Weekly Feature

2018-06-13 / Education

Ken-Ton School Board president wins award

O’Malley O’Malley Last week, the Erie County Association of School Boards honored Jill O’Malley, president of the Kenmore-Town of Tonawanda Board of Education, with the 2018 Laura M. Burns Advocacy for Children Award.

The award is given to a current or former school board member who has provided outstanding service in advocacy for children while inspiring others to do the same and demonstrating leadership, actions that benefit children, and a willingness to stand up for principles that “put kids first.”

The award is presented to one individual annually in memory of the late Laura Burns, an educator, school board member and tireless advocate for children.

This is the first year of O’Malley’s second three-year term on the Board of Education, and she has served as Board of Education president for the past three years.

She is also active at the regional level, serving as an ECASB Legislative Team and Executive Board member. She works as a biology professor at Erie Community College and has three children enrolled in Ken-Ton schools.

According to the school district, O’Malley was founder and director of the Ken-Ton Parent Alliance and also founded the Ken-Ton Closet, which she continues to lead as its director.

The Ken-Ton Closet is a nonprofit organization that provides gently used clothing, school supplies and other necessities for children in need in the Ken-Ton community.

Through her leadership, the Ken-Ton Closet has expanded into one of the most successful nonprofit organizations in the community directly benefiting low-income school-age children, the district said.

Without the Ken-Ton Closet, many families would struggle to provide clothing and basic everyday necessities for their children, which would be a significant barrier to their children’s ability to do well in school, according to the district.

“Dr. O’Malley has brought many more parents into conversations around education and school-related issues and empowered them to advocate on behalf of students. And as founder and director of the Ken-Ton Closet, her work has had a tremendous impact on the everyday lives of hundreds of children in our community,” said Superintendent Steve Bovino.

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