Oceanside administrators honored with state awards


Franky Simmons, principal of OHS Castleton, has been awarded the 2024 Dr. Mary Barter Scholarship from the New York State Council of School Superintendents. The scholarship of $2,000 is given annually to educators enrolled in graduate study in either a doctoral degree program or for school district administrative certification.

Mary Barter was the first woman president of the State Council of School Superintendents, and presided during a time when few women held the title of superintendent of schools. The scholarship in her name was created to inspire and promote more diversity in the field of educational leadership.

Simmons’ professional and ethical leadership are among the reasons for his recognition. The scholarship committee also cited his “visionary approach to education where student thinking is visible, and learning is experiential.” He is currently enrolled in the Russell Sage College for Educational Leadership Doctoral Program.

Phyllis Harrington, superintendent of Oceanside Schools, was recognized with the council’s 2024 Appreciation Award. Harrington served on the council’s Executive Committee and was president during 2021-22. The award committee cited her unwavering enthusiasm in supporting and mentoring educational leaders through numerous positions within the superintendent’s council. Harrington has also served as one of two superintendent representatives on the New York State Retirement System board since 2010.