Newark BOE president recognized for lifetime achievement

COURTESY OF BRENDA SCHOOL

Russ Harris, president of the Newark Central School District Board of Education, recently received a Level 4 Board Lifetime Achievement Award from the New York State School Board Association.

Russ Harris.

The recognition program consists of four achievement levels that are reached by accumulating points through state-mandated training workshops, the Board Officer’s Academy, legal workshops and conventions. Harris attended four roundtable sessions with the commissioner of education in Albany. 

Superintendent Susan Hasenauer presented Harris with the NYSSBA plaque at a recent BOE meeting. 

“NYSSBA’s recognition program is designed to acknowledge school board members who strive continually to expand their governance knowledge and skills,” she said. “I would like to congratulate Russ Harris for earning a Level 4 Board Lifetime Achievement Award. Thank you, Russ, for all of the time and dedication you put into being a member of the Newark Board of Education. The countless hours and the 17 years you have dedicated to our students and the entire Newark School District is to be commended and is greatly appreciated.” 

Although the plaque shows he earned the benchmark 500 points to earn the Level 4 Award, Harris actually accumulated 645.

“It’s very important for Board of Education members to participate in ongoing professional development,’’ he said. “School issues are more complex than ever, and understanding information sent down from state and national school board associations is critical to the operation of our school district. 

“I am proud to serve the NCSD’s teachers, staff and administrators in helping to keep the district moving forward during these highly uncertain times. The many challenges facing school districts require diligence and advocacy with local, state and national elected officials to insure equity that our students deserve.”

Harris served on the board from 1993 to 2003, and was vice president during the 1999-2000 and 2015-16 school years. He was re-elected to a sixth, three-year term in May 2020 and is serving as president for a fifth year. He is first VP of the Four-County School Boards Association.