Lockport Union-Sun & Journal Online

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September 25, 2013

Empowered

Lockport Union-Sun & Journal — For Joanne Basta, Tuesday night served as a gratifying moment in her 27-year teaching career.

As the recipient of the YWCA of Niagara 2013 Education Award, Basta was recognized for her time spent both as a teacher at Edward Town Middle School in the Niagara-Wheatfield School District and as an adjunct professor at Niagara University.

Though she recognized her own tireless dedication working with 5,000 students over her career, she remains humble and willing to continue to make her mark on the students who walk through her doors every class day.

“It keeps you young,” Basta said. “(This award) is a great culmination to my career. To know the community supports education the way it does is wonderful. It really is a way up, a way out of poverty. It really is an honor. There’s so many dedicated teachers out there.”

Basta, a Youngstown resident, said she particularly enjoys working with middle-school age youths, noting that even those awkward moments when she runs into a former student at the supermarket makes her happy.

She said teaching allows her to help mold the positive people that the students become when they’re older. It’s a task she enjoys because the students seem to look forward to learning when they’re with her.

Basta was one of seven recipients of the YWCA of Niagara’s annual awards Tuesday, during a ceremony emceed by WKBW anchorwoman Joanna Pasceri at the Conference Center Niagara Falls.

The organization, which promotes furthering the lives of all women through outreach efforts and educational opportunities, received 24 nominations for the seven awards this year. Winners were announced after all 24 nominees were called to stand, their biographies summarized and their contributions to community recognized. In addition to Basta, the 2013 winners are:

• Entrepreneur award, Ellen Martin, owner-operator of several small businesses and the driver of two ongoing arts-oriented events, the Sweet Harmony piano display and a chalk festival, in downtown Lockport this year.

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