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The Friend of The Council Award was created in 1996 and is given annually in recognition of a person's contribution to the NYSCOSS and the field of education. 

2023 Friend of The Council

David A. Little, Esq., Executive Director
Rural Schools Association of New York State

Throughout his career, David has tried to connect the needs of his constituents with the work being done at NYSCOSS. Currently as Executive Director of the Rural Schools Association, he represents about 1/3 of our state’s learners and half of our school districts.

Both as Director of Governmental Relations at the New York State School Boards Association (NYSSBA) and now as Executive Director of the Rural Schools Association, Dave has been a both collegial partner and valued ally in The Council’s advocacy efforts. He has also gone above and beyond to ensure that the Rural Schools Association of New York and The Council are working together. Three years ago, he created a liaison position that serves on his Board of Directors and who provides reports to our House of Delegates. Recently, he started writing a regular column for our Councilgram newsletter to stay connected to education leaders. 

Dave received the Friend of The Council award at the 2023 Winter Institute during the Opening Keynote on Sunday, March 5, 2023. Special Thanks to partner Keenan and Associates for sponsoring this year's award.

Also pictured with Dave, NYSCOSS Executive Director Chuck Dedrick; Mark Jones, Special Project Administrator, Keenan and Associates; NYSCOSS President Martha K. Group, Superintendent, VVS School District; and Distinguished Service Chair Hank Grishman, Superintendent, Jericho.

2024 Nominations Process

Nominations are provided by members or Council staff and are due in January for the selection process. A selected individual must be:

  • Actively involved in education and supportive of The Council's mission. Superintendents and Assistant Superintendent members of NYSCOSS are not eligible for this award.
  • Recognized by educational leaders as a person who contributes time to improving public education. 

If you are interested in nominating an individual for the 2024 award, send your nomination to Deidre Hungerford by January 12, 2024 at 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 this complete list of Friend of The Council 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!