NYSPHSAA, CSEA name Excelsior Award winner

LATHAM — The New York State High School Athletic Association and CSEA have announced Jerry Ireland of Panama Central School (Section VI) as the winner of the eighth annual Excelsior Award. Jerry has been an employee of Panama for more than 20 years, starting as a teacher’s aide and now working as the transportation aide for the district.

“Jerry Ireland represents the very best in CSEA — he is dedicated to his work, cares about the young people he works with, and contributes to the quality of life in his school district,” said CSEA President Danny Donohue in a news release. “It is great to partner with the New York State Public High School Athletic Association because it helps ensure people like Jerry are recognized for their outstanding character and service.”

The award was developed through a partnership between NYSPHSAA and CSEA to recognize a CSEA member in a NYSPHSAA school who has helped promote and foster athletic spirit in their local school district as well as display extraordinary dedication and support of high school athletics in New York State. The organizations have been partnered since 2002.

From the time Ireland was first hired, he has been encouraging students to participate in sports and attend athletic events. In the fall, he announces at football games and runs the scoreboard for girls volleyball. In the winter sports season he operates the scoreboard for boys and girls basketball games, including Sectional playoff games. For the spring season, Ireland serves as the first base coach for the softball team. He also coordinates and escorts teams in and out of town for championship games. His support of Panthers athletics is a year-round endeavor.

“This award came as a complete surprise to me,” said Ireland. “I would like to thank PCS for their support and especially Chrissy Smith for nominating me for this NYSPHSAA/CSEA award. I am very honored.”

Ireland was honored at the NYSPHSAA Girls Volleyball Championships at the Cool Insuring Arena on Nov. 18.

By Paul Wager

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