SUNY Potsdam Education Alumni Honor Donnalyn Shuster '78 with St. Lawrence Academy Medal


From left, SUNY Potsdam School of Education Alumni Board of Trustees Vice President David Vroman ’83 presents the 2013 St. Lawrence Academy Medal to Donnalyn Eaton Shuster ’78.

The SUNY Potsdam School of Education Alumni Association recently honored Donnalyn Eaton Shuster, a member of the Class of 1978, with the 2013 St. Lawrence Academy Medal, at the College's annual Reunion Weekend.

The St. Lawrence Academy Medal is presented to a SUNY Potsdam graduate who has made significant contributions to the field of professional education or related fields. The Alumni Association recognized Shuster for her distinguished teaching career, and in gratitude for her service to her alma mater.

Donnalyn Eaton Shuster '78 is the kind of teacher who everyone wishes they could have had in school—a teacher who pours her heart and soul into her work. She is passionate, knowledgeable, and completely devoted to her students. Throughout her 35-year career as an award-winning art teacher and artist, she has dedicated herself to bringing the joy of art into the lives of her students and the community as well.

Shuster has taught art at all grade levels, with equal passion and dedication to her craft. For 23 years, she was the middle and high school art teacher in the Frankfort-Schuyler Central School District. With her innovative approach, Shuster is constantly organizing exhibits and festivals to showcase student work, both in the school and community.

On the state level, Shuster helped to bring Youth Art Month to New York and currently serves as co-chair for the event. She is also a trustee for the New York State Art Teachers' Association, and has become a valuable resource for her colleagues. She has presented numerous workshops at the local, state and national level. In recognition of her work, Shuster was awarded the National Art Education Association's Merit Award in 2012, and this year, she was honored with the Award of Excellence from the Council for Art Education.

As if all that she does for art education isn't enough, Shuster is a talented working artist who exhibits her own creations at least once a year, both in solo exhibits and juried art shows. She is also loyal to her alma mater, serving on the SUNY Potsdam Alumni Association Board of trustees and as president of the Greek Alumni Council. She also leads the Omega Delta Phi Alumnae Association. She and her husband Arthur own and operate a successful dairy farm in St. Johnsville, N.Y., which has achieved the Dairy of Distinction Award numerous times.

The St. Lawrence Academy Medal is named for the predecessor institution to The State University of New York at Potsdam. Founded in 1816, the Academy focused on teacher training from its founding—a tradition that continues to the present day with the rigorous liberal arts and sciences foundation offered at SUNY Potsdam.

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Founded in 1816, and located on the outskirts of the beautiful Adirondack Park, The State University of New York at Potsdam is one of America's first 50 colleges. SUNY Potsdam currently enrolls approximately 4,350 undergraduate and graduate students. Home to the world-renowned Crane School of Music, SUNY Potsdam is known for its handcrafted education, challenging liberal arts and sciences core, excellence in teacher training and leadership in the performing and visual arts. Empowered by a culture of creativity, the campus community recently launched Take the Lead: The Campaign for Potsdam, which aims to raise $27 million by the College's bicentennial in 2016.