Advocacy

The Council helps school superintendents and its other members succeed on behalf of the children and communities they serve. Learn more about efforts by our Advocacy staff

Why Join?

  • Make lasting connections.
  • Access to tools and resources.
  • High quality professional development.

Members Matter

  • Be part of a community.
  • Get involved with committees.
  • Positively impact the lives of children.

About this section. . .

Explore the many ways The Council and  LEAF, Inc. can help you advance your career.

State & Federal

Find all your advocacy contacts and news below.

About This Section

Find the latest Advocacy-related news, contacts, and resources for both State and Federal. 



Latest Council News


Advocacy Contact Links

State Legislative Committee

Your Advocacy Team

 

Robert Lowry, Jr.
Deputy Director, NYSCOSS
BobLowry@nyscoss.org
Greg Berck, Esq.
Assistant Director, NYSCOSS
Greg@nyscoss.org

Do You Know Who Represents Your School District?

Advocate for your school district and community. Find your senator and representative here.

Advocate Today

Advocacy

How to Join or Renew Council Membership

Explore the benefits of membership by joining the New York State Council of School Superintendents. To learn more about the benefits and services available, please review our membership brochures below or call 518.694.4877 or email Melanie Seiden melanie@nyscoss.org.

To join, simply select the appropriate membership category below! After joining, please remit payment (make checks payable to NYSCOSS) by September 1 or pay in two installments, one-half payment by September 1 and the remaining payment by February 1 to:

New York State Council of School Superintendents
7 Elk Street, 3rd Floor
Albany, NY 12207


Superintendent

Any chief school administrator of a New York State Public School District or Board of Cooperative Educational Services may become a Superintendent Level Member of the Council. This includes titles such as District Superintendent and Superintendent of Schools. 

Superintendent - Online Join

New York City

Any chief school administrator of a New York City Department of Education may become a New York City level member of the Council.

New York City - Online Join

Cabinet

Any deputy, associate or assistant chief school administrator or principal of a New York State Public School District or Board of Cooperative Educational Services may become a Cabinet Level Member of the Council.  

Cabinet - Online Join


Retired Life

Any chief school administrator of a New York State Public School District who has been a superintendent member of the Council for a minimum of five years immediately prior to retirement. To renew your annual publication or update your mailing preference, complete and return the RLM Publication form available here! 

Associate Member

Any superintendent who has retired from service and who has not been an active member of the Council for the five consecutive years leading up to retirement; any member of the administrative and supervisory staff of the New York State Education Department; any member of the instructional and/or administrative staff of a college, or department of educational administration; any member of the administrative staff of the New York State Teachers’ Retirement System, or The New York State School Boards’ Association. 

Associate Member - Online Join

Business Member

Business members are individuals who are active in a field that is allied to education and who wish to support the programs of The Council and the public education system of New York State. These business members may gain access to the Council on payment of prescribed dues of $750 per year. Business members do not have access to the Menu of Marketing Benefits or exhibiting opportunities. However, should a member wish to move to either the Premier or Signature level during the contract year, the amount paid into the business level will be applied to the higher level. Business members list of benefits include:

  1. Receipt of Council publications
  2. Receipt of one Membership Directory
  3. Access to label purchases
  4. Annual event registration at the member price
  5. Half page ad in the Membership Directory
  6. Participation in the Annual Golf Tournament with Council members at the Fall Leadership Summit

If you have any questions regarding the Business membership, please contact Deidre Hungerford, Associate Director of Business Development at deidre@nyscoss.org or 518.694-4885.

Business - Online Join



Contact

If you have any additional questions or require assistance, please contact Melanie Seiden, Associate Director for Membership, at 518.694.4877 or email melanie@nyscoss.org.

Melanie provides direct support to our members by answering membership questions including member online access, assisting with membership purchases, transfers and renewal. You can also contact Melanie with registration questions for Council and LEAF, Inc. programs including registration for both the Fall Leadership Summit and Winter Institute.

