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Tops in Their Field

Democrat Photo by Rob Potter

OUTSTANDING EDUCATOR AWARD recipients Charles Donnelly, left, Donna Zuckert, center, and Joe Iatauro proudly display their plaques.

Coaches, Educators
Honored by Boards

By Rob Potter
KIAMESHA LAKE — May 25, 2004 – Two coaches who have guided sports teams for several years at county high schools were among the honorees at the annual dinner meeting of the Sullivan County School Boards Association.
Longtime Eldred basketball coach Charles Donnelly, Tri-Valley athletic director and cross county/track coach Joe Iatauro and Roscoe sixth-grade teacher Donna Zuckert each received an Outstanding Educator Award at the dinner meeting, which was held on Wednesday, May 19 at Fibber’s at the Concord Golf Course in Kiamesha Lake.
Charles Donnelly
As he introduced Donnelly, Eldred Central School Superintendent Ivan Katz spoke of Donnelly’s many accomplishments as a coach and as a teacher. Those include many championship banners displayed in the Eldred Central School Gymnasium as well as the admiration and respect of past and present students.
“In the six years I have known him, I have learned that Charlie is an educator who makes kids his number one priority,” Katz said. “As a teacher, Charlie is one of the best. He has the wonderful ability to reach each one of his students.”
Upon accepting his Outstanding Educator Award, Donnelly thanked Katz, the ECS board of education, his fellow teachers, his wife and three daughters.
“I’m very honored to receive this award,” he said. “There are so many great teachers in this county. I thank the Eldred Central school administration, board of education members, teachers, parents and students for considering me for this award.”
Joe Iatauro
As she introduced Iatauro, T-V board of education member Wanda Terwilliger noted that “many view academics and athletics as two separate entities.” But she said that people in the T-V school district “realize that our very successful athletic program is a vital part of our whole educational scene.”
Terwilliger noted that Iatauro has been a physical education teacher at T-V for 30 years and has held the title of athletic director for 28 years. In addition, Iatauro, known simply as “Mr. I.” to parents, students and fellow faculty members, has been a coach for some T-V sport for 90 consecutive seasons since 1974.
“Joe Iatauro has unselfishly dedicated himself to serving the children of our district and surrounding areas,” Terwilliger said. “He holds the students to high standards, teaching them about the necessity of maintaining good health as well as working hard to develop their skills. He believes that participation in sporting activities teaches valuable lessons that can be used throughout life.”
“I’m very honored to be chosen for the Outstanding Educator Award,” Iatauro said. “There are plenty of deserving teachers out there. I feel very fortunate to receive this award. This is an awesome award.”
Donna Zuckert
Roscoe Central School Superintendent George Will introduced Zuckert, listing her numerous teaching accomplishments. Will noted that Zuckert has been a teacher in the RCS district since 1980, teaching third, fourth, fifth and sixth grades. Zuckert has also served as an assistant leader for a local Girl Scout troop and currently is the advisor for the RCS Junior National Honor Society.
“Donna Zuckert is loved and respected by her students,” Will commented. “One example of who much her students admire her is the fact that she was recently nominated to be included in the 2004 edition of Who’s Who Among American Teachers.”
As she accepted her Outstanding Educator Award, Zuckert thanked the RCS board members, Will, RCS Principal Mark Dupra and her fellow faculty members. She noted that Roscoe is “a small district, but we do a heck of a job” in educating the district’s children.
“This was a nice honor,” Zuckert said after the ceremony. “It is probably the highlight of my career so far.”
The evening also featured the introduction of the Sullivan County School Boards Association’s 2004-2005 officers. They include President Edward J. Furchak Jr., who is a member of the Sullivan County BOCES board; Vice President Matthew Frumess (BOCES board); Treasurer Sue Horton (Monticello Central School District); Secretary Edna Simpson (Livingston Manor Central School District) and Legislative Chair Karen Fountain (Fallsburg Central School District).
The evening’s speaker was Sullivan County Legislature Chairman Chris Cunningham. He spoke about a number of economic projects that will impact Sullivan County residents – including the children who are educated in the county’s eight school districts – in the next few years.
Cunningham also praised the award winners and all educators in Sullivan County.
“I have a deep respect and admiration for everyone who works in the field of education in Sullivan County,” he said. “The members of the Sullivan County Legislature share with you the goal of enabling our students to excel in school.”

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