ATLANTIC CITY, N.J. — A Coast Guard Air Station Atlantic City helicopter pilot was named October 10 the Coast Guard Partnership In Education Program Coordinator of the Year.
Lt. Andrew Zuckerman, 30, a native of Branchville, was recognized for his efforts as the air station’s PIE Program coordinator, a position he assumed in 2011.
A PIE Program volunteer since 2009, Zuckerman became assistant PIE Program coordinator in 2010, and since becoming the PIE Program coordinator in 2011, he has tripled the number of PIE Program volunteers, resulting in more than 200 hours of teaching and mentoring.
“I’m excited about this recognition,” said Zuckerman. “I’m happy that the program’s doing really well. The program started out small and we’ve grown it, and I hope to expand it further. This award is an indication that we’re doing things right.”
Authorized under the National and Community Service Act of 1990, the Coast Guard PIE Program encourages members of the Coast Guard to create partnerships within their local schools and communities to promote excellence in education.
Along with his contributions to Atlantic City’s Dr. Martin Luther King Junior School Complex as the PIE Program coordinator, Zuckerman also maintained his proficiency as a pilot and military officer. He completed three pilot upgrade syllabi and administered a ground safety program responsible for the safety of the 300 personnel on base.
“I appreciate that our command gives us the time to go over to schools to do this, said Zuckerman. “We’re operationally pressed and the fact that they give us the leeway to be able to work this program is really helpful to us as well as the kids.”
Capt. Nicholas Bartolotta, Air Station Atlantic City’s commanding officer, expressed his satisfaction with Zuckerman’s success as the PIE program coordinator.
“It is extremely hard to harness such a large air station whose responsibilities stretch from Long Island to the Chesapeake Bay,” said Bartolotta. “But Lt. Zuckerman as our PIE coordinator is able to increase voluntary support every year and have some of the amazing air station personnel dedicate personal time to assist local schools and help mold and mentor tomorrow’s future leaders."
Jodi Burroughs, principal of Dr. Martin Luther King Junior School Complex, summarizes her teachers’ sentiments: “I appreciate what all of you do. You pour such goodness into the children, and for that I am grateful.”