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Orleans/Niagara BOCES Names Its Employees of the Year

The Orleans/Niagara BOCES recently named its employees of the year for the 2022-2023 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.

Daniel Connolly is the Administrator of the Year. Dan is the Director of Facilities and has worked at ONBOCES for seven years. Connolly said his favorite part of his job is that every day is different.  “I kind of like the chaos and the challenge that every day brings.  I think it keeps me young and active,” he says.  “I really am lucky that I work with so many great people.  I was shocked when I was named the administrator of the year.  It was a real honor.”  

Cindy Hurt is the Clerical Person of the Year. She has worked at BOCES for 42 years and counting at the Orleans Career and Technical Education Center.  She is the secretary to the District Superintendent and the District Clerk. “I am blessed to work with a lot of great people and I am grateful for being recognized as an employee of the year,” she says.

Carmen Montgomery is the Continuing Education Employee of the Year. She has worked as an Adult Literacy teacher for five years.  “I felt very humbled to receive this honor, because we have so many absolutely amazing teachers in the Adult Literacy unit.  My favorite part of my job is seeing our students succeed, and being part of a team that is truly dedicated to making that happen.” 

John Watson is the Custodian/Maintenance Person of the Year. He has been a custodian worker at the Niagara Career and Technical Education Center since August 2019.  “My favorite thing about my job is working on different tasks and learning new things.  I was totally surprised to receive this award.  I was not expecting it.  I am very happy to be working with a great group of people.”

Anita Muzzi is the Staff Specialist of the Year. She has been a part of the Public Relations Department for almost nine years. “My favorite part of my job is interacting with the component districts that I cover,” she says.  “Going into a classroom, where students are working on projects, or a school where an event is taking place and seeing the students engaged in what they are learning is second to none.  I really love going to the district buildings around the holiday times, especially when Santa Claus makes a visit!  Additionally, I find seeing the connection between students and local charities/organizations at all grade levels throughout the year heartwarming.”   She says she was surprised and honored at being named Staff Specialist of the year.  “Getting an award for something you love doing every day is priceless!”

Dianne Hosmer was named the Substitute of the Year. Dianne worked as a teacher aide at the Niagara Academy for many years.  Luckily for Orleans/Niagara BOCES she still continues to work for us in the capacity of a substitute. 

Kathy Haseley is the Teacher Aide of the Year.  She has worked at the Niagara Career and Technical Education Center for 25 years.  “My favorite part of my job is of course the students!  I feel very fortunate as I have been able to be involved in many of our programs over the years.  It is fun to see the students learn their trade and become excited about their accomplishments,” she says.  “The staff at the Niagara Career and Technical Education Center are the best!  All these wonderful people make coming to work easy!  I feel very honored to receive this award and I was certainly surprised.  It made my day!” 

Ashley Austin is the Teacher of the Year. Ashley has worked as a special education teacher for almost six years at the North Tonawanda Learning Center.   “My favorite part of my job are the students and seeing their successes and helping them succeed.  I love that “aha look” on a student’s face when something finally clicks or they do good.” She says she was shocked and surprised when she was announced opening day as the teacher of the year. 

collage of photos of headshots of employees