Join Now

Member Services

Our members' success is important to us. We offer connection, support, education, and information. 

About This Section

We provide services and publications to support superintendent and cabinet level leaders and their districts. 

Supporting Leadership Development 

We want our superintendent and cabinet level leaders to excel at what they do -- leading their districts on behalf of the children they serve. So we deliver services and publications that build their leadership capacity, share new ideas and approaches, and provide timely and accurate information. 

Professional Development

LEAF, Inc., The Council’s Foundation, offers professional development that is high quality, cost effective, and research-based.

Consulting Services

LEAF, Inc. / Council offers a variety of services provided by independent consultants with expertise in district consulting, regional retreats, customized professional development and informal confidential support. Services offered reflect the needs of New York State school districts in a time of increasing demands at the local, state and national levels. For more information on any of the above services please contact Vren Banks, Director of LEAF at vren@nyscoss.org or 518.694.4880.

Annual Events

The Fall Leadership Summit and the Winter Institute and Lobby Day are annual events offering keynote addresses by national experts in the fields of leadership, education and related areas; opportunities for members to share best practices with colleagues through smaller educational sessions; an interactive discussion with the Commissioner of Education about New York State issues and initiatives; and networking for support and collegiality among members through social interaction, group discussions, meetings and workshops. Each event focuses on a key theme over several days. 

Leadership Coaching Program

It has never been more important than it is today to support our school leaders. The challenges leaders face today are more complex than ever and leaders are facing unprecedented issues in an ever-changing environment. In response, LEAF, Inc. has created a Leadership Coaching program to support school leaders through the state.

Advocacy 

Policies adopted in Albany or Washington can shift the odds either for or against success for our members and the schools they help lead. So advocacy – for members, with members, and by members – is one cornerstone in building toward success. Our advocacy staff constantly strives to give members the most accurate and timely information possible on developments affecting school funding and policy, both in Albany and in Washington, both to help influence decisions before they are settled by policymakers, and to interpret them once they are enacted into law. That expertise is never more valuable to school leaders than when the economy falters and governments’ capacity to deliver funding diminishes. Learn more about our advocacy efforts here.
Superintendent Resource Bank
The Superintendents Resource Bank (SRB) is available for use by active members of The Council. The SRB includes member superintendents with a desire to respond to requests for information and to share advice and experiences with colleagues statewide on important issues they face. If you are an active member and you cannot find the information you are requesting in the SRB archive, The Council will post your request for information to our online community without identifying information (name or district). For more information about the Resource Bank contact Administrative Assistant Heather Rapp at heather@nyscoss.org. You can access past discussions in our Online Communities. Login is required. 

Article

Sustainable Leadership: Keeping Connected in a Time of Distancing

"School leaders, especially facing our current challenges, should consider investments in themselves by making time for personal interests, gifting themselves with a coaching opportunity, making time for reflection, even a short “personal sabbatical” to allow educational leaders to decompress and connect with others about their own well-being and needs as an individual."  Read more about sustainable leadership in our December 2020 Councilgram.
—Laura Feijoo 
President, LEAF, Inc.
Services & Publications

All Events 

The Leadership for Educational Achievement Foundation, Inc. (LEAF, Inc.) provides high quality professional learning to support superintendent development (pre-service and in-service) and the development of school district leadership team members. In partnership with The Council, LEAF’s programs are research-based, aligned to the needs of the field, responsive to changing expectations for school leaders, and cost effective.

Learn more about LEAF, Inc. and the impact it has on education.
Events

Council Committees

Committees are an important part of the work of The Council. Each committee is led by a chairperson who is appointed by the President with recommendations by the Executive Director.

Membership on committees varies depending on the by-laws. Members are welcome to join the committees (s)he is most interested in. Committee selection is done in conjunction with membership and only active members of The Council may join committees. Join a committee and:

  • Share your expertise in areas of Curriculum and Instruction.
  • Select the next scholarship winner.
  • Educate your fellow colleagues on wellness.
  • Advocate in Washington, D.C. for New York school districts.

