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School Boards Institute honors 2018 Student Achievement, Distinguished Service winners

May 14, 2018



View videos featuring photos from the SBI awards at the bottom of this page.



SBI Student Achievement Award winners pose for a photo at awards dinner


Oneida-Madison-Herkimer Counties School Boards Institute 2018 Student Achievement Award pose together during the institute’s annual General Membership Dinner Meeting on Thursday, May 10, at Twin Ponds Golf and Country Club in New York Mills. From left, front row: Shannon Cromie, of Herkimer-Fulton-Hamilton-Otsego BOCES and West Canada Valley Central School District; Alexis Newbury, of Oneida-Herkimer-Madison BOCES and Utica City School District, and Kaitlyn Kulawy, of New York Mills Union Free School District. Back row: Hannah Reaves, of Stockbridge Valley Central School District; Peyton Pearsall, of Morrisville-Eaton Central School District; Dustin Miller, of Madison-Oneida BOCES and Vernon-Verona-Sherrill Central School District; Jacquelynn Thomson, of Richfield Springs Central School District; Brooke Newtown, of Herkimer BOCES and Central Valley Central School District, and Fatime Abakar Khatir Adam, of Utica City School District.





NEW YORK MILLS – Students who have stood out on their paths to success and school officials who have committed years of service to public education were honored during the Oneida-Madison-Herkimer Counties School Boards Institute’s 58th awards dinner on Thursday, May 10.

There were 41 local high-school juniors nominated for the awards from all the juniors in the three-BOCES region, and 11 were selected to receive awards.

“Out of 4,000 juniors, we are recognizing 11, so that sort of tells you the stories these children have,” O-M-H SBI Coordinator for Board Training James Van Wormer said, during the dinner.

The Student Achievement Awards and Distinguished Service Awards were given out during the O-M-H SBI’s annual General Membership Dinner Meeting at Twin Ponds Golf and Country Club in New York Mills. The O-M-H SBI includes 35 school districts in the Herkimer-Fulton-Hamilton-Otsego BOCES, Oneida-Herkimer-Madison BOCES and Madison-Oneida BOCES regions.

Prior to the dinner, a group of Remsen students sang for guests under the direction of Remsen High School Music Director Jason Matteson. O-M-H SBI President Robert Group welcomed guests and did introductions, and First Vice President Michael Head led the “Pledge of Allegiance.”

“This is your organization,” Group said, to school board members in attendance. “It’s successful because of you and your active participation.”

New York State School Boards Association President William Miller, who is a Herkimer BOCES board member commented on behalf of NYSSBA officials and said the award ceremony connects to his theme as NYSSBA president.

“We want to congratulate every single one of these students who are going to receive awards tonight,” he said. “Every one of these kids exemplifies what my theme is for the next two years – which is: ‘Every child does matter.’”

NYSSBA Executive Director Timothy Kremer said the awards dinner does a great job of highlighting the best of what schools do and reminding people why they became board members.

Kremer said he is an advocate for local control because nobody is going to look out for a community and its schools more than the people who are there.

“So what I want you to do is do what you do best,” he said. “Provide them the best education possible.”

Student Achievement Awards

The Student Achievement Awards are presented to high-school juniors who have demonstrated a positive attitude, which reflects initiative, a sense of responsibility and an ability to interact with others, including peers and faculty.

Recipients also perform academically to the best of their ability and participate in extracurricular and community activities. Other criteria include strong character values and a post-graduate commitment toward a career goal or higher education.

The Student Achievement Awards were presented this year to the following students:

  • Brooke Newtown, of Herkimer BOCES and Central Valley Central School District, nominated by Michael Cimo.

  • Shannon Cromie, of Herkimer BOCES and West Canada Valley Central School District, nominated by Alana Connolly.

  • Jacquelynn Thomson, of Richfield Springs Central School District, nominated by Jeff Busch and Linda Oakes.

  • Dustin Miller, of Madison BOCES and Vernon-Verona-Sherrill Central School District, nominated by Susan Keller.

  • Peyton Pearsall, of Morrisville-Eaton Central School District, nominated by Benjamin New.

  • Hannah Reaves, of Stockbridge Valley Central School District, nominated by Cassandra Gleason.

  • Kaitlyn Kulawy, of New York Mills Union Free School District, nominated by Debra Ellis and Audrey Foote.

  • Alexis Newbury, of Oneida BOCES and Utica City School District, nominated by Noel Ames.

  • Fatime Abakar Khatir Adam, of Utica City School District, nominated by Marge Costanza.

Distinguished Service Awards

The Distinguished Service Awards are presented to outstanding volunteers – such as school board members – and superintendents who have dedicated time, continued support and vigorous action in the service of public education and the welfare of children.

Recipients may have also demonstrated a positive influence in the greater community and in the state.

The Distinguished Service Awards were presented this year to the following school officials:

  • Christine Reynolds, of Dolgeville Central School District, nominated by the Herkimer BOCES Superintendents Cabinet.

