October 30, 2013

Orange-Ulster BOCES Wins State Archives Award

Albany, NY -- The New York State Archives and the Archives Partnership Trust have selected the Orange-Ulster BOCES to receive the 2013 Cheryl Steinbach Annual Archives Award for Excellence in Local Government Records Management. The award is named for the late Cheryl Steinbach, Chautauqua Town Clerk, who was a strong advocate for strengthening local government archival and records management programs.

The award was presented to Records Management Supervisor Sheila Almond, Director of Technology Bhargav Vyas, and Assistant Superintendent for Finance Deborah McBride Heppes at a luncheon ceremony at the Cultural Education Center in Albany, held recently.

Since 1990, the Orange-Ulster BOCES has maintained an outstanding records management program for itself as well as 18 school districts in Orange, Ulster and four other counties. BOCES’ approach with each district is to look at the whole records management picture. Records Management staff survey districts’ records, establish a records management plan, and teach staff how to maintain a records management program. Over time, O-U BOCES’ services have expanded, first into microfilming, then into scanning, and most recently e-Doc, the BOCES’ electronic document management system. 

Orange-Ulster BOCES effectively manages its own records as well. With e-Doc in place, the BOCES’ governing board now uses iPads to access agendas, supporting documentation, and minutes of meetings, and many school districts’ boards of education now run paperless meetings. Currently, 37 school districts, with over 600 users across the Hudson Valley and as far away as Long Island, are using O-U BOCES’ e-Doc system for their own records, saving each school district an average of  $40,000 per year in the cost of paper, space, and staff time.

The BOCES’ records services include records inventories, organizing inactive records storage sites, purging obsolete and duplicate records, training district staff in all areas of records management, microfilming records, scanning paper and microfilm records, creating microfilm from digital information, and (with e-Doc) providing secure storage and secure access to electronic records.

Orange-Ulster BOCES Records Management operations will be moving to a new facility specifically designed for their needs. The new site will include inactive records storage space that will be shared with districts.  Their program also helps districts develop a wide array of records management policies and procedures, and has developed its own policies and procedures for itself that cover all aspects of its records management program.

“We are pleased to recognize the Orange-Ulster BOCES for their outstanding efforts to manage and ultimately preserve their own records as well as the records of 18 school districts,” said State Archivist Christine Ward.  “This entity was selected from among all local governments as having the finest program in the state in 2013.  But the real winner is not this local government; rather it is the people of the State of New York.  We commend all involved in this winning program and wish them continued success in the years ahead.”

Previous recipients of this annual award include Town of Somers (2012), Ontario County (2011), Schuyler County (2010), the City of Saratoga Springs (2009), Ulster County (2008), Town of Lewisboro (2007), Town of Cheektowaga (2006), Cornell Cooperative Extension of Saratoga County (2005), Village of Dexter (2004), Niagara County (2003), Corning Community College (2002), the City of Troy (2001), Rockland County (2000).

The annual Archives Awards program recognizes outstanding efforts in archives and records management work in New York State by a broad range of individuals and organizations.  A complete list of this year’s award recipients follows:

Cheryl Steinbach Annual Archives Award for Excellence in Local Government Records Management
Orange-Ulster BOCES (Orange County)

William H. Kelly Annual Archives Award for Excellence in Local Government Archival Program Development
Montgomery County

Excellence in State Agency Records Management Program Development
New York State Office for People with Developmental Disabilities

Bruce W. Dearstyne Annual Archives Award for Excellence in the Educational Use of Historical Records
Dr. Kristi Fragnoli, Assistant Professor of Education, The College of St. Rose (Albany County)

Excellence in the Educational Use of Local Government Records by a Local Government
Holland Patent Teaching and Learning Center and the Holland Patent Central School District (Oneida County)

Excellence in Research Using the Holdings of the State Archives
Dr. Carolyn Strange, Australian National University

Laura and Robert Chodos Award for Excellence in Student Research Using Historical Records, Grades 9-12
Ana Luiza Teodoro and Steven Faiella; Tottenville High School, New York City Department of Education; Teacher: Joanne Nolemi (Richmond County)

Laura and Robert Chodos Award for Excellence in Student Research Using Historical Records, Grades 6-8
Conor Quinn; Farnsworth Middle School, Guilderland Central Schools; Teacher: Deborah Escobar (Albany County)

Laura and Robert Chodos Award for Excellence in Student Research Using Historical Records, Grades 4-5
Jillian Landsman, Jaeden Tice, Thomas Grismer, Ethan Metzger, Hannah Eavans, Jana Elkashef, Maeve Harkin, Nicole Hammond, Randy Rosario; Walden Elementary School, Valley Central School District; Teacher: Nancy Phelps (Orange County)

For More Information, Contact:
Emily Allen (518) 473-0130 or
Antonia Valentine (518) 474-1201