The school’s communications specialist Liana Measmer, who sent the release to The Eagle-Tribune, declined to say where the incorrect information came from.
“I can’t answer that question,” said Measmer. “The lawyer told me I can’t comment right now.”
The newspaper was initially contacted about the fake release by Dori Wolfson, New England program director for NFTE, who said Riccio did not receive the award and wanted to know where the information came from.
When questioned Friday about the situation, Wolfson declined comment. She did forward a new press release naming the real “Educator of the Year” but did not directly mention the false information. She still praised Riccio.
The last paragrapgh of the Wolfson’s press release said, “In addition, Heidi Riccio, Director of Career and Technology Education at Greater Lawrence Technical School (GLTS) in Andover, MA attended the gala as a guest in her role as a NFTE New England school administrator in strong support of the NFTE programs that have run successfully at her school for over six years.”
The real recipient of the award, Chelsea High School teacher Catherine Doherty, said yesterday that Riccio was a guest speaker at the gala. Doherty said she had no knowledge of the controversial press release falsely giving Riccio her award.
“I was totally unaware of the mix-up,” said Doherty.