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KATHLEEN HELHOSKI Wins New York State Council for the Social Studies Award

Kathleen Helhoski

Kathleen Helhoski won the 2024 John Roy Continuing Social Studies Service Award given by New York State Council for the Social Studies (NYSCSS).  This award recognizes a retired social studies educator who continues in retirement to make significant contributions to social studies education. 

Kathleen has served 48 years as an educator.  She served as a social studies teacher and Social Studies Department Chairperson at the high school level in the Enlarged City School District of Middletown. She then transitioned her contributions to Orange-Ulster BOCES, where she served as Assistant Director of Professional Development, Interim Director of Instructional Support, and currently, in her retirement, holds the position of Administrative Professional Development Specialist. She also shares her expertise as the Project Coordinator for The New York State Seal of Civic Readiness, representing Orange-Ulster BOCES.

In addition, Kathleen served as an adjunct instructor and continues to serve as supervisor for student teachers at Mount St. Mary College, guiding and inspiring a new generation of Social Studies teachers. Kathleen is well-known for mentoring teachers, offering professional development, and encouraging students and educators to grow as learners.

Dawn Vandervloed, President of the Mid Hudson Social Studies Council in her award nomination letter, shared, “Kathleen is a vital member of the social studies community in the Mid-Hudson Valley region and a valued friend of the Mid-Hudson Social Studies Council. Kathleen, an intelligent and hardworking team player, is a thoughtful former teacher who, despite joining the ranks of retired educators, is compelled to give back by volunteering her time and expertise to benefit the broader social studies community.”

According to Elizabeth Bierling-Powers, Washingtonville CSD Social Studies Teacher,  “Kathleen has made and continues to make significant contributions to the success of Consider the Source New York: Teaching with Historical Records. The product of this collaboration is a free online community that connects educators across New York State to valuable primary source materials thus providing access to highly engaging learning activities designed to guide and encourage students at all grade levels to make discoveries using critical thinking skills.”

OU BOCES is so proud of Kathleen Helhoski’s tremendous contributions to social studies education in our region and throughout New York State and congratulates her on receiving this award.