2019 Recognition Program Winners

WNY STEM Advocate Award – Lieutenant Governor Kathy Hochul

First Pathway STEM School District – Salamanca City School District

First Quality Partner School District – Depew Union Free School District

Girls Living STEM International Award – Chloe Tullius, Sweet Home High School

Dr. Rod Doran STEM Educator Award – Caitlin Bowen, Wellsville Central School District / Larry Hiller, Nichols School / Sandra George, Frontier Central School District – Honorable Mentions: Renee Sossong-Brady, Erie #1 BOCES; Anthony Fountain, Wellsville Central School District; Kimberly Honeck, Tonawanda City School District; Joshua Koester, Boys & Girls Clubs of Buffalo; Lisa Wood, The Park School

School Libraries Moving STEM – Iroquois Middle School, Maria Muhlbauer / Roy B. Kelley, Anna Merritt (Lockport), Rachel O’Sheehan – Honorable Mention: Salamanca High School

Emerging STEM School Systems – Barker Central School District / Southwestern Central School District

Schools on the Move: Engaged Level – Alden High School / Dr. Charles R. Drew Science Magnet School (Buffalo) / East Aurora Middle School / Marilla Primary (Iroquois) / Prospect Elementary School (Salamanca) / Wellsville Secondary School

Schools on the Move: Accomplished Level – Amherst High School / Harry F. Abate Elementary School (Niagara Falls) / Lockport High School / Salamanca High School / Starpoint Central School District

Congratulations to each person and school – Your hard work is paying off to make STEM a reality in your district!


Every year WNY STEM and our sponsors honor schools and school districts for their achievements in advancing science, technology, engineering, and math in our five-county region with four distinct categories of recognition.

Schools gaining recognition status are feted at the WNY STEM Celebration of STEM Recognition Program.

Emerging STEM School Systems

School systems should demonstrate they are using the resources, developing staff, and establishing programs or identifying priorities for STEM. Systemic commitment to STEM is validated by the school system’s published curriculum and programs; board of education priorities and allocations and/or school site visits by the WNY STEM Board of Directors.

WNY Schools on the Move

The NYS STEM Quality Learning Rubric guides this school-level recognition program which WNY STEM launched in 2015. Recognized schools are validated as they embark on transformation changes in STEM learning. The recognition also encourages sharing and scaling up by example as it identifies individual schools that have demonstrated marked progress across three levels – Emerging, Engaged, and Accomplished – on these components of STEM learning:

  • STEM integration;
  • Connections to non-STEM disciplines;
  • Use of project-based learning;
  • Exposure to STEM careers;
  • Use of the engineering design process; and
  • Technology integration.

Public, private, charter and parochial schools are eligible to apply for the Annual STEM Recognition Program. Applicants must be able to demonstrate that the school has moved beyond an emerging level across most NYS STEM Quality Learning components. Schools within a current WNY Emerging STEM School System are automatically eligible: those school systems will be invited to submit an application.


STEM Recognition Award Recipients

2018 Sustainability Education Award

  • Salamanca High School, Award
  • St. John Vianney School, Honorable Mention
2018 Emerging School Systems

  • Akron Central School District
  • Bemus Point Central School District
  • Clarence Central School District
  • Roy-Hart Central School District
  • Scio Central School District
  • Starpoint Central School District
  • Westfield Central School District
2018 Engaged Level

  • Amherst High School
  • Cleve-Hill Middle School
  • North Tonawanda Intermediate School
  • Research Lab School (Buffalo)
  • Roy-Hart Central School District
  • Salamanca High School
2018 Accomplished Level

  • Depew Union Free School District
  • Genesee Valley, Grades 7-12
  • Mt. St. Mary Academy
  • Nichols School
  • Wellsville Elementary
2018 STEM Teacher Leader Awards

  • Andrew Franz, Buffalo Public Schools
  • Ed Hawkins, Sweet Home Central School District
  • Leif Johnson, Lancaster Central School District
  • Mark McNess, Maryvale Union Free School District
  • Dr. Barbara Sherman, SUNY Buffalo State
2017 Emerging School Systems

