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HFCC honors state rep and basketball coach at commencement

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State Representative Gino Polidori and Henry Ford Community College men’s basketball coach Abe Mashaur were honored with special awards at HFCC’s afternoon commencement last Saturday. State Representative Gino Polidori of Dearborn received the 2009 Distinguished Service Award and coach Abe Mashhour of Dearborn received the 2009 Distinguished Alumni award.

HFCC held two commencement ceremonies at the Ford Community and Performing Arts Center in Dearborn. The morning ceremony was for graduates of HFCC’s associate degree registered nursing program. The afternoon ceremony was for all other associate degree recipients. HFCC graduates approximately 1,200 students each year.

Instituted in 1978, the Distinguished Service Award honors those who have significantly contributed to education and particularly, HFCC. Polidori was selected for this honor because of his positive role in the community and his commitment to higher education.

Born in Dearborn, Polidori attended Fordson High School and received his bachelor’s degree from Wayne State University. He has served two terms in the Michigan legislature, first elected in 2004, and represents House District 15, which includes the city of Dearborn. He currently serves on several committees, including the Education Committee.

Polidori was appointed fire chief of the Dearborn Fire Department at 34, the youngest chief in the city’s history, and served from 1974 to 1996. He also was president of the Michigan State Fire Chiefs Association from 1987 to 1988. Polidori is very active in the community as well, where he is a past president of the Dearborn Goodfellows, the Dearborn Pioneers Club, the American Legion Post 364 and others.

Mashhour, the recipient of the 2009 Distinguished Alumni Award, attended HFCC from 1990 to 1993 and graduated with an associate degree. He is the youngest of nine children, six of whom graduated from HFCC. Mashhour also was a member of the HFCC basketball team in the 1992-1993 season and has been the head coach for the past 10 years.

During the 2008-2009 season, Mashhour led the HFCC men’s basketball team to its first NJCAA Division II National Tournament in the team’s 51-year history. Mashhour also was named the 2009 Michigan Community College Association (MCCAA) Coach of the Year.

Mashhour graduated from Fordson High School and after graduating from HFCC, he attended Wayne State University, where he obtained a bachelor’s degree in education with a double major of social studies and science in 1999. He also obtained a master’s degree in administrative leadership from WSU in 2005.

The same year he began coaching HFCC basketball, he began working at Stout Middle School in Dearborn as an eighth-grade science teacher. He was later named interim principal of the school and received the permanent position until October 2008, where he was promoted to assistant principal of Dearborn High School.

Mashhour has been nominated for many awards during his education career. He has been nominated for the National Teacher of the Year award from 2003-2005 along with his MCCAA Coach of the Year award.

For more information about HFCC, visit

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