The Education Alliance's 2012 Annual Dinner Celebration of
Lewis D'Antoni and his family
When: Wednesday, Nov. 14. Reception begins at 5:30 p.m. Dinner follows at 6:30 p.m.
Where: Charleston Marriott Town Center
Sponsorship and ticket information is available online at educationalliance.org. Proceeds support The Education Alliance's efforts to ensure all West Virginia public school students graduate ready to pursue education or a career after high school.
CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- "We make a living by what we get; we make a life by what we give." -- Winston Churchill
The Education Alliance works with students, educators and community members to keep students in school and on track to graduate from high school. Whether the topic of discussion is students' attendance, behavior or academic performance, a common need inevitably surfaces -- our students need a positive adult in their lives.
The presence of a positive adult in a student's life fills the gap between the student's limited vision of what they can do and become and the adult's knowledge that hope springs eternal, talent is unstoppable, tenacity has rewards and that dreams can become reality, despite daunting obstacles. Without the influence and support of a positive adult as role model and mentor, many students make choices that negatively impact their lives and futures. And all too often the consequences of those poor choices last a lifetime.
Because of The Education Alliance's mission to help all students complete high school prepared to meet life's challenges, we are honored to recognize someone who has been that positive adult in countless students' lives. He has made giving his life's work -- giving to his family, giving to his community, giving to his state and giving to numerous students through his many years of service as a coach and educator.
On Nov. 14, The Education Alliance will honor the "coach's coach" Lewis Joseph D'Antoni during its annual dinner.
In 1910, Lewis D' Antoni's father, Andrea, came from Italy to McComas, W.Va., at 20 years of age. Andrea made a solemn vow that the family name, D'Antoni, would always carry honor in America. And so it has.
Lewis D'Antoni, now 99 years young, was a standout athlete at Mullens High School in Wyoming County. While attending Concord College, he was a four-year letterman, team captain and an all-conference football and basketball player.
As a coach and educator in Mullens, he helped countless young people develop their innate greatness-so much so that he became one of West Virginia's greatest high school basketball coaches with more than 450 victories, including a state championship, while coaching at Mullens.
Lewis' legacy did not end with the students at school. Coach Lewis also passed his legacy of hard work and service down to his own four children, bringing further honor to the D'Antoni name. Together with his late wife, Betty Jo, they parented four accomplished children -- one daughter and three sons.
Kathy D'Antoni is the author of two books and an assistant state superintendent of schools in West Virginia; Dan D'Antoni is a former standout high school coach and assistant coach in the NBA; Mike D'Antoni is a former standout player in the NBA and ABA, NBA head coach and was an assistant coach for the 2012 U.S. Summer Olympics gold medal basketball team; Mark, the youngest son, was an Academic All-America basketball player and is a partner in a Charleston law firm.
Lewis D'Antoni's life and living legacies affirm that West Virginians truly have their "man for all seasons." The D'Antoni name maintains a place of the highest honor in West Virginia and in America. The legacy of giving has been passed down, and it is now our honor to bestow honor upon this living legend.
Kusimo is president and chief executive officer of The Education Alliance, West Virginia's premier statewide, nonprofit research and K-12 public education fund.