Tuesday, 16 June 2009 17:45
Westbury resident Iris Wolfson, a tireless education advocate for the students of Nassau County and 30-year board member of the Board of Cooperative Educational Services of Nassau County (Nassau BOCES), died on June 10. She was 78 years old.
“New Yorkers everywhere are indebted to Iris,” said Nassau BOCES Board President George Farber. “Whether in her local roles in Nassau County or in her statewide role as a member of the Board of the New York State Teachers Retirement System, she influenced the policies and procedures that govern our schools. Her business acumen, determination, focus and compassion cannot be replaced.”
Mrs. Wolfson, who earned a bachelor of science degree in accounting from New York University and was an accountant for more than 40 years, played an integral role in the education of Nassau County’s 225,000 students, not only through her work with Nassau BOCES (1979-2009), but through her many years of service on the Hicksville Board of Education (1973-1979). She served as vice president of the Nassau BOCES Board since 2006 and also served as vice president and president of the Hicksville Board during her tenure. In addition, Mrs. Wolfson was the longest-serving member of the Nassau-Suffolk School Boards Association (1975-2009) where she was vice president and president of the Executive Committee and chairperson of its Legislative Committee.
Mrs. Wolfson took on a statewide role when she became a member of the board of directors of the New York State School Boards Association (1987-2005), serving as treasurer from 1995 to 2005 and as Area 11 director from 1987 to 1994. In addition, she was founder and chair of the organization’s President’s Council for Nassau School Board Presidents.
Tireless in her commitment to education, Mrs. Wolfson agreed in 1991 to an appointment by the Board of Regents to serve as a member of the Board of Directors of the New York State Teachers Retirement System (NYSTRS), where she was vice president since 2006. She also was chairperson of NYSTRS’ Audit and Accounting Committee and served on its Executive, Finance, Board Governance and other committees.
Mrs. Wolfson, who also held posts with such national organizations as the National Council on Teacher Retirement and the National School Boards Association, was often called on as a speaker for state and national school board meetings and conventions.
Mrs. Wolfson is survived by two children and three grandchildren.