Administrator of the Year

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Superintendent of Schools Cheryl Pedisich has been named Administrator of the Year by the New York State School Counselor Association. Ms. Pedisich, who was nominated for this honor by the district’s coordinating guidance chairperson, Linda Bergson, is the first superintendent to receive this award. She was presented with the honor during the district’s Jan. 13 Board of Education meeting.

The award was established to recognize a department, building or district leader who has provided outstanding support to the school counseling profession through development of the district’s comprehensive school counseling program or other program innovations. It acknowledges the demonstration of outstanding leadership, advocacy and collaboration in promoting equity and access for all students to rigorous educational opportunities.

“As someone who began her career as a school counselor, your support and understanding of the profession as superintendent of schools deserves recognition,” noted Dr. Barbara Donnellan, NYSSCA president, in her congratulatory letter. “Your advocacy for students, facilitation of difficult situations, and careful attention to the recent revision of your district school counseling program all contributed to your selection for this recognition.”

In her nomination letter, Ms. Bergson highlighted Ms. Pedisich’s caring and detailed approach to education: “Ms. Pedisich’s style of leadership has always been one of collaboration and respect for others. She is always a professional, a wonderful listener, and if she asks you to do something, she will always offer to help you accomplish it.” Ms. Bergson went on to explain Ms. Pedisich’s role in the lengthy process to update the district’s guidance plan and overhaul the grading policy from an alphabetical to a numerical system.

“We realized how fortunate we are to have a truly outstanding educational leader, and it is really wonderful when an outside group affirms our view of the superintendent and the outstanding leadership that she is providing,” commented Board of Education President William F. Connors Jr.  

“Tonight is very special for a number of reasons – not only for this wonderful and most appreciated honor, but because it is coming from an organization that represents my origins as an educator,” said Ms. Pedisich. “When I reflect back on my career, I have to say, without a doubt, that those first years were the most intrinsically rewarding for me; they meant a great deal to me. Those years set in motion a career in education in a place I have come to value, respect and now view as a family. I would not be in this position or the educator I am, if not for this place and the people with whom I have worked.”

Ms. Pedisich began her career in the district in September 1984 as a school guidance counselor. Throughout her tenure in Three Village, she has served as a chairperson of the Ward Melville High School Guidance Department, as well as the assistant director and the executive director of pupil personnel services, before becoming an assistant superintendent and, ultimately, the superintendent of the district.