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Picture of three honorees

Three most deserving women were honored with the New York PTA Honorary Life Membership Awards from the West Irondequoit Central PTSA on Tuesday during a ceremony at Dake Junior HS. The highest honor a PTA can bestow was given to Mrs. Michelle Cramer, Ms. Mary Piston and Mrs. Alison Tuff.  Mrs. Cramer is the West Irondequoit CSD's Assistant Superintendent for Human Resources. She is retiring in September; Ms. Piston is a retired nurse and nurse coordinator; Mrs. Tuff is a parent and volunteer who has done great work supporting students with disabilities and their families. Congratulations to each honoree and thanks for your work!

Mrs. Michelle Cramer
A dedicated educator with more than 20 years of service in four different roles for the West Irondequoit Central School District, Mrs. Cramer has served as the Assistant Superintendent for Human Resources since 2020. She is recognized for her strategic and caring approach, particularly during the COVID-19 pandemic, and for her efforts in promoting diversity and inclusion in the workforce. Before assuming the HR role, she served as a Principal at Brookview Elementary (2008-16) and then Dake Junior High School (2016-20), where she leveraged her commitment to equity, extensive curriculum expertise and leadership skills to positively impact students. She was instrumental in introducing full-day kindergarten to our district. Mrs. Cramer also was an elementary teacher at Listwood when it opened in 2002. A Greece Arcadia graduate with degrees from Buffalo State and Nazareth University, she plans to retire in late September of 2024.

“Mrs. Cramer is respected for her devotion to ensuring all students and staff are seen, heard and cared for,” said Dr. Aaron Johnson, Superintendent of Schools. “She was instrumental in successfully leading us through a global pandemic and making sure that everyone was supported." 

Ms. Mary Piston
Ms. Piston cared for students in West Irondequoit in various healthcare for more than 30 years before her 2022 retirement, including health clerk, school nurse and District Nurse Coordinator. She served in the coordinator role, while also being the school nurse at Irondequoit High School, during challenging times amid the COVID-19 pandemic. Using a compassionate and knowledgeable approach, she made a profound impact on the lives of students, families, and staff, providing a safe and welcoming environment in the health office and responding to medical emergencies with calm and confidence. She was a nurse at Rogers Middle School, Dake Jr. HS and IHS.

“Along with her warm demeanor, Mary was unmatched in a crisis. I will never forget one health emergency where Mary acted so swiftly, calmly, and confidently, likely saving a student's life,” wrote one former IHS administrator. “I was in awe of her in that moment. She had the respect and admiration of many and she should be so proud of her impact.”

In 2022, Ms. Piston was recognized by the NYS Association of School Nurses for her “hard work and dedication” and “making a difference” in the lives of students. The organization called her an “everyday hero.”


Mrs. Alison Tuff
Mrs. Tuff is a champion for students with disabilities and their families. She connects caregivers with the resources and information they need to advocate for the resources and educational opportunities their children need. Her leadership role in the West Irondequoit PTSA's PASSN subcommittee (Parent Advocates for Student Services Network) has been critical, along with her advocacy for children with dyslexia, dysgraphia and dyscalculia. “She is incredibly supportive of (PASSN) and the families in the community,” one nominator wrote of Mrs. Tuff’s volunteer work. “She is knowledgeable, compassionate, supportive and experienced. She brings fantastic ideas and questions to the district.”