Tony Iadevaio’s name has long been synonymous with school board service in Valley Stream. On the state level, his dedication to education is also recognized, and that’s why he was chosen as the 2013 recipient of the Everett R. Dyer Award for Distinguished School Board Service.
Iadevaio, who was first elected to the District 24 Board of Education in 1980, was presented the award at the New York State School Boards Association annual convention in Rochester on Oct. 25. He is currently in his 34th year on the elementary school board, and has also served nearly three decades on the Central High School District Board of Education.
He was presented the award in front of thousands of educators, administrators and school board members in the Lilac Ballroom at the Riverside Radisson. Among those in attendance were Valley Stream’s four superintendents, and six board members from Districts 13 and 30. “I felt really honored that my own colleagues were in the audience,” he said.
Iadevaio also said it was gratifying to receive the award from a fellow Long Islander, Susan Bergtraum, NYSSBA’s first vice president and a former school board member in East Williston.
While he had a lengthy speech prepared, Iadevaio said he was asked to speak for no more than five minutes. He touched on a variety of topics, including the Common Core Learning Standards, mandate relief and the tax cap. Iadevaio also discussed the importance of having good relationships with local, state and federal officials, to ensure that schools are getting the resources required to provide students with a sound education. “I delivered the points I wanted to,” he said.
Iadevaio said he wasn’t nervous about addressing a large crowd, as public speaking has become second nature for him. He has served several stints as president of the District 24 and high school boards of education, and has also been tapped to speak at the Valley Stream Council of PTAs’ annual Legislative Breakfast.
On receiving the award, Iadevaio said he received personal congratulations from New York State Education Commissioner Dr. John King.
In addition to the awards presentation, Iadevaio attended several workshops while at the conference, including on diversity and communication with the local press. He has been attending the conferences regularly for more than 15 years. Iadevaio said the conferences allow him to meet school officials from across the state and share ideas.
On Oct. 30, the District 24 Board of Education recognized Iadevaio for his accomplishment. Coincidentally, it happened to be school board recognition night, with students, teachers and administrators from the three elementary schools thanking the seven board members for their service.
To Iadevaio’s surprise, his family was in the audience including his four children, brother and other relatives, who had been invited by Superintendent Dr. Edward Fale. They were treated to a replay of Iadevaio’s speech from the convention.
Board of Education Paul DePace presented Iadevaio with a proclamation from the board members of District 13. Iadevaio’s plaque from NYSSBA will hang in the board conference room at the William L. Buck School for a few months, before he gets to keep it for good.