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Maritime Aquarium Bestows Seal Of Approval Awards On Duo

Sandy Bria, of GE Capital, and John Reynolds, principal of Jefferson Science Magnet School, were the recipients of the Maritime Aquarium at Norwalk’s 2015 Seal of Approval Awards.
Sandy Bria, of GE Capital, and John Reynolds, principal of Jefferson Science Magnet School, were the recipients of the Maritime Aquarium at Norwalk’s 2015 Seal of Approval Awards. Photo Credit: Contributed

NORWALK, Conn. – Sandy Bria, of GE Capital, and John Reynolds, principal of Jefferson Science Magnet School, were the recipients of the Maritime Aquarium at Norwalk’s 2015 Seal of Approval Awards, according to a press release.

Brian Davis, president of the aquarium, presented the awards June 11 during the annual end-of-year celebration at the aquarium for Jefferson Science Magnet School students, parents and teachers.

The awards honor individuals who create change in the community and support the mission of the aquarium, according to a press release.

“Sandy and John exemplify the example of giving back to young people in a big way,” Davis said in a press release.

Under Reynolds’ leadership, in 2006, Jefferson became the first school to partner with the aquarium in its “Whole School Partnerships.” In these collaborations, the aquarium’s educators work with every child and their teachers, providing multiple science experiences while integrating the aquarium’s science curriculum into the schools’ coursework, according to a press release.

The result has been a demonstrated improvement in standardized test scores, closing science achievement gaps, according to a press release. 

For its success in closing the achievement gap among its students, Jefferson was named a National Blue Ribbon School in 2014 – the only Connecticut school to be honored.

As manager of corporate citizenship for GE Capital, Bria led the way for GE Capital to pay for some of the initial programming for the “Whole School Partnership.” GE Capital continues to provide money for new educational opportunities within the program, according to a press release. 

Bria also is the liaison for about 25 volunteers – herself included – who mentor Jefferson students.

“She has been the best mentor I have ever seen in Norwalk,” Reynolds said in a press release, adding that Bria also “has been the head of many many of our projects that have been a success.”

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