms. Holmes is a recipient of the NAACP Community Service Award and the Montgomery Women Shining Star Award, among others.



Community Service Awardees from 1996 to 2012

Carolyn Snowden, Community Activist
Mary D'Ovidio, MCPS Principal
Dr. Robert Parilla, former President of Montgomery College
Officer George Hackey, community policeman
Hon. Henry Heller, former State Delegate
Dr. George Thomas, Co-Founder of George B. Thomas, Sr., Learning Academy/Saturday School
Ed Bohrer, former Mayor of the City of Gaithersburg
Dr. Hiawatha Fountain, former Associate Superintendent of. MCPS
Gene Ford, Sr., former Chair of Edgewood Management, Affordable Housing Developer
Norman Cohen, former HOC Commissioner 
Wangul Njuguna, BCC Student
Joyce Siegel, Community Activist
Roscoe Nix, former President of NAACP
Teresa Wright, Educator and Student Advocate
Chuck Lyons, Publisher of the Gazette Newspapers
Rose Cramer, former Montgomery County Councilwoman
Blair Ewing, MCPS Board Chair
Dr. Stewart Edelstein, Executive Director of Universities at Shady Grove
Hon. Ike Leggett, County Executive
Kathy Dougherty, former Director of Social Programming for Edgewood Management
Clarence Arthur Eubanks, Co-Founder of  the George B. Thomas Sr. Learning Academy/Saturday School
Frankie Blackburn, Community Activist
George Payne, Vice President, Workforce Development and Continuing Education at Montgomery College
Dr. Frieda K. Lacey, former Deputy Superintendent of Montgomery County Public Schools. 

The Bernie Scholarship Awards Program

Resiliency • Courage • Drive • Persistence