Join a Committee

Join one or more of these Council Committees when submitting your membership for the year and be more involved in helping students, school district communities and your colleagues. Assist The Council with important tasks that help this organization work for, with, and by our members.

Athletics

Liaison to the New York State Public High School Athletic Association; provides input to legislative committees and SED on issues related to athletics.
Chair: Lori Caplan, Superintendent, Watervliet City 

Cabinet

Helps explore and develop professional development programs and services tailored to the needs of The Council's Cabinet members.
Chair: Lynn Allen, Assistant Superintendent, Putnam/Northern Westchester BOCES

Commission on Diversity & Inclusivity

Focuses on helping ensure gender, racial and economic equality among those serving as a superintendent.
Chairs: Luvelle Brown, Superintendent, Ithaca & L. Oliver Robinson, Superintendent, Shenendehowa

Conference Committee

Guides the design of the Fall Leadership Summit and the Winter Institute to create a seamless experience including improving educational formats, identifying leading meeting ideas, and creating content strands and vettting presentation proposals.
Chairs: Phyllis Harrington, Superintendent, Oceanside UFSD & Robert Ike, Superintendent, Palmyra-Macedon 

Curriculum & Instruction

Helps to formulate Council positions on curriculum, assessment and instructional issues. Primarily responsible for advising The Council on most issues addressed by the Board of Regents and disseminates information to the membership pertaining to curricular concerns.
Chair:  Lorna Lewis, Superintendent, Malverne UFSD

Assessment Sub-Committee

Serves as a liaison between the Curriculum and Instruction Committee and the NYSED Office for Standards, Assessments, and Reporting. Solicits input and feedback regarding issues, questions, concerns, and recommendations pertaining to assessment.
Chair: David Hurst, Assistant Superintendent for Educational Programs, Bethlehem CSD

Special Ed Sub-Committee

This sub-committee of the Curriculum & Instruction Committee helps to formulate Council positions on Special Education and serves as an advisory subcommittee to the Curriculum and Instruction Committee on matters related to serving students with disabilities in New York State.
Chair: Maureen Donahue, Superintendent, Southwestern

Dr. Mary Barter Scholarship for Women and Minorities

Explores and recommends strategies for recruitment of outstanding candidates, especially minorities women, into the educational profession and the superintendency.
Chair: Gladys Cruz, District Superintendent, Questar III BOCES

Federal Legislative

An advocacy committee which serves to monitor federal legislation and to provide input on key issues affecting New York State schools to members of U.S. Congress and the U.S. Department of Education. The committee also coordinates efforts with the sub-committee of the American Association of School Administrators (AASA)/Federal Relations Committee. Membership on this committee includes New York's AASA Executive Committee and Governing Board members.
Chair: Cosimo Tangorra, Superintendent, Niskayuna 

Member Service Sub-Committee

A sub-committee of the Snapshot of the Superintendency Committee, which primarily is responsible for reviewing current member benefits and determining what/if any additional services may be beneficial to the membership.
Chair: William Heidenreich, Superintendent, Valley Stream Central HS District

Wellness

Promotes the well-being of superintendents through informational programs and activities.
Chair: Bo Lawrence Wright, Superintendent, Rush-Henrietta


The following committees are by appointment only.

APPR Task Force

Aids in formulating Council positions on teacher and principal evaluation issues and in identifying information and training needs of members about the evaluation system.
Chair:  Kimberly Moritz, Superintendent, Springville-Griffith Institute

Budget

Prepares budget for submission to House of Delegates. The House of Delegates at the Winter Institute meeting elects three Budget Committee members.
Chair: Jason Andrews, Superintendent, Windsor

Constitution, By-Laws and Resolutions

Reviews proposed amendments and resolutions to The Council’s Constitution and drafts amendments for consideration by active members. Constitution limits membership to seven members.
Chair: Michael Vanyo, Interim Superintendent, Berkshire

