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Marilyn Dunkley Earns Parental Involvement Recognition Award

She's a mother of six and an active participant in nearly every community organization in the city's North End.


Marilyn Dunkley of Middletown, center, earned the Parental Involvement Recognition Award.

You'd think a woman with six children would be as busy as a bee. And she is, but that's because she's one of the most active parent in Middletown's North End community.

Marilyn Dunkley of Middletown was honored Wednesday at the State Capitol for receiving the 2013 Parental Involvement Recognition Award presented by the State Education Resource Center, CT Parent Information and Resource Center and the Connecticut Commission on Children.

The mother of two children who attend Macdonough Elementary School, Dunkley also just began working as a chef at the Middletown YMCA preschool program after earning her certification from the Lincoln Culinary Institute. This 2001 graduate of Middletown High School is also a parent member of the newly formed Macdonough School Governance Council and past president of the PTA, former Summer Lunch 4 Kids coordinator and much, much more.

Macdonough Principal Jon Romeo said Dunkley easily earned the most votes among parent candidates for the school's governance council.

Parents who received the Parental Involvement Recognition Award are nominated for active involvement in the their children's school or community; support of their local school and contributions to high-quality education for all children; evidence of their ability to make a difference in their local school or community; and dedication and advocacy to ensure equity for all parents and their children.

Romeo wrote a glowing letter nominating Dunkley for the Parental Involvement Recognition Award.

"Take a moment to imagine the ideal involved parent," he said. "A parent you would be proud to have in your school community. A parent you would want to work with. A parent you would want to advocate for the children in your neighborhood. What are the qualities and attributes of this involved parent?"

Romeo describes Dunkley as kind, caring, an exemplary parent, someone who consistently enrolls in parent education courses and attends meetings, a constant volunteer, community activist and leader.

"She is a wonderful representative of Macdonough School, the Middletown community, and involved parents everywhere," Romeo said.

Other Middletown parents who received awards are: Brian Kaskel, who ran for the city's education board; Paula Mazo and Emily Maxfield.

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