  • Bolivar-Richburg Central School District
  • Buffalo Academy of Science Charter School
  • Cassadaga Valley Central School District
  • Cattaraugus-Little Valley Central School District
  • Charter School for Applied Technologies
  • Cheektowaga-Maryvale Union Free School District
  • Fredonia Central School District
  • Frewsburg Central School District
  • Friendship Central School District
  • Panama Central School District
  • Tapestry Charter School
2017 Engaged Level

  • Bishop Timon-St. Jude High School
  • East Aurora High School
  • Hamburg High School
  • Iroquois Middle School
  • Nardin Academy
2017 Accomplished Level

  • Genesee Valley Elementary
  • Lockport High School
  • Mt. St. Mary Academy
  • St. Benedict School
2017 Sustainability Education 

This category recognizes schools and programs that exemplify components of quality STEM learning in Sustainability Education. P-12 and Undergraduate Education schools, programs, clubs or programs are eligible to apply.

  • Pioneer Central Schools, Award
  • Genesee Valley Central Schools, Honorable Mention
2017 WNY STEM Advocates

WNY STEM’s Board of Directors laud STEM Advocates who advance STEM education for our region.

  • Congressman Brian Higgins
2016 Emerging School Systems

  • Amherst Central School District
  • Belfast Central School District
  • Dunkirk City School District
  • Holland Central School District
  • Iroquois Central School District
  • Lewiston-Porter Central School District
  • Ripley Central School District
  • Springville-Griffith Institute Central School District
  • Wellsville Central School District
2016 Engaged Level

  • Buffalo Academy of the Sacred Heart
  • MST Prep School in Buffalo
  • Maple Avenue Elementary School, Niagara Falls
  • Mt. St Mary’s Academy
  • St Mary’s High School
  • Nichols School
  • Tapestry Charter School
2016 Accomplished Level

  • Lancaster High School
  • Niagara Falls High School
2016 WNY STEM Advocates

WNY STEM’s Board of Directors laud STEM Advocates who advance STEM education for our region.

  • Buffalo Public Schools Board of Education
  • Cattaraugus-Allegany Dream It. Do It.
  • Citibank
2015 Emerging School Systems

  • Alden Central School District
  • Allegany-Limestone Central School
  • Charter School for Applied Technologies
  • Chautauqua Lake Central School
  • Cleveland-Hill Schools
  • Eden Central School District
  • Forestville Central School
  • Franklinville Central School
  • Genesee Valley Central School District
  • Gowanda Central School District
  • Olean Central School District
  • Salamanca City Schools
  • West Valley Central School
2015 WNY STEM Advocates

WNY STEM’s Board of Directors laud STEM Advocates who advance STEM education for our region.

  • Retired NYS Regents Chancellor Emeritus Robert Bennett
  • The Hon. Mayor Byron Brown
  • Eunice Lewin
2014 Emerging School Systems

  • Buffalo Public Schools
  • Buffalo Independent Secondary Schools Network
  • Cattaraugus-Allegany BOCES
  • Cuba-Rushford Central School District
  • Depew Union Free School District
  • Diocese of Buffalo Catholic Schools
  • East Aurora Union Free School District
  • Erie #1 BOCES
  • Erie #2 BOCES
  • Fillmore Central School District
  • Hamburg Central School District
  • Hinsdale Central School District
  • Jamestown Public Schools
  • Kenmore-Town of Tonawanda Union Free School District
  • Lackawanna City School District
  • Lake Shore Central School District
  • Lancaster Central School District
  • Lockport City School District
  • Newfane Central School District
  • Niagara Falls City School District
  • North Tonawanda City School District
  • Orchard Park Central School District
  • Orleans/Niagara BOCES
  • Pioneer Central School District
  • Portville Central School District
  • Sweet Home Central School District
  • Tonawanda City School District
  • West Seneca Central School District
  • Williamsville Central School District

 STEM providers and educators for students of all ages (PreK-20) can find a rubric guide for quality STEM learning here: NYSSTEMRubric.