American College of Education Student Honored as Hero by American Red Cross

Mar 29 2011

The American Red Cross of Greater Chicago will honor Daniel Coyne with the Adult Good Samaritan Award at its 2011 Heroes Breakfast Award winners on Thursday, April 14, at the Fairmont Hotel in Chicago, IL. In March 2010, Coyne, then 52, donated a kidney to Myra de la Vega, his favorite cashier at a local supermarket. Coyne is completing his masters of education in Educational Leadership at American College of Education.

For more than a decade, Coyne went through de la Vega's checkout line, drawn by her cheerful and kind demeanor. Upon learning that she was experiencing renal failure, Coyne felt a call to help, found out he was a match and with the support of his wife and two children, he became her organ donor.

"We hold family meetings every Sunday, complete with ice cream," Coyne said. "My children were on board from the first. My wife, who is a nurse, agreed also. Why else are we here if not to make the world a better place?"

A patient who receives a kidney from a living donor has the benefit of a much longer life expectancy than a patient who receives one from a cadaver, Coyne said he found from his research.

Coyne is a social worker at Ray Elementary School in Chicago, a magnet school for pre-K through grade 6, and works daily with children in special education programs. He is part of a team consisting of school nurses, psychologists, occupational therapists and special education teachers who assess and meet the needs of the students.

American College of Education is an integral part of Coyne's life and sense of service. He was inspired to attend American College of Education based on the collaborative arrangement between the college and Chicago Public Schools. "A.C.E. bent over backwards, in my opinion, to facilitate graduate studies for teachers who wanted to receive a master's in education," Coyne said. " Coyne said, "Every course helped me use the team approach to every problem. A.C.E. taught me how to bridge the connection between the school and the community stakeholders."

For example, a church near Coyne's school wanted to help. After surveying the teachers, Coyne wrote a proposal based on their responses. "American College of Education taught me to survey people to find out what they want," he said. The result was a $350,000 check for much-needed laptops and Internet service. "We have to let people know our needs," Coyne said. "We have to tell our story."

About American College of Education

American College of Education is solely dedicated to providing educators the most affordable, high-quality online master's degree programs in education. The College's vision is to dramatically improve student performance by enhancing the instructional effectiveness of teachers through transformative technology and innovative online learning. American College of Education is based in Chicago, Illinois. It currently serves online students nationally and internationally. American College of Education is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission and is a member of the North Central Association (NCA). For more information about American College of Education, visit

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