Susan Bergtraum, vice president of the Nassau BOCES Board of Education, was elected president of the New York State School Boards Association (NYSSBA) during its annual convention in October. She will take office on Jan. 1, 2016.
“As school board members, we have tremendous responsibility for our students, schools and communities,” said Bergtraum. “We hire superintendents, set policies and allocate resources. We work hand-in-hand with administration and listen carefully to the recommendations and concerns of our professional educators. Ultimately, it is our job to enable them to fulfill their leadership roles as they guide their districts. School board leaders must keep the success of each and every student at the fore in their decision making, remembering always the promise of public education and the critical role it plays in the strength of our nation. The success of every one of our students is directly linked to our leadership.”
Bergtraum, whose home district is the East Williston Union Free School District (UFSD), has been a member of NYSSBA’s Board of Directors since 2005, serving a number of roles and sitting on committees, such as executive, operations, and policy and bylaws. She was elected to the Nassau BOCES Board in 2006 and served on the East Williston UFSD’s board from 1991-2006, five of those years as president.
“We are thrilled for Bergtraum and for NYSSBA,” said Nassau BOCES Board President Eric B. Schulz. “She has been a valued friend and colleague for many years and we know that she will provide excellent leadership for school districts throughout New York State.”
Bergtraum is a past president and vice president of the Nassau-Suffolk School Boards Association (N-SSBA) and currently sits on N-SSBA’s executive, legislation and finance committees.
She is the cofounder of and a trustee of the East Williston Education Foundation, as well as a trustee of the Wheatley Scholarship Fund. She sits on the Council for Prejudice Reduction’s Conference Planning Committee; an advisory board for the Suffolk Center on the Holocaust, Diversity and Human Understanding; and on the Nassau County Human Rights Commission advisory board for its student conference.
In 2002, Bergtraum was awarded the Detective Joe Zito Memorial Award from the Council for Prejudice Reduction. In 2011, she received the Nassau BOCES Education Partner Award in recognition of her commitment to public education. Other awards include the Friends of Education Award, the Council of Administrators and Supervisors Award, the N-SSBA Presidential Award and the Long Island Crisis Center’s Person of the Year 2015 award.