Rebecca Benghiat Receives Friend of AASA Award at National Conference on Education
San Antonio, Texas – February 17, 2023 – AASA, The School Superintendents Association, is pleased to announce that the 2023 recipients of the organization’s Friend of AASA Award are Rebecca Benghiat, president and chief operating officer of the Jed Foundation (JED), and Christopher Borreca, founding partner, Thompson & Horton LLP. A ceremony to recognize these individuals was held today during AASA’s National Conference on Education.
This award is given by AASA’s executive director to a non-educator, school district-based person or group/organization that has consistently supported the mission of AASA and has given his or her time and effort to help the association accomplish its goals to advocate on behalf of public education and assist with the professional development of its members.
“Partnering support from outside the K-12 space is not a nice-to-have, but a must-have in today’s public education landscape,” said Daniel A. Domenech, executive director, AASA. “I am pleased to congratulate Rebecca Benghiat and Christopher Borreca who have spent their respective careers working on behalf of the safety, health and welfare of our students. It is only fitting to honor these two leaders of excellence at our national conference.”
“It’s a privilege to work alongside education leaders committed to making a profound difference in the lives of young people, and I’m honored to receive an award that shines a light on the collaboration and service required to ensure the best possible futures for our nation’s youth,” said Rebecca Benghiat, president and chief operating officer, JED. “Together, we can transform how we protect student mental health and prevent suicide.”
“AASA has been an integral part of my work and a large part of the joy I’ve experienced practicing law now for quite some time,” said Borreca. “AASA has had a tremendous influence for the positive, on the students we all serve and the lives of my clients. It’s been an honor to have been of any small help to the leaders within AASA on my journey as an attorney and an honor to be considered as AASA’s friend.”
JED is a national nonprofit organization dedicated to preventing suicide and protecting the emotional health of our nation’s youth and young adults. As part of her role, Benghiat leads JED’s work in schools, colleges and universities — representing millions of students — that puts systems, programs and policies in place to create a culture of caring that protects student mental health, builds life skills, and makes it more likely that struggling students will seek help and be recognized, connected to care and supported. Before JED, Benghiat served as the chief operating and advancement officer at The Quad Preparatory School, a nationally recognized K-12 school in New York City that integrates an academically rigorous curriculum with evidence-based social-emotional learning, specifically designed to support gifted children with learning differences. She has also spearheaded the launch of several multimillion-dollar philanthropic organizations, including the Child Mind Institute, the Seleni Institute and the New Space for Women’s Health.
Borreca has practiced law since 1991. He works tirelessly for his school clients in special education and general school law matters. His wealth of experience as a former teacher and school administrator and his tremendous passion has resulted in significant outcomes for his clients for nearly 30 years, in the courtroom as well as the state and federal legislatures. Borreca represents school districts primarily in special education law matters. He has extensive experience advising school districts and public charter schools in offering proactive problem-solving solutions to special education disputes. When litigation becomes necessary, he has steadfastly represented school districts, from the administrative hearing level to the United States Supreme Court.
Regarded as the most comprehensive professional learning and networking event for school superintendents and administrators, AASA’s National Conference on Education addresses the most critical issues affecting public education today, including leading through the COVID-19 pandemic, health and wellness, equity in education, social and emotional learning, personalizing education, technology and school safety.
For more information about the conference, access AASA’s Conference Daily Online.
About The Jed Foundation (JED)
JED is a nonprofit that protects emotional health and prevents suicide for our nation’s teens and young adults. We’re partnering with high schools and colleges to strengthen their mental health, substance misuse, and suicide prevention programs and systems. We’re equipping teens and young adults with the skills and knowledge to help themselves and each other. We’re encouraging community awareness, understanding, and action for young adult mental health.
Director, Public Relations, The Jed Foundation