Press Release

High School Graduate from Binghamton, N.Y., Wins Robert G. Porter Scholarship

For Release: 

Sunday, July 11, 2010


AFT Media Affairs

SEATTLE—Sharon Hartzell, a 2010 graduate of Chenango Forks High School in Binghamton, N.Y., is one of four highly accomplished high school graduates to receive a Robert G. Porter Scholarship Sunday at the American Federation of Teachers national convention.

Each year, the AFT presents an $8,000 scholarship to each of four outstanding high school seniors who are the children of AFT members. Recipients must show outstanding service to their community and plan to pursue a career in labor, education, health or government service.

In addition to excelling academically, Hartzell has been extremely active outside the classroom. She was a four-year member of her school’s Science Olympiad team, winning five gold medals in regional competition. As a member of theatre club, she was in the cast or crew for six shows. During her senior year, she participated in a research project with NASA’s Lunar and Planetary Institute, trying to determine the ages of lunar maria, the moon’s dark spots. She started her school’s student newspaper as a freshman. Outside of school, she volunteered at Binghamton General Hospital.

The Robert G. Porter Scholars Program is named in honor of the late AFT secretary-treasurer, who served for more than 30 years. Porter was known for his commitment to improving the quality of public education and public service.

Hartzell will be attending the College of William and Mary in Williamsburg, Va., where she plans to study biochemistry in preparation for a career in healthcare. Her father, Daryl Hartzell, is a member of the Binghamton Teachers Association.

The AFT is holding its biennial convention July 7-11 in Seattle. Coming together under the theme “Building Futures Together,” more than 3,000 delegates will vote on major union policies that address the need to save and strengthen public education, build common cause with communities, and improve the institutions in which our members work.

# # # #

The AFT represents 1.7 million pre-K through 12th-grade teachers; paraprofessionals and other school-related personnel; higher education faculty and professional staff; federal, state and local government employees; nurses and healthcare workers; and early childhood educators.