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Deborah Coates wins highest board service award

Deborah Coates

Deborah Coates, Nassau BOCES District Clerk

For the first time in the award’s history, the New York State School Boards Association (NYSSBA) is honoring two school board members with the Everett R. Dyer Award for Distinguished School Board Service.

The winners of the 2016 award this year are Deborah Coates of Nassau BOCES and Joseph DiMaio from the Jamestown City School District. The award is the highest honor NYSSBA annually bestows upon a single school board member.

Mrs. Coates has been a member of the Nassau BOCES Board since 2008 and was appointed district clerk in 2014. She also serves as a board liaison to the Nassau BOCES Educational Foundation. Mrs. Coates served as president and vice president of the East Meadow Union Free School District Board of Education. She also was a member of the Nassau BOCES Budget Review Committee.

Mrs. Coates was elected to the Nassau-Suffolk School Boards Association's Executive Committee in 2009, elected as its secretary/treasurer in 2015, and is also a member of its Legislation and Nominating committees. She has been a member of the Board of Directors for R.E.F.I.T. (Reform Educational Financing Inequities Today) since 2003 and is a past president.

For three decades, Mrs. Coates has been a member of the East Meadow School District’s PTA and has received numerous honors for her work, including the National PTA Leadership Award.

“Deborah and Joseph embody everything this award is about: energy, passion, devotion and leadership,” said NYSSBA President Susan Bergtraum, who also serves as Vice President of the Nassau BOCES Board. Mrs. Bergtraum will honor Mrs. Coates and Mr. DiMaio during NYSSBA’s 2016 Annual Convention October 27-29 in Buffalo, NY.