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South Colonie Central School District News

Neil Johanning
John Cogan get award
south colonie pta dinner attendees

(Top photo) Longtime South Colonie Board of Education member and PTA advocate Neil Johanning receives the Diamond Award at the 2016 Northeastern Region PTA annual dinner. (Middle photo) Colonie High School graduate John Cogan (sweater) earns the Humanitarian Award and is joined by his CCHS iCARE mentors Gina Agneta (far left) and Thomas Kachadurian and his mother and CCHS PTSA Vice President Stephanie Cogan. All four in the photo were previously recipients of the NYS PTA Honorary Lifetime Membership Award which recognizes individuals for their contributions to the welfare of children and youth. (Bottom photo) A large contingent from South Colonie attended this year's dinner meeting.

South Colonie Board Member and Graduate Earn High Honors From Regional PTA

A longtime South Colonie Board of Education member and PTA advocate and a member of the Class of 2016 received high honors this month with distinguished awards from the Northeastern Region PTA. Honored were Neil Johanning and Colonie Central High School graduate John Cogan.

Neil Johanning was honored by the Northeastern Region PTA as recipient of the Diamond Award, one of its highest honors. The Diamond Award is given by a PTA unit, council or region to recognize a member for exemplary service to PTA, its members, and its mission.

In addition to serving on the South Colonie Board of Education since 2005, Johanning has been involved with PTA for more than 25 years serving in many positions in South Colonie, Capital District/Northeastern Region, and at the New York State PTA: all the way from ice cream scooper at family fun nights to NYS PTA Treasurer. Johanning has also represented the PTA on several New York State Education Department committees. He is involved with lobbying efforts on behalf of education at the New York State Legislature for both the Board of Education and the PTA.

In presenting the award, Mike Keane described Johanning as a constant source of information and support to all of the PTAs in South Colonie.

John Cogan has been honored by the Northeastern Region PTA as recipient of the Stanley Marcus Youth Humanitarian Award. The Stanley Marcus Award recognizes a high school student for his/her humanitarianism and dedication to youth through zealous volunteer community service. The award is given to someone who best exemplify the humanitarian principles of Stanley Marcus who died in 1977 while serving as third vice president of the New York State Congress of Parents and Teachers.

Before graduating last June, Cogan served the South Colonie Central School District in a variety of ways over his four-years high school career. Cogan was Student Liaison to the district PTA Council, giving members tremendous insight into to what was going on in the hallways of Colonie Central High School.

One of Cogan's crowning achievements was serving as President of iCARE, the high school's character building initiative that has raised tens of thousands of dollars for various charitable groups. He worked tirelessly along with iCARE advisors Thomas Kachaduiran and Gina Agneta to build iCARE into what it is today.

This is one of the many reasons why John became known as "Mr. Colonie." His influence trickled down to middle school and elementary age school children as well, to the point where 10-12-year-olds equated iCARE to John. Today he is a student at Siena College.