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Batavia School Board member to be honored with regional award

BATAVIA – For the past few years, Batavia School Board President Patrick D. Burk has been giving out monthly “recognition awards” to students and staff. Now he learned that he will be on the receiving end of an accolade – a 2016 Award for Excellence from the Western New York Educational Service Council.

“Mr. Burk’s many contributions to his school district made him an easy choice for the award. As we reviewed his credentials and read what people had to say about him, he rose to the top,” said Robert W. Christmann, the organization’s executive director.

The council, with offices at SUNY Buffalo State, represents 70 public school districts in Western New York, dues-paying members that receive services such as professional development program and assistance on special projects.

Burk has served on the Batavia School Board for 30 years and has been president 10 different times. Most recently, he was instrumental in starting a recognition program that highlights outstanding students, staff and community volunteers at each board meeting, and played a key role in establishing the Batavia City School District Education Foundation.

“Mr. Burk is the backbone of our district,” Superintendent Christopher Dailey said. “He is our greatest cheerleader, advocate and friend.”

In addition to his work on the School Board, Burk, a longtime Batavia resident, is a member of the board of the Genesee Valley Educational Partnership, delegate to the New York State School Boards Association and the president of the Genesee Valley School Boards Institute.

A Batavia resident for more than 35 years, he also supports the Hugh O’Brian Youth Leadership program and is the executive and artistic director of the Batavia Players.

When notified that he was selected for the award, Burk spoke glowingly about Batavia students and staff.

“I know that we have a solid district and I am extremely proud to be a part of it,” he said, “I am pleased with our outcomes and see a tremendous amount of positive results from our students. I also am a champion of our staff. I believe that they are excellent and I see that they work hard to obtain the positive outcomes.”

Christmann said that Burk was one of only two board members selected this year out of many nominations. Other Awards for Excellence are given to administrators, superintendents, support staff and teachers.

The winners will be recognized at a banquet on April 27 at Salvatore’s Italian Gardens in Depew.