CEC 20 president honored for her volunteer spirit
By Paula Katinas
Brooklyn Daily Eagle
Laurie Windsor, president of the Community Education Council of School District 20, exemplifies what Ronald Reagan talked about when he urged Americans to volunteer to help their communities, according to leaders of the Brooklyn Conservative Party, who gave her an award named after the 40th president.
“She is really what Ronald Reagan was talking about,” Party Chairman Jerry Kassar said before he and Party Vice Chairman Fran Vella-Marrone presented Windsor with the Ronald Reagan Americanism Award at the party’s annual brunch at the Bay Ridge Manor catering hall on Sunday.
“We’ve always had an excellent honoree and we didn’t fail this year,” Kassar said. “You are the perfect honoree for us,” he told Windsor.
Windsor, who has served at the helm of the Community Education Council (CEC) for more than five years, is a political independent. Kassar and Vella-Marrone said that the Brooklyn Conservative Party, which is headquartered in Bay Ridge, has often selected a person from outside the party to receive the Reagan Award.
The CEC of School District 20 covers public schools in Bay Ridge, Dyker Heights, and parts of Bensonhurst, Borough Park, and Sunset Park. CEC members are elected by PTA leaders in the district and are unsalaried. As CEC president, Windsor serves as the chief spokesman and advocate for parents of public school children in the area. “She commits herself to the community,” Kassar said.
This year alone, Windsor, who is the mother of three children, helped lead two fights on behalf of parents – a battle with the de Blasio Administration over co-locating charter schools in Seth Low Intermediate School and Joseph Cavallaro Intermediate School in Bensonhurst, and a battle to get rid of Common Core testing.
Windsor also serves on the board of directors of the HeartShare School, a school for autistic children at 1825 Bath Ave. that is operated by HeartShare Human Services of New York.
While educational issues are at the forefront of her public work, Windsor also volunteers her time in other ways. She is a member of Community Board 11 (Bensonhurst-Bath Beach) and serves as chairman of the board’s transportation committee. She is also the former president of the Bay Ridge-Bensonhurst Chapter of the Deborah Hospital Foundation.
“We all know what Laurie is and what she has done,” Vella-Marrone said. “I look up to you Laurie,” she told Windsor.
Accepting the award, Windsor said it would help keep her going in her work for the area’s school children. “Everyday, you do what you do. Some days are exasperating and you ask yourself, ‘What is this all for?’ This award gives you a little fire to help you keep doing what you’re doing,” she said.
Windsor also thanked her husband Andrew, calling him, “my other half.” She then thanked her three children as described them as “the reason I do what I’m doing.”