2013 Nassau BOCES Education Partner Award Honoree
Mary Jo O’Hagan
Baldwin Board of Education
"For more than 18 years, Mary Jo O'Hagan has been an advocate for education and an essential partner to the success of the Baldwin School District," wrote O'Hagan's Education Award Partner nominator of her tenure on the Baldwin Board of Education. "She is a mentor to new members and a champion of open communication with the community." Moreover, O'Hagan has used her leadership role to foster some of the district's impressive signature programs.
She is an avid supporter of the School-to-Career program, which makes students college- and career-ready through a meaningful combination of practical coursework and real-life experiences. O'Hagan helped to build the district's four-year Career Academy, recognized for its inclusivity and excellence as one of the top programs of its kind on Long Island. The academy enrolls close to 400 students annually in a variety of programs including Global Business Law, Health Sciences and STEM (science, technology, engineering and math).
O'Hagan's service to education extends beyond her district. Since 2001, she has served the Nassau-Suffolk School Boards Association (N-SSBA) in numerous capacities including vice president, secretary and treasurer. She has chaired several N-SSBA committees including the nominating, finance and budget committees, and is a current member of the legislative committee. O'Hagan played a vital role in the New York State School Boards Association's State Issues Conference, Federal Relations Network and Commissioner's Advisory Council. She has also served on the Long Island Education Coalition, the Nassau School and Municipal Shared Savings Initiative, the Long Island Regional Planning Council, and the Legislative Committee for the Nassau Council of School Superintendents.
O'Hagan credits her extraordinary leadership abilities to her longtime experience in the Baldwin PTA, where she began her involvement doing whatever was needed including baking for bake sales, running carnivals, helping build a haunted house and chairing the bicycle safety committee. Eventually, she became president of the PTA, first of Brookside Elementary School, then of Baldwin High School. O'Hagan is grateful for the many mentors she has had throughout the years.