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Alfred University, CICU honor Binghamton schools' superintendent
3/31/09

Dr. Peggy Wozniak, superintendent for the Binghamton City School District, is now a member of the Commission on Independent Colleges and Universities (CICU) “Alumni Hall of Fame.”

This year CICU inducted graduates of New York State’s independent colleges and universities who have made a difference in K-12 education in the state.

Dr. Gene Bernstein, an Alfred University trustee and a member of the CICU board of directors, nominated Wozniak for the honor. Wozniak received her B.A. degree in elementary education from Alfred University in 1972.

“I choose to look upon this recognition for the many Alfred graduates who have gone on to successful careers in education,” said Wozniak in accepting the award at a CICU reception in Albany.

“I would like to thank Alfred University for the four wonderful years I spent there as an undergraduate, and what it did to help me get where I am today,” said Wozniak, who has headed the Binghamton schools since 2002. “When I entered Alfred, like many freshmen, I had no idea what I wanted to be when I grew up. Four years later, when I was among the first group to graduate with a degree in elementary education, I never envisioned that I would one day be the first female superintendent of the Binghamton City School District.”

The broader message, Wozniak said, is “There are many young men and women in our colleges today who are unsure of what they want to do when they finish. I hope all of us here today will encourage some of them to do into education as a career. You never know what their potential may be. We are at a time in this country when we need the best and brightest to come forward to work with us in public education to develop the greatest resource our country has: our youth.”

Following graduation from AU, Wozniak began teaching in the West Seneca (NY) Central School district, earning her M.S. degree in education from the State University of New York at Buffalo in 1975. After seven years, she moved to California, where she worked as a teacher, assistant principal, principal, curriculum director, and superintendent.

Wozniak received her Ed.D. in Educational Management in 1994 from the University of La Verne, CA. For her leadership of the Mammoth Unified School District in Mammoth Lakes, CA, the Association of California School Administrators named her the Superintendent of the Year for 2000. She is credited with implementing curriculum standards and assessment reform, and raising student achievement to rank in the top 10 percent statewide.

In 2002 Wozniak returned to her native New York State as superintendent of the Binghamton City School District. As CEO of the 6,140-pupil urban district, she supervises 1,100 employees and manages a $90.9 million budget. More importantly, she has been able to pull together the community, governing board, faculty, staff and students to develop and implement a strategic plan and vision for the district.

Her expertise in K-12 education was recognized in 2007 when the governor of New York appointed her to the Children’s Cabinet Advisory Board, created to improve the lives of New York's children by ensuring the successful implementation of the expansion of the Child Health Plus program and identifying ways to offer increased access to high quality pre-kindergarten and early learning programs.

Wozniak serves as a member of the faculty for the “Transition to Superintendency Program” for the Board of Cooperative Educational Services in Broome County. She is a member of the Binghamton Rotary Club, serving on its Charities Board; a member of the Broome County Urban League, serving as second vice chair of its Board of Directors; and a member of the Central New York Southern Tier Regional Advisory Board for Lifetime Healthcare Companies.

Alfred University presented Wozniak with a Distinguished Alumna Award from the Alumni Council in June 2008 in recognition of her service to the University and its students. She serves on the AU Women’s Leadership Center Advisory Board; has been a speaker in the “Women of Influence” series; and volunteered her time to work with education majors through the Career Development Center.