What do you get when you bring together a group of outstanding educators, administrators, board members, community and business leaders, nonprofit organization executives and volunteers? You get the most influential people for public education in Nassau County, an honor bestowed upon 13 individuals by Nassau BOCES through its “Education Partner” awards program.


Education’s answer to the “Oscars,” the Nassau BOCES “Education Partner” award recognizes those whose impact on public education in Nassau County can be measured in a very tangible way. A strategic education partner with local school districts since 1967, Nassau BOCES created this program to pay tribute to those who share its commitment to providing the best possible education for learners of all ages and abilities.

“Response to our ‘Education Partner’ awards program continues to be extraordinary,” says Dr. Robert J. Hanna, Nassau BOCES deputy superintendent. “Through this innovative program, everyone who has ever been influenced by public education has an opportunity to show appreciation by nominating outstanding candidates for the award.”

More than 85 nominations for the 2010 award were received. “One of the nicest things about this program is that — just like Nassau BOCES — it is open to people from all walks of life, and we are proud that our honorees reflect this diversity,” says Hanna.

The 13 honorees are:


§ Patrick Boyle, executive director, Gateway Youth Outreach Inc.

§ Dr. Herb R. Brown, superintendent, Oceanside UFSD

§ Bruce Castellano, creator and director, Increase the Peace

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§ Zefy Christopoulos, press secretary, Nassau County Legislature

§ Cheryl Davidson, executive director, Long Island Works Coalition

§ Gerard W. Dempsey Jr., superintendent, Plainview-Old Bethpage CSD

§ Donna J. Donahue, secretary, Fine and Performing Arts Department, Island Trees UFSD

§ Lisa A. Gatti, founder and executive director, Pal-O-Mine Equestrian Inc.

§ Jean Kelly, executive director, The INN (Interfaith Nutrition Network)

§ Paula R. Lein, principal, Archer Street School, Freeport UFSD

§ Linda M. Lopez, Ph.D., psychologist, Nassau BOCES

§ Kathleen Sottile, principal, Floral Park Memorial High School, Sewanhaka CHSD

§ Daniel Yuengling, volunteer, Plainedge UFSD

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Honorees will receive their “Education Partner” awards at a special event in their honor on Thursday, May 6, 2010.


For additional information about the Nassau BOCES “Education Partner” awards, please visit www.nassauboces.org/educationpartner — which includes profiles of each year’s honorees and photos from last year’s awards event.