The Mid-Hudson School Study Council Announces 2015 Award Winners

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The Mid-Hudson School Study Council is proud to announce the winners for this year’s Educational Leadership Award. The nominated candidates must demonstrate superior educational leadership and accomplishments in their educational environments. These individuals have shown an advanced sense of creativity in meeting the needs of their students. In addition to their accomplishments in the classroom, they have also contributed to the growth of their professional communities. These educators are among the best of the best in the mid-Hudson region.

The Council is also proud to announce that this year's Friend of the Council Award goes to Carl Onken. Mr. Onken is the immediate past President of the Orange-Ulster Board of Cooperative Educational Services (BOCES) and has served as a member of the Orange-Ulster Cooperative Board from1985 to 2014. He was a member of the Monroe-Woodbury Board of Education from 1978 to 1999, serving as president for four years.  He was also president of the Orange County School Boards Association from 1988 to 1991, as well as a member of the New York State School Boards' Association (NYSSBA), serving as Area 9 Director, NYSSBA Vice-President and President. In addition, he has been a strong supporter of the council throughout his tenure as a trustee on the Orange/Ulster BOCES and Monroe Woodbury Boards of Education.

This year's Educational Leadership Award winners are, Dr. Joan Miller, Mount St. Mary College and Mr. Sean Michel, superintendent of the Chester Union Free School District.

Dr. Miller dedicated her professional career to advancing the most proficient pedagogy practices and advocating for all children while incorporating a keen sense of humor and a tough love approach to both her students and new faculty. “Surviving Joan Miller” continues to be a familiar phrase among her former students and colleagues. Her formula for success was built on planning, preparation and implementation.   A formula, that remained with her throughout her career at the Mount.  

 Mr. Sean Michel is the superintendent of the Chester Union Free School District and a graduate of Mount Saint Mary. Mr. Michel has been in the district for 5 years. He is viewed by many as a visionary and an outstanding communicator. He takes the time to listen to everybody, those who support him and those who may not agree with him.  Much of his success at Chester can be attributed to his collaborative leadership style, a style that is well appreciated among his staff and the members of the community. Mr. Michel’s achievements are a direct result of his integrity and character as well as his instructional and fiscal obligation to the students and residents of Chester.

Our honorees were recognized at the Mid-Hudson School Study Council’s annual dinner held on April 29, 2015 on the campus of Mount Saint Mary in Hudson Hall. The event was attended by approximately ninety family, friends and colleagues.