Maria Dean is the 2020 Mark Burlingame Dutchmen Spirit Award winner.
The prestigious Burlingame award, co-presented by Troy Miller and Christopher McCabe of CM Fox Real Estate, is named for former Lettermen board member and Guilderland High School three-sport star athlete Mark Burlingame.
The award recognizes a student-athlete who’s demonstrated the highest qualities of Dutchmen spirit and sportsmanship.
Maria played both tennis and softball during her Dutchmen career, and was also heavily involved Guilderland’s unified bowling and basketball teams. She joined the Best Buddies program in 6th grade and participated in it throughout high school. She is a leader in Students for Inclusion Club (aka Youth Activation Committee), which works to create opportunities for social inclusion within the Guilderland Schools.
The award is named in honor and memory of one of Guilderland’s all time greatest athletes. “Burls” excelled in soccer, track, basketball and especially baseball, where he played professionally in the Yankees organization. But it was through his kindness, character, positive spirit and loving nature that he touched all who knew him. The award in his name annually goes to a student-athlete who has demonstrated the highest qualities of true Dutch spirit and sportsmanship; a person who gives unselfishly of time and talents for the benefit of others. The award is chosen by the high school coaching staff.
In Maria’s nomination letter, one of her coaches said “She has undoubtedly enhanced the GHS experience for so many of her teammates. Maria lives the values of this award and is so deserving of this recognition.”
She will attend Bentley College in the fall.