Distinguished Service

Selects recipients of The Council’s Awards including the Raymond R. Delaney Memorial Scholarship and Distinguished Service Award, both of which are given at the Fall Leadership Summit. "Friend of The Council" and Appreciation Awards are presented at the Winter Institute. The committee also selects New York State's candidate for AASA "Superintendent of the Year" award and is composed of past presidents of The Council.
Chair: Hank Grishman, Superintendent, Jericho

Ethics

Promotes high standards of ethics among school administrators; assists members in dealing with ethical issues; investigates allegations of improper practices; recommends financial assistance for initial legal consultation. The Council’s president appoints committee members. Chair: TBD

Finance and Investment

Responsibilities shall be to advise The Council on investments, recommend an investment strategy, ensure the preparation of an annual audit and tax forms, and review audited financial statements.
Chair: Charles Dedrick, Executive Director

State Legislative

The mission of the legislative committee is to advocate for the support of public education with elected officials, state and local agencies, the media, and local communities. They stress the importance of public education as an investment in the country’s future through regular communication with policy makers and help shape education policy through position papers, letters to the editor, and timely articles. The also prepare a legislative agenda.
Chairs: Joseph Famularo, Superintendent, Bellmore UFSD & Neil O'Brien, Superintendent, Port Byron

Nominating

Places names of active members in nomination for Council offices and communicates with the membership relate to the process. The committee, consisting of seven members, is appointed at the Winter Institute.
Chair: Martin Handler, Superintendent, Pine Plains

Snapshot of the Superintendency

Primarily responsible for the design, development, and writing of the Snapshot of the Superintendency. Committee members possess expertise in research design and methodology as well as professional writing for publication.  Members of the committee must attend meetings and contribute to the design, development, and writing of the document.
Chair: Robert Ike, Superintendent, Palmyra-Macedon
Council Committees

Nominate a Candidate


Nominate a candidate for these three awards by completing this Award Nomination Form or contact Deidre Hungerford, Associate Director for Business Development, at deidre@nyscoss.org or 518.694.4885 with questions.

Awards Recognizing Excellence

Distinguished Service Award

The Council recognizes a Retired Life Member who has shown exemplary commitment to public education after retiring as a superintendent. The Distinguished Service Award is The Council's highest honor and is presented annually at our Fall Leadership Summit. Selections are made by our Distinguished Service Committee composed of current Council officers (with the word president in their title) and past presidents who are still active. 

Friend of the Council

The Friend of The Council Award was created in 1996 and is presented at our Winter Institute & Lobby Day each year. Nominations are provided by members or Council staff and are due in January each year for inclusion in the selection process. The Distinguished Service Committee makes the final selection.

Appreciation Award

The Appreciation Award is given in recognition of an active members' efforts on behalf of The Council and its initiatives. 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. Final nominations are due in January.
 

2021

New York State Superintendent of the Year

"The mantra for the 2020-2021 school year is “Shoulder Up.” This year’s mantra can represent a few ways we can all stand tall, work together, and be proud of ourselves and our district. We will know when someone is “shouldering up” when they challenge themselves to be better, try harder, or take on something new." 
Dr. Roberto Padilla, Superintendent of Schools
Newburgh Enlarged City School District

Scholarships

Supporting the development of educational leaders is important. We offer three different scholarships to support future leaders including:

You can learn more about each individual scholarship and how to apply by clicking on each link. You can also view past scholarship videos below. 
Ask an expert

How do I apply for a scholarship?

Ask Deidre Hungerford, Associate Director for Business Development, how to apply or learn more about submission deadlines. 

Past Award and Scholarship Videos

Awards & Scholarships

Superintendent Level Membership

Superintendent Membership is designed for any chief school administrator of a New York State Public School District or Board of Cooperative Educational Services. This includes titles such as District Superintendent and Superintendent of Schools. Member benefits and resources include:
  • Advocacy Resources;
  • Legal Support including contract negotiation, contract review, general questions, retirement and more;
  • Ability to participate on all committees,
  • Voting privileges;
  • Access to a Superintendent Only Resource Bank;
  • Access to all member publication;
  • Special member rates for professional development and other events;
  • Networking opportunities;
  • And more!

