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Pacific Ethanol, nursing center win Crystal Tower awards

Courtesy of Kristi Winter

Madera South High School principal Oracio Rodriguez, left, Madera South teacher Mary Pietrowski, Madera Rehabilitation and Nursing Center administrator Glen McCall, and Todd Lile, Madera Unified School District superintendent.


Madera Rehabilitation and Nursing Center and Pacific Ethanol have each received a Crystal Tower Award at the 14th annual Business and Education Shareholders’ Luncheon hosted by the Madera County Compact.

The two businesses were recognized for their partnership with Madera County schools in front of more than 140 business and community leaders Aug. 29.

Madera Rehabilitation and Nursing Center was nominated by Mary Pietrowski at Madera South High School. Glen McCall accepted the award. Madera Rehab has been a partner with Madera South and Madera High Schools for more than 25 years.

They invite students to work at the facility and receive hands-on training to learn about the health care industry, which allows students to become certified nurse assistants. This entry-level nursing job gives students the ability to advance in the nursing field.

Pacific Ethanol was nominated by Kathy Woods, Madera County superintendent of schools. Jeff Unsinger accepted the award. Pacific Ethanol has been a partner with the Manufacturing Day program for the past four years.

They are a major contributor and a founding member of Manufacturing Day. Pacific Ethanol helps plan the event, hosts students at their site, and recently started an internship program. Pacific Ethanol also donates a T-shirt listing the event’s sponsors to all participating Manufacturing Day students.

According to Madera County Compact, both businesses exemplify its mission, “Working in partnership with education to prepare young people for the increasing demands of society and the workplace.”

In addition to the Crystal Tower Awards, the second annual Community Investment Award was presented to The Home Depot. They were nominated by Hilda Castrellon, principal at Furman High School.

The Home Depot supports the school through the Christmas Tree of Hope program where they donate Christmas trees, lights and tree stands to the neediest students and their families. The only way most of these families are able to get a Christmas tree is through this program.

“We are fortunate to have such supportive businesses in our community,” said Cecilia Massetti, Madera County superintendent of schools. “Their dedication to the students of Madera County makes a huge difference in our schools and the lives of these students.”

Special recognition was given to Pat Gordon who served on the Madera County Compact for seven years. With Gordon’s support, the Compact was able to develop the first of a series of videos exploring a variety of local occupations. He also shared insights about developing apprenticeship programs for members looking to grow their workforce.

Many high schools in Madera County contributed to the success of the luncheon.

Liberty High School’s choir students sang for the guests and Yosemite High School’s cadet corp presented the flags. Minarets High School students created table centerpieces. Pioneer Technical Center students acted as servers. Chowchilla Union High School students created artwork and one piece was featured on the event program.

A video featuring the Crystal Tower Award recipients was produced by the Madera South High School video production class and shown at the luncheon.

Sean Mahoney, from Deerpoint Group, Inc., shared his experience hosting students at the first Ag Camp this summer. Middle school students from Madera Unified School District attended a weeklong summer camp where they visited various agricultural businesses, participated in hands-on activities, and interacted with FFA high school students.

The luncheon was hosted by the Madera County Compact and was held at the office of Madera County Superintendent of Schools. It was sponsored by Educational Employees Credit Union, Madera County Superintendent of Schools, Big Brothers Big Sisters, and Camarena Health.

The Madera County Compact is a group of business, community and education leaders working collaboratively to support efforts to improve the quality of life in Madera County.

They promote business partnerships with schools to improve the achievement levels and skills of students and prepare young people for the increasing demands of college and career.

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