College of Education Awards Luncheon Scheduled During Alumni Weekend

September 27, 2012  |  by Michael Freedman

As it typically does each spring, Niagara University’s College of Education is prepared to honor the contributions of top educational leaders, counselors, teachers and community members from Western New York and Ontario.

However, this year, the college will hold its annual professional recognition awards ceremony as part of the university’s fall Alumni Weekend festivities. The 2012 event takes place at 1 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 6, at the Castellani Art Museum.

This year’s award recipients are as follows:

Educational Leaders of the Year

  • Dr. Michael Wendt
    Superintendent, Wilson Central School District
  • William “Rusty” Hick
    Director of Education, Kawartha Pine Ridge District School Board

Counselors of the Year

  • Dr. Dianna Bruno
    Clinical Psychologist, Psychotherapy Associates of Niagara
  • Dr. Joseph M. Rizzo
    Retired Psychologist and Professor, Mohawk College

Teachers of the Year

  • Summer Chapman
    Lewiston-Porter Primary Education Center, Lewiston-Porter Central School District
  • Kyle Rufrano
    Mary Ward Catholic Elementary School, Niagara Catholic District School Board

Community Leaders of the Year

  • Judy Conte-Villani
    Director of Volunteer Programs, Niagara Fall Memorial Medical Center

Tickets for the public event are $25.

This year’s award recipients are alumni of Niagara University and the award categories represent some of the undergraduate, graduate and doctoral courses and programs offered by the College of Education on both sides of the American-Canadian border. To best prepare students, the college partners with community leaders to place degree candidates in internships and clinical practice situations.

“We count on these extraordinary mentors to extend the influence of the university and to assist new graduates as they navigate their careers,” commented Dr. Debra Colley, dean of the college. “Their contributions to the profession and to the communities they serve speak highly to the mission of Niagara University and the excellence of our graduates. It is an honor to celebrate these accomplishments during this year’s Alumni Weekend.”

For luncheon information and tickets, please call Mary Kinney at 716.286.8560 or email ude.aragainnull@yennikm.

  • isabell58

    Mr. Hick must be held accountable for his derisive actions in the City of Peterborough. Please look more critically at what has transpired, and how the students are actually doing, rather than how well he’s says things are doing. You’re looking at a man who intentionally destroyed a school community that was exceptional. This isn’t going to go away anytime soon.

  • isabell58

    Please reconsider awarding Mr.Hick any kind of award. He was instrumental in destroying a healthy, vibrant, successful school community here in Peterborough. No one has yet to understand why he would dismantle the most successful school in Peterborough, promising better programming. PCVS was fully enrolled, was downtown so kids could walk to school, had excellent programming and had a waiting list for out of district students wanting to attend, due to it’s excellent, inclusive reputation. You are not doing him or anyone any favours by honoring this kind of behaviour. The programming is now a complete disaster; kids aren’t getting the courses they would have at PCVS, the busing is a mess, the schools are overcrowded, there is daily bullying going on at the new school, and TAS has been rendered “prohibitive to repair”. Please look into the destructive effect his actions have had on so many students and on our Peterborough community and how people have been treated by him. If you had attended one Board meeting you would see for yourselves the disdain he has for students.

  • support_for_all

    Rusty Hick is being rewarded for the success of students, students that he personally has bullied and disrespected. What kind of a message does this give to students, teachers and parents? It is a huge mistake to make this kind of “reward” to someone who has bullied his staff and trustees into making the worst decision for a large community in Ontario. You may wish to do further research.

  • Justmewondering

    Awarding Rusty Hicks anything is a fiasco and shows the ignorance of his peers – what he is

  • Justmewondering

    Just can’t bear to hear the truth eh.

  • GraceAndMercyToo

    Awarding Rusty Hicks anything is a fiasco and shows the ignorance of his peers – what he is really doing and did in Peterborough. He manipulated and made a mockery of a fair process and now our kids are jammed into tight quarters in a school that doesn’t want them. They are subjected to bullying, physical assaults which include punching and spitting and many are afraid to go to school. Yeah. That was really putting Students First. Good job, Rusty.

  • Please delete all comments. That’s ethics for ya!

  • Rusty Hick closed a fully enroled school with minimal maintenance costs in order to save a school declared prohibitive to repair that was at less than 50% enroled. Cost overuns are in excess of one MILLION dollars and climbing. Estimates to bring this school up to the current building code are over 17 million dollars. In a rush to judgement a school was closed without consideration of a clash of school culture, bullying, transportation issues or programming cross overs. More students are bused, programs have been lost, and morale has been destroyed. Educator of the year? I don’t think so.

  • Giving Rusty Hick as award such as this proves only that you don’t do your homework very well. Great School.

  • Very surprised to see Rusty Hick was nominated as an educational leader this year. Rusty’s biggest accomplishment of the year was closing a Peterborough Ontario high school at any cost. He lied several times on an an affidavit during a judicial review of the decision to close the school. It was his lies that led to the schools ultimate closure. Now several Peterborough schools are over crowded. In all Peterborough schools programming, student transportation and bullying issues are now the worst ever seen in this city. Mr. Hick does not deserve any awards. I am afraid he deserves to be fired!

  • Damian Parrent

    Congratulations Kyle!!! We are so proud of your accomplishments! Dad & Mom

    • congrats Kyle, and Rusty. Great work.

      • Conrats Kyle, rusty, not so much

        • 13rusty2resign14

          Did you really do your research? Rusty has let down students, parents and the city of Peterborough. He should be stepping down from his glorious position!

      • Go Kyle, but watch that Rusty Hick fellow, he has been known to tear apart entire communities and actually promote school bullying.