Central New York is home to so many remarkable women who are doing amazing work to help make life here better for everyone. Whether they’re teaching our children, volunteering locally, helping families in need or advocating on behalf of our community, these women give selflessly of their time and energy and they deserve recognition.
This year, I hosted my fifth annual Women of Distinction Awards ceremony to honor five outstanding local women for their contributions, as well as four promising students who were this year’s Women’s History Month essay contest winners.
This year’s Women of Distinction honorees include Sandra DiBianco, a community activist who has dedicated 25 years of service to the North Syracuse Central School District Board of Education; Lori Kindon, a teaching assistant at Woodland Elementary School who is helping students develop a positive self-image and who tirelessly volunteers; Jennifer Kondrk, a teacher in the Cicero-North Syracuse Central School District who creatively helps students learn difficult material and stay inspired; Victoria Lynn Bullock Krukowski, a local musician helping others through music therapy; and Jessica Rice, an art educator for the Auburn Enlarged City School District who is expanding her students’ worldview and fostering a love for art and critical thinking skills. All of these women are progressive visionaries and are a testament to how we all can create positive change right here at home.
This year’s essay contest winners include Lily Gravante, a seventh-grade student at Soule Road Middle School who wrote about Temple Grandin; Kellen McCasland, a seventh-grade student at Tully Junior-Senior High School who wrote about Katherine Johnson; and Emily Hunter, who wrote about Billie Jean King, and Austin Beers, who wrote about Clara Barton, both 11th-grade students at East Syracuse-Minoa Central High School.
It’s important to let the women who inspire us and uplift our communities know how much they mean to us, as well as learn more about the many invaluable contributions women have made over the years. The courage and dedication of early trailblazers paved the way not only for women and young girls, but for us all, changing life as we know it today. Let’s continue to stand with women and fight for full gender equality not just during Women’s History in March, but each and every day.
As always, my door is open. Please feel free to contact me if you’d like to learn more about my Women of Distinction Awards ceremony or if you have any questions or concerns, at (315) 452-1115 or at StirpeA@nyassembly.gov.