Danville Express

Living - July 13, 2007

Of note

John Muir Foundation honors two from Danville

A current and a former Danville resident have received the John Muir Foundation's highest honor - the Award of Distinction. The award is given to individuals whose remarkable leadership and/or philanthropic support of John Muir Health deserve community recognition.

The two winners are Howard Taekman, M.D, who was instrumental in establishing the region's first trauma center. He became the Medical Director of Trauma Services at John Muir Medical Center-Walnut Creek and served as its chief of staff from 2002-04. He lived in Danville until 2000 and now lives with his wife at La Selva Beach.

The other winner was Helene Schwartz, whose vision helped establish the John Muir Foundation and whose philanthropic leadership and support spans decades at John Muir Health. She served as president of the Auxiliary from 1972-73, was on the board of trustees and the executive committee from 1972-79 and headed or served on numerous committees. She assisted in creating the Docent Program, which later became a model for such programs nationwide. She served as a director on the board from 1980 to 1988.

Foundation honors five Danville teachers

Five Danville teachers were among 100 honored by the Prudential California Realty Education Foundation, which awarded $50,000 in grants. Families, peers, community leaders and Prudential California agents honored the teachers at an event in May.

The Danville teachers are Richard Ault from San Ramon Valley High; Paul Cosca, Monte Vista High; and Judy Kerns, Steve Knapp and Brooke Vermeer from Charlotte Wood Middle School.

"The grantees are teachers who made an exceptional contribution to their students during the past year," said David Cobo, chairman of the board and a former educator who started the foundation. "This is our opportunity to acknowledge their effort with grants that will help them continue their good work."

Cooper Johnson recognized for SAT score

Cooper Johnson, a student at Charlotte Wood Middle School, was honored at a nationwide awards ceremony for gifted children held by the Johns Hopkins University Center for Talented Youth (CTY) for scoring in the top range nationally in the 12-year-old age group. Cooper was also recognized June 2 at Cal State University East Bay as one of the top scorers in the state of California. His performance in the math section was especially strong as his score was above 700 of a possible 800, which won him special recognition in the June 2 awards ceremony where he was presented with two awards and a partial scholarship to Cal State University East Bay.

Cooper was awarded a medal for academic achievement on a national level by Johns Hopkins University Center for Talented Youth in a ceremony held on the university campus in Baltimore on June 11.

The awards are based on an exceptional performance on a rigorous, above-grade-level test given to second through eighth grade Talent Search participants.

Sustainable landscape recognized

Sustainable Land Development Today presented Alamo Creek, a new residential community in Danville by Shapell Homes, with its "Visionary Project Award." The 600-acre community was honored for its progressive sustainable landscape architecture designed to conserve water normally used for lawns, boulevards and parks. Alamo Creek is near Blackhawk and Danville and opened for home sale in October 2006.

The honor was presented at an awards ceremony in New Orleans last month to recognize the creativity, vision and implementation of best practices in land development in the United States. The award selection was based not only on the planning and design of projects, but on the complete development process as it applies to sustainability and conservation of natural resources.

Alamo Creek's landscape plan features an innovative water conservation pact with the East Bay Municipal Utility District. To gain entitlement for the new community, Shapell was required by EBMUD to significantly reduce water usage from levels that would normally be required by a community of Alamo Creek's size, composition and density.

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