Extraordinary Leaders, Teachers and Counselors
By Dr. Debra Colley
We often speak of education, human services and transformative programs and as systems initiatives – knowing that the creation of sustainable change is complex and interdependent.
However, just as a small pebble creates a ripple in the river, so can be the impact of just one single educator, counselor or community leader. The powerful impact individual teachers and leaders have on young people within their communities is immeasurable. Given our focus on success for all students (beginning with young children and extending across the educational continuum), the outstanding work of our superintendents, teachers, counselors, and community leaders is what truly makes the difference … and this is most often not recognized amidst the crises, controversies, and challenges we face in education and human services.
It is because of the leadership and outstanding commitment of extraordinary individuals that we are able to meet the needs of all children, inspire the best results from young people, and address the multitude of issues that affect us during our lifetime. Education requires the commitment of many individuals…as we build systems one person at a time … as we transform our communities one child at a time.
This past week, the College of Education hosted its 33rd annual professional recognition dinner wherein educational leaders, teachers, mental health counselors, and community leaders from both Ontario and Western New York were recognized for their outstanding contributions. It was with great pride that the faculty and administration at Niagara University paused to recognize the truly amazing commitment of educators and professionals in our communities who bring their knowledge, skills, excellence and hope to children and families every single day. We took time to celebrate the partnerships we have with these outstanding honorees and to thank them for their dedication and commitment.
A record crowd joined us for the celebration of excellence – over 230 attendees joined us to applaud the honorees for their great contributions and untold stories of remarkable inspiration and success. It was my privilege to embrace this unique moment to thank those who work so hard on our behalf, to recognize the truly outstanding people in our community, and to celebrate the hope and commitment to change that was so evident in their comments throughout the evening.