Join The Council

Explore the benefits of membership by joining or becoming a partner.

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. 

2024 Friend of The Council

Derek McManus, Vice President of Business Development
Day Automation Systems

Since 2018, Derek has served as the Vice President of Business Development at Day Automation Systems and has been a part of the NYSCOSS/LEAF, Inc. community for over 23 years. He was previously the Business Development Director at HUNT Engineers, Architects, Surveyors & Landscape Architects.

Derek has served NYSCOSS and LEAF, Inc. by volunteering his time on The Council’s Strategic Partner and Conference Committees and providing guidance in the design of events. He has helped staff plan special events such as leadership dinners, golf tournaments, and new superintendent gatherings by infusing new ideas and providing networking opportunities for members.

Derek’s response is always YES when asked by The Council and its’ members to assist with events that help to create meaningful connections between members. He has consistently demonstrated a high level of collaborative partnership efforts and his proactive approach embodies the spirit of this award.

Derek received the Friend of The Council award at Monday’s Winter Institute Keynote session on March 4, 2024. Special thanks to partner Custom Computer Specialists for sponsoring. Also pictured Executive Director Chuck Dedrick; NYSCOSS President Jason Andrews, Windsor; Distinguished Service Committee Chair Hank Grishman, Jericho; and Suzanne McLaughlin, Executive Vice President of Custom Computer Specialists. 

2025 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 2025 award, send your nomination to Deidre Hungerford by January 10, 2025 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

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.