Moral courage reaps awards

Marianna Coles Curtis

Three people who take a stand for what is right despite popular opinion will be awarded by NAU’s Martin Springer Institute.

Marianna Coles Curtis, a Flagstaff High School student and Kevin Kapp, Prescott Unified School District superintendent, will receive Moral Courage Awards. Sarah Little, a teacher at Mingus Union High School, will receive a Doris Martin Holocaust Educator Award.

The annual award ceremony, at 2:30 p.m. Friday, March 6, in the Riles building, honors Arizona students, teachers or faculty members for their moral courage to turn their vision into action and do what is right. Ellen Spiro, an internationally renowned documentary filmmaker, will present the awards and be the keynote speaker. The event is free and open to the public.

Kevin Kapp
Kevin Kapp

Coles Curtis is being honored for her organizational efforts for the Gay Straight Alliance and providing training sessions on strategies to prevent bullying.

“Marianna brought her remarkable leadership skills to Flagstaff High School and immediately grew the Flagstaff Gay Straight Alliance numbers from five to 25,” wrote nominator Gail Mills, a Flagstaff High School counselor.

Kapp’s recognition is for his leadership and support in opening the Northpoint Expeditionary Learning Academy, a Prescott high school promoting alternative college-prep learning methods.

Sarah Little
Sarah Little

“Mr. Kapp saw the vision and worked in the face of discouragement to see through the opening and success of Northpoint Expeditionary Learning Academy,” wrote academy director Geneva Saint-Amour in her nomination letter. “He demonstrated the moral courage necessary to stand behind the ideas of our academy.”

Little’s educator award is honoring her partnerships to provide long-distance learning opportunities to Native American tribes in Clarkdale, Ariz.

For information, contact program coordinator Melissa Cohen at (928) 523-2464 or e-mail

Ellen Spiro also to speak about filmmaking

Documentary filmmaker Ellen Spiro also will discuss her work during the annual Cline Community Lecture in the Humanities at 7 p.m. Thursday, March 5, in Cline Library Assembly Hall. Her recent film, Body of War, co-directed with Phil Donahue and named Best Documentary of 2007 by the National Review Board, will be shown at 5 p.m. March 4 in Cline Library Assembly Hall. The event is free and open to the public.

Ellen Spiro