New York City Level Membership

New York City Membership is designed for chief school administrator within the New York City Department of Education. Member benefits and resources include:
  • Advocacy Resources;
  • Ability to participate on all committees,
  • Access to a Superintendent Only Resource Bank;
  • Access to all member publication;
  • Special member rates for professional development and other events;
  • Networking opportunities;
  • And more!
For a detailed description of all benefits and services, please review the membership brochures below:

Cabinet Level Membership

Cabinet Membership is designed for deputy, associate or assistant chief school administrators, directors, and principals to easily access support and an array of valuable resources including:
  • Ability to participate on committees such as the Cabinet, Athletics, Curriculum and Instruction committees and more;
  • Access to member publications such as the monthly Councilgram, Snapshot of the Superintendency, White Papers, etc.:
  • Special member rates for professional development and other events;
  • Networking opportunities;
  • Inclusion in the annual directory;
  • Access to Legal Counsel for general assistance, contract review and retirement planning/post retirement;
  • Complimentary access to one Cabinet Institute per year.

Associate Level Membership

Associate Membership is designed for any superintendent who has retired from service and does not qualify for Retired Life membership; any member of the administrative and supervisory staff of the New York State Education Department; any member of the instuctional and/or administrative staff of a college, or department of educational administration, any member of the administrative staff of the New York State Teachers' Retirement System, of the New York State School Boards' Association. Benefits include:
  • Access to member publications such as the monthly Councilgram, Snapshot of the Superintendency, White Papers, etc.;
  • Special member rates for professional development and other events;
  • Networking opportunities.
For a detailed description of all benefits and services, please review the membership brochures below:

Join The Council

Explore the benefits of membership by joining the New York State Council of School Superintendents.

Business Level Membership

Business members are individuals who are active in a field that is allied to education and who wish to support the programs of The Council and the public education system of New York State. Membership benefits include:
  • Council publications;
  • Access to Membership Directory;
  • Label purchases;
  • Member registration rates at annual events;
  • A half page advertisement in the Membership Directory;
  • Participation in Fall Leadership Summit Golf Tournament.
Business members do not have access to the Menu of Benefits or exhibiting opportunities. Questions regarding the Business membership should be directed to Deidre Hungerford, Associate Director of Business Development at deidre@nyscoss.org or 518.694.4885.

Retired Life Membership

Any chief school administrator of a New York State Public School District who has been a superintendent member of The Council for a minimum of five years immediately prior to retirement will qualify for Retired Life Membership. To renew your annual publication or update your mailing preference, complete and return the Retired Life Member publication form available here

Member Benefits at a Glance

Benefit Superintendent NYC Members Cabinet Associate Retired Superintendent
Award Eligibility done done done done done
Scholarships done done done done  
Resource Bank done done done    
Directory done done done done *
Listserv done done done done done
Councilgram done done done done done
Legal Services done * *
*
Professional Development done done done
done
Voting done
 

Service on Committees done done done

done = Full Services
* = Limited Services

Reflection

Barbara Phillips
Director of Learning and Continuous Improvement, Windsor

"Being a cabinet member has made me a stronger, more informed leader. After five years of membership, I am thankful for every opportunity that NYSCOSS and LEAF, Inc. has provided to learn from and share with others. Without hesitation, I would encourage anyone in a cabinet-level position to experience the privilege of being a valued member of the New York State Council of School Superintendents."

Membership Questions?

Contact:

Melanie M. Seiden
Associate Director for Membership
E: melanie@nyscoss.org
T: 518.694.4877


2021 Virtual Winter Institute

Fostering Connections: The Time is Now

March 8 - 9, 2021

Hear from experts in the fields of leadership and education while strengthening connections with
educational organizations, state leaders, strategic partners, and each other to navigate the challenges to better the lives of students.



Registration opens the last week in January. For details, contact melanie@nyscoss.org.