outstanding service award

2020 Outstanding Service Award

2018 Outstanding Service Award Recipient

Mrs. Donna Palley

Assistant Superintendent, SAU #08

NHSAA is pleased to announce Ms. Donna Palley, Assistant Superintendent for the Concord School District, SAU #8, as the 2018 Outstanding Service Award winner.

The NHSAA Outstanding Service Award was instituted in 1994 as an important form of recognition for the exceptional work of system educational leaders who are not superintendents of schools. Annually, members are invited to nominate colleagues for consideration by the selection committee. The judging committee uses criteria that include the individual's contribution to the educational achievement of his or her SAU, organizational improvement, initiative, professional growth, and service to public education.

For over thirty years, Donna has worked for the Concord School District, embodying many different roles, most recently serving as Assistant Superintendent for the past seven years. Donna has held other positions within the district, beginning as a Special Educator, then as District in Need of Improvement Director. She has also chaired curriculum committees and other initiatives throughout the district.

One significant improvement that Donna has been noted for is the new report card system that she and a team of educators from SAU #8 designed and implemented in 2016. Reflecting on this initiative, Chris Demers, Concord School District’s Assessment Coordinator, remarked, “Her work on the report card exemplifies Donna’s ability to tackle a project, no matter how unwieldy it may be, without losing sight of how the work complements other efforts and reflects the Concord School District’s mission and vision. Donna demonstrates an almost superhuman ability to keep one eye on the big picture while rolling up her sleeves to tackle the tough work needed to make things happen.”

Concord School District Superintendent Terri Forsten stated, “Donna works in a position that is multi-faceted as she supports teaching and learning in our schools. She lives our vision that all students develop a passion for learning, experience excellence in their lives and believe that they have the ability to shape the future of their lives and communities. Donna believes in this vision for our students, for our faculty and for our community.”

Donna resides in Concord with her husband Steven. She plays the fiddle in an all-women fiddle band, and also enjoys traveling, reading and spending time with her three grown children, their significant others and her grandchild.

All members of the New Hampshire School Administrators Association join in congratulating Donna on her outstanding leadership and work on behalf of SAU #8 and the state of New Hampshire.

2017 Outstanding Service Award Recipient

Mrs. Karen Burnell

Business Administrator, SAU #81

The New Hampshire School Administrators Association is pleased to announce Mrs. Karen Burnell, Business Administrator for the Hudson School District, SAU #81, as the 2017 Outstanding Service Award winner.

The NHSAA Outstanding Service Award was instituted in 1994 as an important form of recognition for the exceptional work of system educational leaders who are not superintendents of schools. Annually, members are invited to nominate colleagues for consideration by the selection committee. The judging committee uses criteria that include the individual's contribution to the educational achievement of his or her SAU, organizational improvement, initiative, professional growth, and service to public education.

Karen has over thirty-five years of experience in municipal finance, starting in the town of Hudson as the town accountant. Her career with the Hudson School District began in 1985 as the district accountant. She advanced to become the finance director, and in July of 2010 was promoted to business administrator.

Phyllis Schlichter, Ph.D., interim superintendent of the Hudson School District stated, “Karen has often served as a mentor to SAU employees and district administrators who are charged with developing a fiscally responsible budget that can be defended to community stakeholders. Teamwork is at the heart of her efforts within the district.”

Lawrence Russell, Jr., director of special services in SAU #81, remarked, “Karen is able to answer any question or find the answer to any complex problem that interferes with the effort to improve the instruction process in our district. Karen researches ways to make the Board of Education’s and superintendent’s vision for improving instruction a reality and then put a plan in place that produces that outcome.”

Mary Wilson, SAU #81’s assistant superintendent for curriculum and instruction, commented, “Mrs. Burnell is always available to consult with our policies, RSAs and Rules for State of New Hampshire. Her extensive knowledge has helped in more than one difficult situation. She is always putting the learning of the Hudson community first, she has been instrumental in finding ways to fund critical and necessary programs of supports for students and their families. She is the finest Business Administrator I have had the pleasure of knowing!”

Karen lives in Hudson with her husband David. Her daughter Heather, and her son Timothy live in Hudson as well, with their families.

All members of the New Hampshire School Administrators Association join in congratulating Karen on her outstanding leadership and work on behalf of SAU #81 and the state of New Hampshire.

2016 Outstanding Service Award Recipient

Mrs. Barbara Hopkins

Assistant Superintendent, SAU #21

The New Hampshire School Administrators Association is pleased to announce Mrs. Barbara Hopkins, assistant superintendent of SAU #21, which serves the Hampton Falls, North Hampton, South Hampton, Seabrook, and Winnacunnet Cooperative school districts, as the 2016 Outstanding Service Award winner.

The NHSAA Outstanding Service Award was instituted in 1994 as an important form of recognition for the exceptional work of system educational leaders who are not superintendents of schools. Annually, members are invited to nominate colleagues for consideration by the selection committee. The judging committee uses criteria that include the individual's contribution to the educational achievement of his or her SAU, organizational improvement, initiative, professional growth, and service to public education.

Barbara earned her Master of Education in curriculum and instruction from Boston College in 1989. In 2008, she received her C.A.G.S. (Certificate of Advanced Graduate Studies) in educational administration and supervision from the University of New Hampshire. She is currently pursuing a doctorate in policy and leadership from the University of New Hampshire.

Barbara's role as a leader in the community is reflected in the praises of colleagues who supported her nomination. Dr. Robert Sullivan, superintendent of SAU #21, called Barbara "one of the loudest cheerleaders of excellence in public education." He says, "Working with Barbara has been a real pleasure for me. She is a school leader of great integrity and is a kind and supportive individual who sincerely cares about our students, staff, and community members."

Principal of the Lincoln Ackerman School, Mark Deblois, said, "I have often joked that Barbara is the SAU #21 'Energizer Bunny.'" Mark shares that the Seabrook Nuclear Power Station exists within the boundaries of the SAU, but prior to Barbara's arrival in 2010, there was no emergency response plan for a nuclear or other disaster. He reveals that Barbara "went to businesses within the greater community and raised the funds for emergency backpacks in every classroom throughout the district. I would submit that this SAU is as ready to respond to any type of emergency situation as any district in New Hampshire and that readiness is completely attributable to Barbara's foresight and commitment to the safety of our community."

Stephanie Lafreniere, principal of Seabrook Elementary School, praised Barbara's personal approach. "She knows everyone's name in my school and the role that they play within the larger community. She even does things in her spare time, such as making a piece of pottery for each staff member throughout the SAU who has a baby."

All members of the New Hampshire School Administrators Association join in congratulating Barbara on her outstanding leadership and work on behalf of SAU #21 and the state of New Hampshire.

© 2020 by NHSAA

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