Mike Ford Honored with 2015 Distinguished Service Award

Former Superintendent Receives NYS Council of School Superintendents’ Highest Honor
FordMike Ford, director of leadership development in the Center for Professional Development and Education Reform at the University of Rochester’s Warner School of Education, is the winner of this year’s Distinguished Service Award, given by the New York State Council of School Superintendents (NYSCOSS). Ford was the superintendent of the Phelps-Clifton Springs Central School District (Midlakes) for 15 years before joining the Warner School in 2014.  
The award, established in 1967, recognizes retired superintendents who have shown exemplary commitment to public education. Ford was chosen by a committee of current Council presidents and past presidents who are active superintendents. The Distinguished Service Award is the highest honor that the Council can bestow. Ford was honored at the Council’s Annual Banquet on Sunday, Sept. 27 in Saratoga Springs, N.Y.
Ford became the Midlakes superintendent in 1999. Serving 1,900 students in Phelps-Clifton Springs, Ford’s leadership brought improved student performance, stabilized district finances, improved staff and administrative recruitment and retention, and the successful completion of a $45 million capital project at Midlakes.
He began his 34-year career in K-12 education as an English teacher. His first administrative position was at Wayne-Finger Lakes BOCES, where he worked on the professional development side. He later served as assistant superintendent for instruction in the Wayne Central School District before assuming the superintendency at Midlakes.
At the Warner School, Ford supports K-12 school districts with leadership coaching, strategic planning, superintendent searches, and school reorganization studies. He also teaches courses in the K-12 school leadership program and serves on the leadership team for the University of Rochester/East EPO (Educational Partnership Organization), focusing on professional learning and coaching for East’s staff.
In addition to his administrative and faculty duties at Warner, Ford serves as a national board member of the National Center for Education, Research, and Technology and a board member of the Leadership for Educational Foundation. He is the past-president of the National Staff Development Council and the New York State Staff Development Council.
Ford has been a NYSCOSS member for more than 15 years. He was a member of the Council’s House of Delegates and served as chair of the Council’s APPR Committee. Ford was the recipient of the NYSCOSS Appreciation Award in 2014—the same year that he retired from Midlakes—for his dedication to education and ongoing service to NYSCOSS programs.
Ford earned a master’s degree and certificate of advanced study, both in educational administration, from the State University of New York at Brockport and a bachelor’s degree in secondary education speech and theatre from Bloomsburg State College.
The NYSCOSS (www.nyscoss.org) is a professional and advocacy organization with over a century of service to school superintendents, and most recently assistant superintendents, in New York State. The Council provides its more than 800 members with numerous professional development opportunities, publications and personal services, while advocating for public education and the superintendency.

(PHOTO: Featured (l-r) are Bill Johnson, chair of the Distinguished Service Committee; Mike Ford, award recipient; Maureen Donahue, president of the Council of School Superintendents; and Tom Austin, executive director of the New York Schools Insurance Reciprocal, sponsor of the award.)
About the Warner School of Education
Founded in 1958, the University of Rochester’s Warner School of Education (www.warner.rochester.edu) offers master’s and doctoral degree programs in teaching and curriculum, school leadership, higher education, educational policy, counseling, human development, and health professions education. The Warner School of Education offers an accelerated option for its EdD programs that allows eligible students to earn a doctorate in education in as few as three years part time while holding a professional job in the same field. The Warner School of Education is recognized both regionally and nationally for its tradition of preparing practitioners and researchers to become leaders and agents of change in schools, universities, and community agencies; generating and disseminating research; and actively participating in education reform. 
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