Pleasant Hill Library Commissioner, Katherine Bracken, won the Citizen of the Year award at the 44th Annual Community Awards Night held on January 29th. Katherine received the award from previous winner, Paul Cotruvo, before a large audience at the Pleasant Hill Community Center. She was honored for volunteer work in local schools and involvement with the Friends of the Library and the Pleasant Hill Community Foundation.
Community Awards Night is hosted by the Chamber of Commerce, City of Pleasant Hill, the PH Recreation & Park District, and the Foundation for Pleasant Hill Education each year to honor citizens, organizations, businesses and employees who have made a significant contribution to Pleasant Hill through their selfless dedication and community activism. All of the nominees were honored and recognized for enhancing the quality of life in Pleasant Hill.
Pleasant Hill Middle School math teacher, Tony Gallardo, received the Educator of the Year award. Mr. Gallardo was recognized for his innovative teaching methods, his active involvement in creating a better school climate and organizing the annual ‘Make a Difference Day’ at PH Middle.
Business Person of the Year award went to Jason & Kathy Olson of Pleasant Hill Grocery Outlet. Since purchasing the store in 2011, the couple has supported many community events and is actively involved with local organizations, schools and community groups.
College High School senior, Barune Thapa, received the Teen of the Year award. Barune is the Student Body President this year and founded the Earth Club at CPHS, after serving as the President of a similar club at PH Middle School. He has interned in Nepal, does peer tutoring and has maintained a strong academic profile at College Park.
The Green Business Award was bestowed on Pello & Mary Walker of Daily Digital Imaging, a locally owned printing company which uses no chemicals, solvents or water in their printing press. The Green Award was given to Sue Kaar, a drama teacher at PH Middle School, for her tireless efforts in promoting recycling programs and educating students about the environment.
Mario Moreno, City Engineer, received the Community Plus award, which is given to an employee of either the City, Chamber or Recreation & Park District. Mario was honored for overseeing more than 150 infrastructure projects since 2005 with over $30m in grant funding obtained by his department.
The organizing committee received 18 nominations this year in the seven competitive award categories. Other awards presented included: