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 ECASB Awards

Award Descriptions and Past Recipients: 
See here for the most current information
Diana R. Miller Service Award: 


The Diana R. Miller Service to Education Award was established in 1981. It is given in memory of Diana R. Miller who, at the time of her death on September 9, 1981, was a teacher, school board member for the Lancaster Central School district, and President of the Erie County Association of School Boards. The first award was given posthumously to Mrs. Miller and was presented to her family at the ECASB Fall Dinner meeting on November 12, 1981.


The Diana R. Miller Service to Education Award honors an individual or an organization who has made contributions to the betterment of education and/or assisted ECASB in achieving its mission on behalf of public education.




Robert M. Walker, Esq.-1982; Frederic Sievenpiper-1983; Merton L. Haynes-1984; Marjorie C. Chase-1985; Edward J. Sakowski-1986; Chester A. Nowacki-1987; Betty T. Quinn-1988; Mary Ellen Murphy -1989; Robert A. Binner-1990; Jean W00d-1991; Stan- ley J. Figiel-1993; Janet Sweet-1994; Alison Hyde-1995; Linda U. Riley-1997; James A. Powers-1998; Dr. Eugene Steinberg-1999; Eileen Rucker-2000; Judith Katz-2001; Florence Johnson-2002; Dr. Charles Stoddart-2003; Jan Peters-2004; Wayne Schlifke- 2005; Linda Hoffman-2008; Raymond Carr-2009; Delia Bonenberger-2010; Dr. Thomas Coseo-2011; Lorie Sabo (posthumously)-2012; Kathyann Lorka-2013; Julie McCullough-2014; David Lowrey-2015; Mary Busse-2016; Maryellen Kloss-2017; Brenda Christopher-2018; Ron Catalano-2019; Sharon Belton-Cottman-2020; John Sherman-2020; Robert Polino-2021; Terrance Heard - 2022; Dr. Christine Gray-Tinnesz-2023, Kristin Schmutzler-2023

Laura M. Burns Advocacy for Children Award: 


The Laura M. Burns Advocacy for Children Award was established in 1998. It is given in memory of Laura M. Burns, who passed away in 1998. Laura served as a teacher and served on the Hamburg Central School District, serving as president for 2 years.

The Laura M. Burns Advocacy for Children Award honors a current or former school board member who has provided outstanding service in advocacy for children, demonstrating leadership in the district and community with actions that clearly benefit children and show a willingness to stand up for principles that “put kids first”.




Laura Burns (posthumously)-1998; Linda Hoffman-1999; Margery G. Baumler-2000; Lorie Sabo-2001; Raymond Carr-2002; Margaret Fletcher-2003; Mary Michael Egan- 2004; Andrew Loeb-2006; Jane Okun & Michael Morrow-2007; Dolores Mendola-2008’ Louis Reuter-2009; Richard Vogan-2010; Thomas Kulaszewski-2011; William Freeman- 2012; Jan Dalbo and Elaine Diederich-2013; Patricia Brunner-Collins-2014; Renee Wilson-2016; Charles Specht-2017; Dr. Jill O’Malley-2018; David Yoviene-2019; Sylvester Cleary-2020; Dwight Eagan-2021, Scott Johnson-2021, No recipient named-2022; Matthew Chimera-Ken-Ton.

Lorie E. Sabo Advocacy Award: 


The Lorie E. Sabo Advocacy Scholarship Award was established in 2012 after the untimely passing of long time Orchard Park and Erie 2 CC BOCES Board Member on November 25, 2011.  The Lorie E. Sabo Advocacy Scholarship Award is funded through the ECASB Annual  Awards Dinner Basket Raffle and Split Club.  The funds are available to ECASB Member District Board of Education Members wishing to attend Lobby Days in Albany and Washington, D.C.  to help offset the cost of any funds that may not be available through the local school district advocacy budgets.  Board members wishing to be considered to receive funds should fill out the Lorie E. Sabo Advocacy Fund form and submit it to the ECASB Awards committee by deadline date to be considered for the award.  Additional details are available on the application.  In September of 2020, it was decided by the Delegate Assembly that we should also have a Lori Sabo Advocacy Award that would honor an ECASB member that was active in advocating for public education.




Kathleen Chiavetta-2021; Scott Johnson-2021; Erik Polkowski-2022; Edward Schaefer-2023; Michael Franey-2024


Hodgson Russ Excellence in Collaboration Award: 


The Hodgson Russ Excellence in Collaboration Award was established in 2005. The award honors a school district and at least one community partner who has developed an education program that has propelled the district toward greatness and has the potential to be replicated elsewhere. The program must be unique, exemplary, and go above and beyond the ordinary. 




West Seneca CSD and its partners, NFIEC and Erie 1 BOCES for the Business & Education Employability Portfolio (BEEP) program – 2005;

Holland CSD and its partner, Young audiences of WNY for “A rainforest come to Holland”-2006; Cheektowaga Central School District for it “Seniors and Students Partnership” with the Cheektowaga Department of Senior Services – 2007;

Lake Shore Central School District for “Substance Abuse Training”-2008; HONOR Award: Orchard Park – 2009

Cheektowaga Schools and Cheektowaga Alliance for Healthy Communities/Healthy Youth – 2010

Cleveland Hill/UB Partnership and Erie 2 CC BOCES and Partners Central Business Office Service – 2011

Eden Community Service Project and Hamburg Finance Academy – 2012


Springville GI and the Springville Community Foundation – 2013

Erie 2 Chautauqua Cattaraugus BOCES Virtual AP Academy: HONOR Awards to Hamburg Central Schools EMT Training and Certification Program AND Ken-Ton UFSD Ken-Ton Academies – 2014

West Seneca CSD Raising Readers WNY: HONOR Awards: Erie 1 BOCES Twilight Program and Erie 1 BOCES New Visions Program: Connections and HONORABLE MENTION to Hamburg CSD Drug and Alcohol Parent Forum – 2015

Tonawanda Schools and Herschel Carousel Museum for “T-NT S.T.E.A.M. is Dynamite!”: HONOR Award: Erie 1 BOCES and Carubba Collision – 2016

West Seneca Schools and health/medical partnering organizations for “West Seneca Academy of Life Science”: HONOR Award: Springville Students for Human Rights and human rights partnering organizations - 2017

Amherst Central Schools “Tiger’s Den Food Pantry” in partnership with St. Paul’s Lutheran Church and the WNY Food Pantry - 2018

Grand Island Central School District “Growing Readers” in partnership with Grand Island Pediatrics, Grand Island Memorial Library, Grand Island Neighbor’s Foundation, Grand Island Rotary, Grand Island Teachers Association, Grand Island School-Related Professionals, Grand Island CSD Administrator’s Union, Fucillo Automotive Group, Grand Island Golden Age Center and Private Community Donors. - 2019

Iroquois Central School District & Central Community "It Takes A Community" – 2020


No recipient named-2021


Clarence Central School District & "The Clarence Clothing Closet" - 2022

Alden Central School District - BullDog Manufacturing - 2023

Sweet Home Central School District - Northwest Community Center in conjunction with the Town of Amherst, the Amherst IDA and Zaepfel Development - 2024


Wayne Schlifke Lifetime Achievement Award 


The Wayne Schlifke Lifetime Achievement Award was established in 2017 to honor the memory of Wayne Schlifke. Wayne served on the Depew Union Free School Board for 5 years, Erie 1 Boces Board of Education for over 25 years, and served as Area 1 Director for NYSSBA. Wayne also served as the Vice President of the NYSSBA in 2006 and served as President in 2008. The award recognizes an individual whose lifetime efforts have resulted in outstanding service to the Erie County Association of School Boards and the education community.

The award will not be presented every year. Rather, it will be designated by the Awards Review Team in the specific and unique circumstances where lifetime achievement recognition is warranted.




Karl Kristoff, Esq. – 2017; Linda Hoffman – 2021; David Little - 2022; Raymond Carr - 2023.

ECASB School District Clerk Service to Education Award

The ECASB School District Clerk Service To Education Award Sponsored by Webster Szanyi, LLP may be awarded in 2020 for the first time to honor a School District Clerk that has made contributions to the betterment of education or the betterment in the operations of Board of Education meetings within the district. The nominee must have served in the role for at least 5 years and must have assisted ECASB or other District Clerks.





Jessica Neischel, Depew UFSD – 2020; Deborah Custodi, Amherst CSD – 2021; Gina Santa Maria – 2022; Cindy Sadowski (Former) -Iroquois CSD - 2023; Wendy Limardi, Cleveland Hill - 2023.

Friend(s) of ECASB Award

Friend(s) of ECASB Award may be awarded for the first time in 2020. Nominations will be accepted by District Clerks, Board of Education Members, or Superintendents to nominate individuals or groups of individuals that are NOT ECASB members that have been helpful in advancing ECASB’s Mission and Vision.



PAST RECIPIENTS: (2020 will be the first year for the award)

Kathy Ann Queeno, Kathy Ann Queeno Accounting - 2021; Dr. Rick Timbs, R.G. Timbs, Inc. - 2022; Wayne Drescher, Shared Business Manager 2023; Assemblyman William Conrad - 2024; Senator Patrick Gallivan - 2024;

Raymond Carr Emerging Leaders Award 

Is being awarded in 2024 for the first time. Ray Carr is a long time Board Member for Cheektowaga CSD and Erie 1 BOCES. Ray was active in the ECASB serving on the Executive Board as an At Large member, the Treasurer, Vice-President, and President. The Award is presented to an emerging leader. The award will recognize an emerging leader in their first term of service who is an emerging leader both on their Board of Education and in ECASB.


(2024 will be the first year for the award)
Kristy Pingitore (Akron CSD)

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