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Michael Leonard

Columbia Principal John Sawchuk presents Athletic Director Michael Leonard with the Columbia Educator “Making a Difference Award.”

District students and staff were honored at “A Community Celebration Night” sponsored by the Rotary Club of Southern Rensselaer County on Tuesday evening at Moscatiello’s Restaurant.

Columbia Principal John Sawchuk, who is also a Rotarian, organized the event.

“What a great way to spend an evening recognizing individuals who never seek recognition and spend most of their time helping others,” Mr. Sawchuk said.

Five students from Columbia and three from Goff received Outstanding Student Awards for exemplifying the Rotary’s motto of “Service Over Self.” Additionally, Taylor Milkiewicz ’18 won the Distinguished Student Volunteer Award and Emily Mann ’18 was given the Girl Scout Service Award.

Columbia Athletic Director Michael Leonard won the Columbia Educator “Making a Difference Award” and Goff Social Worker James Eggleston won the Goff Educator of the Year Award.

The event also recognized members of the community and students from Rensselaer City School District and Schodack Central School District.

Award Recipients

Columbia Outstanding Students (9-12)

  • Tucker Zwanka ’17
  • Marissa Hochberg ’17
  • Michael Gonyea ’18
  • Elizabeth Gambino ’19
  • Lily Mahoney ’20

Goff Outstanding Students (6-8)

  • Sophia Fruggiero
  • Jason Carlock
  • Kyle McNeff

Columbia Educator “Making a Difference Award”

  • Athletic Director Michael Leonard

Goff Educator of the Year

  • Social Worker James Eggleston

Distinguished Student Volunteer Award

  • Taylor Milkiewicz ’18

The Post Graduate “Point of Light Award”

  • Erin Condo ’16

The Boy Scout Service Over Self Award

  • Dennis Cicchino

Girl Scout Service Award

  • Emily Mann ’18

Local Business Give Back Award

  • Fucillo Automotive Group
  • Wojeski & Co. CPA PC

The “Break Out Rotarian Award”

  • Shannon Romanowski

Outstanding Veteran Volunteer Award

  • Hugh Blake

Outstanding Military Service Award

  • Chris Staples – Navy
  • George R. Nieves – Army
  • Jesse Frankoski – National Guard

Outstanding Community Involvement Law Enforcement

  • Ernie Tubbs – East Greenbush P.D.
  • Michelle Dellavechia – Schodack P.D.
  • Jeff Stehr – North Greenbush P.D.
  • Gerard Buchanan – Rensselaer County Sheriff
  • Joe Terry – Rensselaer City P.D.

Distinguished Service Volunteer Fire Fighters

  • Mark Bodner Jr. from Best Luther F.D.
  • Chris Lavin from East Greenbush F.D.
  • Seth Tracy from Clinton Heights F.D.