Director of the DYS Education Initiative Woody Clift has announced that two of the DYS team are part of the annual DYS Commissioner’s Awards. “Please join me in extending a huge shout out to our very own, talented, and distinguished colleagues Fiona Coker, Assistant Regional Education Coordinator in the Metro Region and Nicole Leontakianakos, Education and Career Counselor from the Northeast Region, recognized for the leadership they provide and for their positive influence and impact on the lives of our students!”
Commissioner’s Awards are awarded to a limited group of individuals who have been nominated by colleagues and youth in the program, and, according to Cecely Reardon, Acting Commissioner of the Department of Youth Services, “Each recipient of a 2022 Commissioner’s Award was chosen because of their exemplary work ethic and commitment to the Department’s mission and vision for our youth. The recipients all demonstrated flexibility and perseverance in challenging times, often at great personal sacrifice. The Commissioner’s Award is an opportunity to recognize these role models and their impactful work. The pool of nominees is always rich and the nominations full of thoughtful reflections about staff talents, skills, and commitment to our work.”
Winners were formally recognized on September 28, 2022.
Fiona Coker said of her award “As someone who lives and works in the community, receiving the Commissioner’s Award in recognition for doing a job that is close to my heart means so much to me. I work with a team of dedicated educators who believe that each young person has the capability to succeed. A vital component to attaining success is having a system of support in place. Over the years, I have made connections with community organizations and neighbors who also share in the belief that our students can succeed when given the tools and strategies to navigate systems that do not always support and see them. Joining together in partnerships is how we create meaningful and impactful programming for our students within DYS.”
Congratulations to Coker and Leontakianakos for their work and this recognition!