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2020 Jesse Ketchum Awards

2020 Jesse Ketchum Awards Go to 36 Students 

One-hundred and forty-nine year tradition lives on in recognition of high student achievement in the 8th grade 



In recognition of the academic excellence of 8th grade students, the Jesse Ketchum awards have been presented for the past 148 years.   Dr. Fatima Morrell, Associate Superintendent of Culturally & Linguistically Responsive Initiatives and President of the Jesse Ketchum Memorial Fund Board will preside over this year’s ceremony which will take place on October 20, 2020, at 6:30pm, on the virtual Zoom platform.  


Jesse Ketchum was a prominent businessman and promoter of education.  Among his benevolent acts, was the donation of land on which the first teachers’ training school was built.  The International Preparatory School at Grover Cleveland High School now occupies that site. 


This is the first time in the history of the Jesse Ketchum Awards that the ceremony will be held virtually. Nevertheless, it will be a momentous occasion which includes Burgard High School students who will perform the 1851 Jesse Ketchum tribute song entitled “Friendships Offering”. The song was written by Horatio Gates, the principal of PS #12, who started his teaching career in Buffalo in 1842. The song was first performed by teachers and administrators to honor Jesse Ketchum on June 21, 1851, at the Westminster Presbyterian Church on Delaware Avenue. The Keynote Speaker for the ceremony is 1965 Jesse Ketchum medalist, Mrs. Deborah Anne Dawson.


Jesse Ketchum medals are given to students who, according to Ketchum Fund guidelines “make the most of his or her school career, to do the absolute best in daily lessons in order to succeed.”  The awards in each school are based upon the highest grades in the 8th grade year in English Language Arts, Social Studies, Mathematics and Science.  


The Zoom meeting ID is 839 8712 0279 and the Password is Ketchum