During the ceremony many paid tribute to the legacy of Sizemore. Proclamations were presented by Pennsylvania State Representative Ed Gainey, Allegheny County Executive Rich Fitzgerald and Pittsburgh Mayor Luke Ravenstahl, who also proclaimed Jan. 10, 2013 Barbara Sizemore day in the city; there were choral selections from the 7th and 8th grade students of the Creative and Performing Arts School, led by Gerald Savage; a host of remarks by friends; and a special video tribute that featured pictures and a clip of a public speech made by Sizemore.
Regina Holly, a member of the Pittsburgh Public School Board, also spoke about Sizemore’s legacy and said, “Our advocacy needs to be rebuilt from the work Barbara tried to do in the school district many years ago.” She said with the various closings of neighborhood schools that Sizemore worked with, “It is important for us to notice that the work Barbara had done in Pittsburgh is now gone and it is up to us, as a community to bring that advocacy back. Even though the schools are gone, it is up to us to make sure her spirit is still very visible within our school district.”
After the many heartfelt remarks, Sizemore’s family was presented with a special glass award recognizing her as the 2013 Spirit of King honoree. Marimba Milliones, who accepted the award on behalf of her family, shared fond memories and spoke about Sizemore and who she was and what she stood for.
“Her intention was to improve the institution or to improve the individual for the benefit of the community and the children. That was the ultimate goal. That was always the most important thing,” she said.
Milliones said she would like to see Sizemore’s legacy continued through the carrying on of the principles that her mother lived and died for, which she says were: quality education, fearless leadership, social and economic justice, and educational justice for our children and communities.
“And I think just doing your very best to always carry out those principles. It’s not about everybody’s individual personality, everybody’s individual agenda, but (about) what is the desired outcome. And understanding that there may be struggle to get to that end goal,” said Milliones.
Along with the presentation of the award, a nameplate containing Sizemore’s name will be added to a plaque that holds all the honorees’ names.