Orleans/Niagara BOCES names employees of the year

Photos courtesy of Orleans/Niagara BOCES

Posted 23 September 2021 at 3:14 pm

Press Release, Orleans/Niagara BOCES

MEDINA – The Orleans/Niagara BOCES recently named its employees of the year for the 2020-2021 school year. Employees are nominated by their peers and a committee selects an awardee in each of these categories: Administrator, Clerical, Continuing Education, Custodial/Maintenance, Staff Specialist, Substitute, Teacher Aide and Teacher.

Rob Robinson is the Administrator of the Year. He is the Assistant Principal who has worked at the Niagara Career and Technical Education Center for the past five years. Robinson said his favorite part of his job is helping people see that they have the ability to make a difference in the lives of others.

On learning he was named an employee of the year, he said, “I work with hardworking and amazing administrators, so I’m surprised and honored to receive the administrator of the year award.”

Sabrina Stabler is the Clerical Person of the Year. She started her position as secretary to the Principal at the Orleans Career and Technical Education Center in July of 2020.

“I love being able to help out the students, teachers and other staff members and being a small part of making the school run,” she said. “I never realized how many moving pieces that need to run smoothly for a school to operate so it is really humbling and exciting to be part of that every day. Although I do not work in the classrooms, I enjoy getting to know students who visit the office and the opportunity to support them, their teachers and my fellow coworkers through my job role. Hearing the student success stories makes me remember that all the work we do, however big or small, is all worth it!”

Stabler said she is honored and excited to have been awarded Clerical Person of the Year.

“I have really enjoyed my time at BOCES so far and have been able to learn from my coworkers and develop new skills that I know will help me in my life, both at work and out of work,” she said.

Linda Redfield Shakoor is the Continuing Education Employee of the Year. She has worked as an English as a Second Language (ESL)/Civics teacher since 1994. She also coordinates the day/evening ESL/Citizenship program with four other teachers at the World Life Institute Education Center in Waterport under the supervision of Susan Diemert.

Redfield Shakoor said her favorite part of her job is getting to know the primarily agriculture adult students, their lives, their work and their challenges. She said winning an Employee of the Year award was a huge surprise.

“When our District Superintendent, Dr. Godshall, presented it to me directly in front of my colleagues it was an incredible surprise,” she said. “Especially, as a part-time teacher I never dreamed I would have such an award with so many deserving teachers in our program.”

Bobby Heschke is the Custodian/Maintenance Person of the Year. He has been a courier at Orleans/Niagara BOCES for 33 years.

“My favorite part of my job is being able to drive around and meet all the good people in the school districts we serve and of course our BOCES employees,” he said.

Heschke  said he was very surprised to win the award.  “I work with a lot of good people presently and a lot of great people who have since retired. I am very honored to receive this and I really enjoy working here.”

Paul Nawotka is the Staff Specialist of the Year. He has worked at BOCES for 19 years as a Safety Risk Analyst. When asked his favorite part of his job, he answered, “There are too many to list, but the interaction that I have with the people that I work with and the districts that I serve are my favorite.”

He said the award was unexpected.  “I am so very thankful, but it is really a team effort and I’d like to thank the other members of the Safety Risk Department, both current and former members.”

Carol Hausrath was named the Substitute of the Year. She has been a teacher for over 50 years and has been subbing with Orleans/Niagara BOCES for almost 20 years.

“I started in the Home Hospital Teaching program and subbed at the Niagara Career and Technical Education Center and the Orleans Career and Technical Education Center,” she said. “I have been at the Royalton-Hartland Learning Center for the last few years, which I absolutely love.”

Hausrath said her favorite part of what she does is working with children.  “They just melt my heart.”

When she received news about her award she was stunned.  “I opened my letter and thought it was just a letter from BOCES with information and then I said to my husband, I won Substitute of the Year. It is the best thing that has happened to me in my educational career!”

April Matson is the Teacher Aide of the Year.  She is currently working at the Royalton-Hartland Learning Center and has been working with BOCES for 30 years.

“My favorite part of my job is working one-on-one with the students,” she said. “I really enjoy watching the students grow year-to-year.”

Matson said she was honored to win the award. “I work with a great group of people.”

Matt Anastasi was named the Teacher of the Year. He teaches Building Trades at the Orleans Career and Technical Education Center. He has taught that program for 20 years. When asked his favorite part of his career, “There is no better feeling than seeing the light inside a student get turned on and seeing how much they get inspired to continue learning and working in the field.”

Anastasi said he was absolutely shocked to win Teacher of the Year. “I have been motivated by past recipients and have even been mentored by some of them early on in my career. This was a great way to remember my 20th year teaching, but also a motivator for the rest of my teaching career.”