Johnstown graduate earns retiree award

ALBANY – Tom Sands, retired principal from the Watervliet City School District and a graduate of Johnstown High School, has been selected as the 2014 recipient of the Irving Schwartz Distinguished Retiree Award by the School Administrators Association of New York State.

During his 25-year career as a school administrator, Sands mentored school leaders and taught them about the operations and instructional side of leading a school. Colleagues collectively note it was considered an honor to be selected as one of Sands’ interns or assistant principals, according to a news release.

In retirement, Sands makes himself available to speak to administrators to give them advice, the news release said.

He has also been a long-standing member of SAANYS, serving the association in various capacities for more than 25 years, first as a member of its statewide board of directors and currently as the Region 6 (Capital District and surrounding areas) representative.

SAANYS Executive Director Kevin Casey said in the news release, “SAANYS has no stronger advocate than Tom Sands. We honor and thank Tom for his years of service and exceptional dedication to the educational community and our organization.”

Sands lives in Saratoga Springs with his wife, Christine Foglia, a principal in the Broadalbin-Perth Central School District.

Born and raised in Johnstown, Sands attended Johnstown High School, completed his undergraduate degree at the State University of New York at Cortland and received his master’s degree at the University at Albany.

Sands was honored for his contributions at an awards ceremony May 9 at the Century House in Latham.

Irving Schwartz was a founding member of SAANYS. This award is given annually to a retired SAANYS member who, in retirement, has made significant contributions to the welfare of the association, education and the greater community, the news release said.

SAANYS represents nearly 7,300 school administrators, supervisors, and coordinators. SAANYS provides direction, service and support to the members in their efforts to improve the quality of education and leadership in New York state schools. SAANYS is affiliated with the National Association of Elementary School Principals and the National Association of Secondary School Principals.