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Dedicated Community Member and Public Relations Liaison Honored

Holly Brooker, a steadfast supporter of the Highland Central School District (HCSD), has received the Ulster County School Boards Association (UCSBA) Distinguished Friend of Education Award. “The annual award recognizes individuals who lead with their heart and help to build a brighter future for Ulster County students,” said Ulster BOCES District Superintendent Dr. Jonah Schenker.

These champions of education include educators, business leaders, volunteers, advocates, and community members who willingly take the time to build relationships and establish trust within our local schools, knowing that what they invest in students in turn strengthens their families, their communities, and ultimately the world around them.

HCSD Superintendent Joel Freer presented the award to Brooker at the UCSBA’s annual dinner on May 25 at the Best Western in Kingston.

For many years, Brooker has served as the primary liaison between the HCSD and the Highland community, leading strategic efforts to share positive news and pertinent information through the District’s communication channels, including the website, social media, newspapers, mailings, and more. Her ability to communicate complex issues in friendly, easy-to-understand ways has helped the District pass countless school budgets and Capital Projects over the years. Her efforts have also helped the District build trust and strengthen parent/community engagement.

As a parent and longtime resident of Highland, Brooker always has her finger on the pulse of the community. She is often one of the first to spread awareness of school district events or correct any misinformation that may be circulating. She is a strong advocate for education and appreciates the value of helping school districts foster relationships with their stakeholders. She has been actively involved in the school PTAs, and currently volunteers for the Junior Achievement program and the Highland Rotary Club.

Schenker is full of praise for this year’s honorees. “We honor those who have made a difference in our youth, because after all, doesn’t every child deserve a champion?” he said.

Brooker’s fellow honorees are: Franceska Elias, Ellenville Central School District; Ann Bauch, Kingston City School District; Kathleen Keane, Marlboro Central School District; Gregory Warren, New Paltz Central School District; Marcia Panza, Onteora Central School District; Jessica Riozzi, Saugerties Central School District; Robert Riley, Wallkill Central School District; and Frank Falatyn, Ulster BOCES.