FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Thursday, May 16, 2013
Press Contacts:
GALE GERINGER (307) 634-8195


Cotant Named Thomas Foundation Leadership Award Winner


Torrington – Rick Cotant of Torrington was named yesterday as the winner of the sixth annual Leadership Award from the Craig and Susan Thomas Foundation. The Leadership Award recognizes and honors an adult who champions the needs of young people in Wyoming.

Susan Thomas, Foundation Director, said, " Goshen County and, in fact, Wyoming are most fortunate to have Rick Cotant, Vice Principal of Torrington Middle School, in their midst. This man lives the ideal of giving to students who are at risk. His Backpack program fills stomachs, fills minds and fills the hearts of students and families who would otherwise go without. Mr. Cotant embodies the best of the best!"

The Craig and Susan Thomas Foundation Leadership award was presented to Cotant during an assembly at the Torrington Middle School. In addition to the honor, the award comes with a $2,500 check to be used as the winner chooses.

"Educators, administrators, mentors and counselors deserve recognition for the work they do with our Wyoming learners, especially those who are at-risk. I want them to know that we value their time, efforts and dedication," Susan Thomas said.

Cotant was nominated by Cathy Marsh, also of Torrington, who says, "Rick Cotant has been a tireless champion for the underserved youth in Torrington for 26 years. His impact reaches far beyond his job description…Beating the odds himself, Rick recognizes the challenges facing at-risk students and the importance of helping them with problems in their lives."

Marv Haiman, Principal of Torrington Middle School also endorsed Cotant, saying "Rick Cotant initiated a weekend backpack program for students who qualify for free and reduced lunches under the Federal guidelines. Each Wednesday, Rick and community volunteers pack foodstuffs into backpacks to feed hungry families each weekend."

The Craig and Susan Thomas Foundation focuses on students who are at-risk. This award is one of the key elements to the Foundation. The others are a statewide mentorship program that includes scholarships; and grants to groups that support our goals. Later this month, the Foundation will select fourteen students to receive college scholarships and to enter the mentorship program.

The Foundation is named in part for the late United States Senator Craig Thomas who championed the cause of Wyoming's youth.

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