Michele Cutner Award

The Community Impact Group works with the Chester Arthur Elementary School to present a yearly award to a student who exemplifies outstanding service to the school community, campus and neighborhood. This award was established by SOSNA in 1995 in honor of Michele Cutner, an Arthur School first grader who was tragically killed by a stray bullet on June 29, 1994 while walking home from school.

A certificate and monetary gift are awarded by SOSNA to a Chester Arthur student who exemplifies outstanding service to the school community, campus and neighborhood in the spirit of Michele Cutner. This student is devoted to his or her fellow classmates, mindful and respectful of teachers and administrators, and a steward for the well-being of the Arthur School building and its surroundings. All students are eligible for this award and it is not based solely on academic achievement. Students are nominated by teachers from each grade in the school and are interviewed by members of the Community Impact Group, the school's principal, and the nominating teacher. 


Louise Melchor and Marisa Waxman from SOSNA's Community Impact Committee presented the 2014 Michele Cutner Award to Toria Best, an exemplary second grader at Chester Arthur Elementary School. 

The following students were finalists in 2014:
Jaliyah Bembery
Toria Best (winner)
Rejonna Johnson
Evan Liu
Skye Shapiro-Simmons




Betty Seymour and Kevin Gray from SOSNA's Community Impact Group presented the 2012 Michele Cutner Award at the Chester Arthur Elementary School.





  The following students were finalists for 2012:

  • Saeed Minnis
  • Destiny Harris-Malette
  • Jada Davila
  • Hector Castillo
  • Saniyah Johnson
  • Melissa Mendez (WINNER)
  • Colin Pierce
  • Samantha Thompson
  • Khaayr Smith
  • Naadim Sims-Taylor

The 2012 award went to Melissa Mendez.  Her name is etched on the Cutner award plaque that hangs in the school's lobby.  Congrats to Melissa!