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The Appreciation Award is given in recognition of an active members' efforts on behalf of  the New York State Council of School Superintendents and its initiatives. This year we honor two outstanding superintendents who have provided exceptional leadership, contributed important ideas, and given freely of their time while continuing to to actively serve NYSCOSS and LEAF, Inc. 

2024 Appreciation Award Recipients

Dr. Phyllis S. Harrington, Superintendent of Schools
Oceanside Union Free School District

We honored Dr. Harrington for her steadfast leadership and enormous positive impact throughout her career as a superintendent with one of the Appreciation Awards presented at the Winter Institute. 

Phyllis served on the Executive Committee leading to her presidency in 2021-2022. Her unwavering enthusiasm to supporting the field comes through with her work on the Leadership for Educational Achievement Foundation board of directors, in particular her commitment to serving as program director for the New Superintendents Institute. She has also been a collaborative partner and driving force for the Women’s Initiative and serves as a leadership coach. She has also participated on the Curriculum and Assessment Committee, Conference Committee, Snapshot Committee and the Commission for Diversity and Inclusivity.  She also serves as one of two superintendent representatives on the New York State Retirement System Board since 2010. 

Dr. Cosimo Tangorra, Superintendent of Schools
New Hartford Central School District

Dr. Tangorra has been a member of NYSCOSS for over 22 years and will be recognized with the second Appreciation award at the Winter Institute. 

He served on The Council’s Executive Committee and is currently chair of the Federal Legislative Committee. Dr. Tangorra has also been a frequent presenter for LEAF, Inc. programs including the Aspiring Superintendents workshops and the New Superintendents Institute.

He is also a member of The Council’s Commission for Diversity & Inclusivity and Wellness Committee. Cosimo has also served on AASA’s Executive Committee representing New York State at the national level for the past three years.

Congratulations to both Phyllis and Cosimo. We honored them during the Winter Institute Opening Keynote on Sunday, March 3, 2024. Thanks to partner Mosaic Associates Architects for sponsoring both awards this year.  Also pictured are Executive Director Chuck Dedrick; Distinguished Service Chair Hank Grishman; President Jason Andrews, Windsor; and Callie Gaspary, Partner at Mosaic Associates Architects, the award sponsor.

2025 Award Nomination Process

Individuals are nominated by a colleague in the field of education, by an active member of The Council, or a Council staff member.

Final selections are made by the Distinguished Service Committee and presented at our Winter Institute & Lobby Day each year. A selected individual:

  • Volunteers time on behalf of NYSCOSS (e.g., offers webinars and workshops, participates actively on a committee, etc.).
  • Has been active with several activities throughout their membership.
  • Is recognized in education as an leader (e.g., by colleagues, in his/her community, by NYSCOSS). 
  • Is nominated by a colleague or Council staff.

If you are interested in nominating an individual for the 2024 award, send your nomination to Deidre Hungerford by January 10, 2025. Candidates can be nominated with this nomination form  or with an emailed letter. 

The Distinguished Service Committee, composed of current Council presidents and past presidents who are active superintendents, screen all nominations for selection of one candidate. Review a complete list of Appreciation Award recipients here

For details or to nominate an individual contact:

Deidre G. Hungerford
Associate Director for Business Development

T:  518.694.4885
Twitter: @deehungerford28 #NYSCOSSWell

2024 Fall Leadership Summit

Public Education: The Pathway to Everywhere

Saratoga Hilton and Saratoga Springs City Center
Saratoga Springs, NY 

September 22-24, 2024

Attendee registration is now open.
See for Strategic Partner registration.