Williamsville PTSA 64th Annual Service to Youth Awards Winners Announced
The 64th Annual Service to Youth Awards honored three individuals who have demonstrated extraordinary service to the children of the Williamsville Central School District. The 2021 Award recipients are:
Professional Award: Maureen Reilly, Vocal Music Teacher, Williamsville East High School
As one of the most respected music teachers in the region, Ms. Reilly has earned numerous honors and awards during her three decades at East, including the 2014 BPO/ECMEA Award for Excellence in Music. “Maureen’s passion for nurturing students as people and musicians is evident in everything she does,” wrote Michael Russo, the District’s Instructional Specialist for the Arts. “Walking into her classroom, one sees extremely excited and motivated students who are eager to learn.” Ms. Reilly has been the producer and vocal director of the school musical for 25 years, her choirs have consistently received gold with distinction medal ratings at the New York State School Music Association Major Choral Festival, and has also presided over the school’s performances during the Town of Amherst’s September 11th Memorial Service. Ms. Reilly's East Chorale has performed at many venues including Carnegie Hall, the opening of Marine Midland Arena (KeyBank Center) as well as Darien Lake, singing alongside the classic-rock band “Foreigner”.
Support Staff Award: Patricia Gray, Senior Clerk Stenographer, Casey Middle School
For more than 20 years, Patricia Gray has been welcoming families, parents, and students to Casey Middle School. A mom of three former Williamsville graduates, Mrs. Gray exemplifies what it truly means to be a school and community ambassador. “A front office staff member needs to be a good communicator, a compassionate listener, and a team player,” wrote Casey Principal Pete Dobmeier in his nomination. “Mrs. Gray is all of these things and more, and our students know it.” Mrs. Gray works closely with the PTSA at Casey, is a part of the Building Safety Committee, participates in the yearly Casey Talent Show, helps coordinate the “Casey Families in Need Program,” and has assisted with the “Chris Maloney Legacy Foundation Golf Tournament,” which raises awareness to the opioid crisis and helps fund The First Tee of WNY program. Additionally, Mrs. Gray is an active member of her church community and participates in multiple service projects. In her free time, Mrs. Gray enjoys spending time with her family, camping, crafting, and being outdoors.
Volunteer Award: Sarah Smith-Ronan, Esq., Heim Middle School
Ms. Smith-Ronan began volunteering at Maple West Elementary School in 2014, where she served as Vice President and later as co-President of the PTA. Her tenure with the Maple West PTA culminated in 2019 with the prestigious Phoebe Hearst School-Family Partnership Award, conferred annually by the National PTA to the PTA in the United States demonstrating excellence in family engagement. That same year, she also began serving as Vice President, and then co-President, of the Heim Middle School PTSA. In 2020, Ms. Smith-Ronan joined the New York State Western Region PTA as an Associate Director. For the last four years, Ms. Smith-Ronan has chaired the Williamsville PTSA Council’s Candidates Night. “Sarah Smith-Ronan exemplifies the mission of the PTA/PTSA by making every child’s potential a reality by engaging and empowering all families and communities to advocate for all children,” wrote one of her nominators. In addition to her roles on the PTA and PTSA, Ms. Smith-Ronan has been an active member of the District’s Wellness Council, and served on the District’s Nutrition and Wellness committee from 2018-2019. She was a co-leader of Girl Scout Troop 30959 from 2014-2020. In addition to her volunteer work, Ms. Smith-Ronan is a full-time Supervising Administrative Law Judge for New York State. She lives in Amherst with her husband, Sean, and their three children.