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2017 Benigna Education Award

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Cindy L. Stein ’79 

The Benigna Education Award recognizes an alumna or alumnus for outstanding contribution to the field of education. In recognition for her leadership in providing excellent support, knowledge, and guidance to the students of the Bethlehem Area School District, the Alumni Association is proud to present Cindy Stein with the 2017 Benigna Education Award.

Teaching and learning can always be described as a two-way street, no matter the age of the student or experience of the teacher. It’s a lesson Cindy Stein learned time and time again throughout her more than 30 years in elementary education.

Stein built a reputation at James Buchanan Elementary School in the Bethlehem Area School District as not only a caring and effective first grade teacher but also a nurturing mentor to the many aspiring teachers to whom she opened her classroom.

Even as a veteran educator, Stein was known for spending hours refining her curriculum to incorporate art, music, movement, drama, and everyday scenarios in order to reach every kind of student. Her goal was always to bring out each student’s strengths and build confidence so they became enthusiastic lifelong learners.

Just as she brought out the best in her young students, so too did she guide and support the studentteachers— many of whom were Moravian College students—as they sought her expertise in shaping young minds. And Stein was never above receiving her own mentorship as she continually strove for improvement.

Aside from the many students and parents who admired her teaching through the years, Stein was recognized beyond the classroom with awards, including the Bethlehem Educational Scholastic Trust (B.E.S.T.) Seymour and Sophie Haber Award in 2011; WLEV 100.7 Lehigh Valley Teacher of the Week Award in December 2011; and Buchanan’s Principal’s Award (Buchanan Apple Award), sponsored by Horace Mann, in 2009.

Today, she volunteers for the Scarborough School District and Congregation Bet Ha’am Religious School in Scarborough, Maine, where she resides with her husband, alumnus David Stein, DO, MPH ’78. She has two sons, Joshua and Alexander. Joshua lives in New York City, where he is a physician who is triple-boarded in child and adult psychiatry as well as pediatrics. He is married to Nancy Hansell, a senior strategist at the branding firm Siegel+Gale. Alexander lives in San Francisco and is employed by Facebook as a product manager.