2016 Nassau BOCES Education Partner Award Honoree
Deborah Coates is a leading advocate for education in the State of New York and an outspoken proponent for the educational rights of children coming into the United States. District Clerk for the Nassau BOCES Board and Board Liaison to the Nassau BOCES Educational Foundation, she is a champion of equanimity in education for both children and adults. As a former member of the Nassau County Jail Advisory Committee, Ms. Coates helped to promote education for the incarcerated.
Ms. Coates served as President and First Vice President of Reform Education Financial Inequities Today (REFIT), a consortium of school districts working to secure a fair and equitable share of New York State Aid to Long Island schools. As a leader of REFIT, Ms. Coates was instrumental in the collaboration of regional educational advocacy groups throughout New York State.
This year, Ms. Coates was recognized as a Woman of Distinction by Senator Kemp Hannon and Assemblyman Tom McKevitt, and was presented with the Board Mastery Award by the New York State School Boards Association (NYSSBA). She was a Nassau BOCES Board Member when the board was awarded the very first Board Advocacy Award by NYSSBA and serves as an active Board Member for the Nassau Suffolk School Boards Association. Last year, she was the recipient of the Town of Hempstead Pathfinder Award.
Ms. Coates is extremely active in her home community of East Meadow, having served as President and Vice President of the East Meadow Board of Education, as well as Chairperson of the board's Education Committee. She was President and First Vice President of the district's Parent Teacher Organization, and served as PTA Council Liaison. Ms. Coates is a current Board Member of the Kiwanis Club, were she co-chairs two of the club's major fundraisers. She has served as a member of the Chamber of Commerce, and has contributed to numerous fundraisers that support summer camps and scholarships for children in the community.
"Deborah Coates is a true advocate for public education," wrote her award nominator. "She puts her heart and soul into everything she does, and does it with pride, knowing that she is helping children. Deborah is a dedicated volunteer because she believes that educators should be active outside of the classroom and boardroom, doing everything in their power to improve student outcomes."