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SUNY Potsdam Education Alumni Honor Thomas Burns ’92 & ’97 with 2023 St. Lawrence Academy Medal

July 20, 2023

Thomas Burns ’92 & ’97 of Norwood, N.Y., Presented with St. Lawrence Academy Medal by SUNY Potsdam School of Education Alumni Association 

Thomas Burns ’92 & ’97 (left) of Norwood, N.Y., is the recipient of the 2023 St. Lawrence Academy Medal from the SUNY Potsdam School of Education Alumni Association. He is seen here receiving the distinction from SUNY Potsdam President Dr. Suzanne Smith at Reunion 2023.

The SUNY Potsdam School of Education Alumni Association recently honored Thomas Burns ’92 & ’97 of Norwood, N.Y., with the St. Lawrence Academy Medal during Reunion 2023. 

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. Burns was recognized by his alma mater for his student-centered vision and his investment in the field of education. 

About the recipient: 

Since graduating from SUNY Potsdam, Thomas Burns ’92 & ’97 has dedicated himself to the betterment of educational practice and outcomes for the youth of the Northern New York region. 

Tom’s time as a high school social studies teacher gave him the civic mindedness to recognize school districts as agents of promoting change in one’s community. As his career further progressed into administration, he himself became an agent of change for the Parishville-Hopkinton Central School community, where he served as both the high school principal and district superintendent. Tom’s ability to enrich educational practice was further expanded as he assumed his current role of district superintendent of the St. Lawrence-Lewis BOCES. 

Tom has consistently demonstrated a profound advocacy for area students, educators and communities. Many teachers see him as a mentor and example, appreciating the way he approaches his leadership roles with vision, conviction, dignity and respect.  

As a chair of numerous statewide committees, Tom’s impact exceeds the bounds of the North Country. He serves as the liaison for the New York State Education Department and is an executive member of the New York State Council of School Superintendents. Tom has been invited to speak at various events across the state, including the Annual NYSSMA Conference in Rochester and the NYSCOSS Conference in Saratoga Springs. 

To find out more about teacher education at SUNY Potsdam, visit 

About SUNY Potsdam:  

Founded in 1816, The State University of New York at Potsdam is one of America’s first 50 colleges—and the oldest institution within SUNY. Now in its third century, SUNY Potsdam is distinguished by a legacy of pioneering programs and educational excellence. The College currently enrolls approximately 3,000 undergraduate and graduate students. Home to the world-renowned Crane School of Music, SUNY Potsdam is known for its challenging liberal arts and sciences core, distinction in teacher training and culture of creativity. To learn more, visit 

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