STEVE LÓPEZ OF YONKERS NAMED BIG 5 CHAIRPERSON AND SHARON BELTON-COTTMAN OF BUFFALO NAMED BIG 5 VICE-CHAIRPERSON

For Release: 7/6/2021
Contact: Jennifer K. Pyle 518-465-4274

STEVE LÓPEZ OF YONKERS NAMED BIG 5 CHAIRPERSON AND SHARON BELTON-COTTMAN OF BUFFALO NAMED BIG 5 VICE-CHAIRPERSON

The Conference of Big School Districts announces the appointment of Reverend Steve López, President of the Yonkers Board of Education, as the Chairperson of the Organization. Sharon Belton-Cottman, Member of the Buffalo Board of Education, will serve as Vice-Chairperson. Their leadership terms were effective July 1, 2021.

Reverend López was first elected Trustee of the Yonkers Board of Education in 2013, and has served as President of the Board since 2016. He also serves as Treasurer of the Conference of Big 5 School Districts. Reverend López has served on numerous community boards including the Yonkers Human Rights Commission and is a veteran education administrator.

Board Member Sharon Belton-Cottman was elected to the Buffalo Board of Education in 2011 and served as President of the Board from 2019 through June, 2021.  She has also served as Vice President of Executive Affairs, Chair of Finance and Operations and on various task forces, educational and community advisory boards.

The Conference of Big 5 School Districts is a membership organization representing New York State’s urban school systems including Buffalo, New York City, Rochester, Syracuse, Yonkers, Albany, Mount Vernon and Utica. Collectively, 46% of the State’s public school children are educated in these districts.

The Big 5 Organization has been advocating and promoting urban education issues before federal, State and local entities since 1958.  In 2014, the Organization expanded its scope to include other urban school districts with comparable student demographics and fiscal capacity issues as Affiliate Members. The eight-member school districts work together through the Organization to speak with one voice on the needs and strengths of urban education in New York State.

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