Theresa Conte, an active member of the Chatham Central School District community, and John Thorsen, Principal of Chatham High School, are the recipients of the Capital Area School Development Association (CASDA) Friends of Education Award. CASDA presents this award to recognize the selfless contributions of individuals who dedicate themselves to serving students and the school community. Ms. Conte and Mr. Thorsen were honored at CASDA’s Friends of Education Dinner, where they received their awards on February 16th.
In statements that accompanied the Friends of Education Awards, CASDA wrote:
“In the words of Superintendent Dr. DeAngelo, Teri Conte is quite simply an “unstoppable force for good” in the Chatham CSD community. As a parent volunteer, former Vice President of the School Board and a tireless advocate, Ms. Conte has generously given her time and energy to improve the lives of Chatham’s students. The depth of her dedication is evident in her work with the Chatham Fine Arts Booster Club (FAB). Teri developed the FAB to provide essential support for arts programming, showcase the work of students and provide scholarships and awards to recognize outstanding student artists. Ms. Conte also initiated an after school program that pairs technologically savvy students with adult community members to help them program their smartphones and computers. Teri also takes an active role with Columbia Pathways to Recovery in order to provide information and resources to students and community members who struggle with addiction. Her boundless energy, empathy and commitment make Teri Conte a devoted Friend of Education.”
“Like many outstanding leaders, John Thorsen prefers to avoid recognition for his contributions to Chatham High School. He is much more comfortable highlighting the efforts of teachers, coaches and students who make Chatham a thriving, vibrant school community. His colleagues and students, however, understand Mr. Thorsen’s essential role in fostering this environment. Whether he is in his office with students or coaching the basketball team, Mr. Thorsen puts students first. He takes time to know each individual student in a genuine, friendly manner – going well past names and faces. He makes an effort to know students passions, dreams and struggles and is always there to lend unwavering support. His deep roots in the community feed a passion that transcends his job description. John Thorsen’s selfless dedication to students and colleagues make him a foundational pillar of the Chatham community and a true Friend of Education.”
Chatham Central School District nominated Ms. Conte and Mr. Thorsen for the Friends of Education Award and we congratulate the two on their much-deserved recognition.