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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. 

2023 Appreciation Award Recipients

Dr. Lorna R. Lewis, Superintendent of Schools
Malverne Union Free School District

We honored Dr. Lewis for her exemplary leadership and enormous positive impact across New York State. She is not one to shy away from tough challenges and leads by example. She is tireless in her efforts to support NYSCOSS as well as providing support for new and emerging leaders.

She has served with distinction as co-chair of the Curriculum and Instruction Committee and her name is synonymous with The Council’s Commission on Diversity and Inclusivity. Dr. Lewis also served as the 2018-2019 NYSCOSS president.

She was recently named as a member of the Graduation Measures Blue Ribbon Commission by Commissioner Betty A. Rosa; one of only 64 individuals who will help determine what a “state diploma should signify.” Lorna was selected by our Distinguished Service Committee for her continued commitment to NYSCOSS for over 10 years including continuing participation on the Commissioner’s Advisory Council, the Past Presidents’ committee and co-chairing the Curriculum and Instruction Committee. 

Also pictured:  NYSCOSS Executive Director Chuck Dedrick, Callie L. Gaspary, AIA, ALEP, Principal at Mosaic Associates Architects the award sponsor; NYSCOSS President Martha Group, Superintendent, VVS School District; and Distinguished Service Chair Hank Grishman, Superintendent, Jericho. 

Henry "Hank" L. Grishman, Superintendent of Schools
Jericho Union Free School District

Hank has been an active member of The Council for over four decades. He served as NYSCOSS president from 2007-2008.

During his time as an officer and on the executive committee, Hank implemented a wide array of initiatives including the introduction of legal services for all members, the expansion of professional development opportunities, and the implementation of a successful strategic partnership program. He also chaired our 125th Anniversary year-long celebration during his presidential year.

Established in 2006, Hank was the founding president of The Leadership for Educational Achievement Foundation, Inc. (LEAF, Inc.) The Council’s foundation. Hank also has represented our state at the national level as a Governing Board Member of AASA. He continues to serve as a member of various committees including the newly established Past Presidents’ committee. 

Also pictured:  NYSCOSS Executive Director Chuck Dedrick, Callie L. Gaspary, AIA, ALEP, Principal at Mosaic Associates Architects the award sponsor; and NYSCOSS President Martha Group, Superintendent, VVS School District.

Congratulations to both Lorna and Hank. We honored them during the Winter Institute Opening Keynote on Sunday, March 5, 2023. Thanks to partner Mosaic Associates Architects for sponsoring both awards this year. 

2024 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 12, 2024. 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

Save the Date - 2024 Winter Institute

Cultivating a Culture of Excellence for All Students

Albany Capital Center
Albany, NY 

March 3-5, 2024

Registration for the 2024 Winter Institute opens December 1, 2023!