105 Campus Drive, Oneonta, NY 13820
The Charles A. Belden Special Merit Citation is intended to give special recognition to an employee of Springbrook in acknowledgement of extraordinary contributions and outstanding service. This year’s Belden Award winner was GEMS Special Education Teacher at The School at Springbrook, Nicole Sokolowski. Nicole began teaching for Springbrook in 2009 but has been serving the organization in various capacities for over 13 years.
Left: Springbrook COO, Seth Haight, Board president, Thomas O. Maggs, Nicole Sokolowski, and CEO, Patricia Kennedy
Middle: Nicole accepts her award
Right: Nicole and her husband, Adam, listen as her award is announced
No matter what title she holds, one thing is certain—she is always ready and willing to wear any hat if it means benefiting our students or the organization—even if that means working in one of the houses because they are short-staffed or volunteering as a greeter at the annual benefit gala. Where Nicole truly goes above and beyond is in her role as coach of the Springbrook Scorpions Special Olympics basketball team. Her years of leadership as a coach and mentor to countless athletes have seen the Scorpions team blossom into one of the most successful basketball teams in the state. Because of her dedication and innovative ideas, Springbrook now proudly host the extremely successful and popular Springbrook Invitational Basketball Tournament each year. Nicole is also the director of the Springbrook Dance Team. The formation of the Dance Team stemmed from her belief that “all of our participants deserve the right to diverse experiences.” She puts our participants first and never underestimates their abilities—always expecting the most from her students, the staff in her classroom, and her teams. It is the passion that Nicole puts into their work each day that earned her the 2015 Charles A. Belden Special Merit Citation. Congratulations, Nicole!