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Pittsford education leader honored by State Education Assocation


ALBANY -- Kim McCluski has been selected as the recipient of the 2017 Friend of Education award by the School Administrators Association of New York State (SAANYS). This award is given to an individual, group, or organization that has consistently contributed to the support and advancement of outstanding public education and the students of New York State.

A highly respected supporter of public education through her long-standing membership on the Pittsford Board of Education, McCluski has also served as president on the Monroe County School Boards Association and the Nazareth College Board. Honored with the PTA Lifetime Achievement Award in 1996 by the Pittsford District PTSA for her leadership and the many program improvements she instituted at the district level since joining the organization in 1988, PTSA Co-President Elizabeth Norten noted, "Kim is an innovative thinker, always looking for creative ways to solve the complex issues facing school districts today." She cares deeply about the district and it is reflected in her willingness to serve on committees, the way she gets to know the students and staff, her support at athletic events, musical performances, awards ceremonies, and more. Commented Pittsford Mendon High School Principal Karl Thielking, "Upon my arriving in Pittsford sixteen years ago as a high school principal, I immediately became aware of the deep and broad esteem in which she is held. More importantly, I quickly understood that that respect was due to her absolute focus on the importance of public education and her own infinitely deep respect for the work and abilities of school administrators and teachers."

Together with the Pasley family, who had originally established the event, and honoring the memories of her son, Ryan and the Pasley's daughter, Katie, McCluski helps facilitate the annual Rainbow Classic Basketball Games between the district's two high schools for both varsity boys and girls. This event raises money for Golisano Children's Hospital where Katie and Ryan were treated. She noted that the two families "combined our efforts to help bring something good out of something so tragic for our families. The game does many things on many different fronts and sells out in one day." Over the past 16 years, they have donated close to $500,000 in Pittsford School's name, all while teaching the students there the importance of volunteering, giving back to the community, community service, and compassion. She continued, "It has been a wonderful way for me to use my grief towards uniting our schools and community with the hospital."

McCluski will be honored for her contributions at an awards ceremony on May 5 at the Century House in Latham, New York.

SAANYS represents nearly 7,200 school administrators, supervisors, and coordinators. As a professional association, SAANYS is committed to providing direction, service, and support to the membership in their efforts to improve the quality of education and leadership in New York State schools. SAANYS is affiliated with the National Association of Elementary School Principals (NAESP) and the National Association of Secondary School Principals (NASSP).