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 our highest honor and is presented annually at our Fall Leadership Summit. Selections are made by our Distinguished Service Committee composed of Council officers and past presidents who are sitting superintendents. 

2023 Distinguished Service Award Presentation

The 2023 Distinguished Service Award was presented to Lauren French, Retired Life Member and former superintendent of Gouverneur CSD, during the Fall Leadership Summit Opening Keynote on Sunday, October 1, 2023 in Saratoga Springs, NY.

Distinguished Service Committee Chair Hank Grishman, Jericho; Chuck Chafee, Assistant Executive Director, New York Schools Insurance Reciprocal and award sponsor; Executive Director Chuck Dedrick; and NYSCOSS President Jason Andrews, Windsor presented the award to Lauren on Sunday afternoon. 

Lauren served on the Board of Directors for LEAF, Inc., the Executive Committee, House of Delegates, Commissioner’s Advisory Council, the Conference Committee, and the Membership Sub-committee and has presented at Women’s Initiative programs, the Future Superintendents’ Academy (FSA), and the New Superintendents’ Institute throughout her career as a superintendent. In retirement, she continues to support both NYSCOSS and LEAF, Inc. through teaching FSA participants and co-facilitating a webinar series on personal and financial wellness for education leaders with Equitable. She also serves as a leadership coach for LEAF, Inc.’s Leadership Coaching program. 

A special thanks to Signature Partner New York Schools Insurance Reciprocal (NYSIR) for sponsoring the 2023 award presentation. We also honor Retired Life members during Sunday’s keynote.  

2024 Distinguished Service Award Nomination 

If you are interested in nominating an individual for the 2024 award, send your nomination to Deidre Hungerford by June 28, 2024 for inclusion in the selection process. Candidates can be nominated with this nomination form  or with an emailed letter. The Distinguished Service Committee will screen all nominations and will make their final selection of one candidate over the summer.

Thank you to Signature Partner New York Schools Insurance Reciprocal (NYSIR) for sponsoring this award. Review the complete list of Distinguished Service recipients here


For details or to nominate an individual contact:

Deidre G. Hungerford
Associate Director for Business Development

E:  deidre@nyscoss.org
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

Call for Proposal for 2024 Fall Leadership Summit opens late April 2024. 
Registration opens Monday, June 3, 2024.