  • Robert Miller and Sharon Judd, of Herkimer Central School District, nominated by Robert Mihevc and the Herkimer Central School District Board of Education.

  • Jacklin Starks, of Madison BOCES, nominated by Richard Engelbrecht and the Madison BOCES Board of Education.

  • Nichole Doroshenko, of Morrisville-Eaton Central School District, nominated by Gregory Molloy.

  • Howard Mettelman, of Oneida BOCES, nominated by the Oneida BOCES Superintendents Cabinet.

  • John Salerno, of Oneida BOCES, nominated by the BOCES Consortium of Continuing Education.

  • Michael Head, of Whitesboro Central School District, nominated by Brian Bellair.

Student nominees

For the Student Achievement Awards, 39 students were nominated out of about 4,000 juniors in the region.

Each nominee is sent a certificate because getting nominated is a special accomplishment, Van Wormer said. A three-hour rating and evaluation process narrowed the nominees down to the 11 students who won awards during the dinner, he said.

The other students who were nominated this year are:

  • Brianna Cotton, of Central Valley Central School District, nominated by Alina Horner.

  • Sophia Simmons, of Frankfort-Schuyler Central School District, nominated by Anthony Reina.

  • Trenton McLean, of Herkimer BOCES and Richfield Springs Central School District, nominated by Thomas Browka.

  • Shantha Richards, of Herkimer BOCES and Dolgeville Central School District, nominated by Sarah Weeks.

  • Anthony Treonze, of Herkimer BOCES and Mount Markham Central School District, nominated by James Hunt.

  • Alexis Sassone-Everson, of Herkimer Central School District, nominated by Holly White.

  • Jennalee Sweeney, of Mount Markham Central School District, nominated by Tammy Stealey.

  • Brooke Suhocki, of Poland Central School District, nominated by Janice Watrous and Barbara Brinck.

  • Mikayla Coffin, of West Canada Valley Central School District, nominated by Gloria Ackman.

  • Margarita Vilovchik, of West Canada Valley Central School District, nominated by Jeffrey Brown.

  • Abigail Walker, of Camden Central School District, nominated by Christopher Centner.

  • William Vinson, of Canastota Central School District, nominated by Dylan Gifford.

  • Wynonna Beckwith, of Madison BOCES and Rome City School District, nominated by Lythel Mims.

  • Kara Otts, of Madison BOCES and Canastota Central School District, nominated by Carla Fountain.

  • Colter Day, of Morrisville-Eaton Central School District, nominated by Janine Anderalli.

  • Trevor Wiley, of Morrisville-Eaton Central School District, nominated by Michele Cesta.

  • Mark Mack, of Oneida City School District, nominated by John Markle and Sandra Davis.

  • Sara Brown, of Vernon-Verona-Sherrill Central School District, nominated by Adrienne Muller.

  • William Grant, of Oneida BOCES and Westmoreland Central School District, nominated by Christina Warner.

  • Destiny Mroz, of Oneida BOCES and Utica City School District, nominated by Joanne Daley.

  • Dan Nathan, of Oneida BOCES and New Hartford Central School District, nominated by John Stratton.

  • Autumn Cornacchia, of Oriskany Central School District, nominated by Lauren Valente.

  • Vincent Carchedi, of Sauquoit Valley Central School District, nominated by Peter Scialdone.

  • Asa Beyah, of Utica City School District, nominated by Bradley Gouger.

  • Hannah Lamie, of Utica City School District, nominated by Alexis Partyka.

  • Arianna Pultorak, of Utica City School District, nominated by Carolyn Saugh.

  • Rajveer Singh, of Utica City School District, nominated by Mark Mullen.

  • Koudi Bashir, of Whitesboro Central School District, nominated by Laura Flagg.

  • Maya Lett, of Whitesboro Central School District, nominated by Robert Burns.

  • Alicia Wehrenberg, of Whitesboro Central School District, nominated by Daniel Everson.


The three-BOCES district superintendents


From left, Oneida-Herkimer-Madison BOCES District Superintendent Howard Mettelman, Madison-Oneida BOCES District Superintendent Jacklin Stark and Herkimer-Fulton-Hamilton-Otsego BOCES District Superintendent Sandra Sherwood pose for a photo during Oneida-Madison-Herkimer Counties School Boards Institute’s annual General Membership Dinner Meeting on Thursday, May 10, at Twin Ponds Golf and Country Club in New York Mills. Sherwood, who became Herkimer BOCES district superintendent this school year, congratulated Mettelman and Starks for winning O-M-H SBI Distinguished Service Awards during the meeting. The other Distinguished Service Award winners were Christine Reynolds, of Dolgeville Central School District; Robert Miller and Sharon Judd, of Herkimer Central School District; Nichole Doroshenko, of Morrisville-Eaton Central School District, John Salerno, of Oneida-Herkimer-Madison BOCES, and Michael Head, of Whitesboro Central School District.






Videos from the 2018 SBI awards: