Scott Losee and Don Mannion of the Menands Union Free School District were honored with the Capital Area School Development Association (CASDA) Friends of Education Award on February 16th at the Friends of Education Dinner. CASDA presents this award to recognize the selfless contributions of individuals who dedicate themselves to serving students and the school community.

Scott Losee joined the Menands staff in 1988 as a night custodian. Nearly 30 years later he continues to serve the district as both Building Maintenance Mechanic and Head Custodian. Don Mannion came to Menands in 1996 following service in the United States Marine Corps. Both men exhibit a humble dedication to supporting the school’s teachers and students. Their attention to detail ensures that the district’s facilities and grounds are safe, clean and functional, allowing students to focus on learning in a positive environment. One of Mr. Losee’s evaluations states that the administration had “received several compliments from teachers regarding Scott’s attitude, courtesy and helpfulness.” An evaluation of Mr. Mannion stated that “Don has a very positive attitude about his job, and is always willing to help with extra work that needs to be done.”

Beyond their dedication to their job, Scott and Don have become embedded as fixtures of the Menands community. They quite simply transcend their job descriptions. Each morning, Scott oversees the student drop-off area, greeting both parents and pupils with a smile and ensuring that children can enter the school safely. Don frequently assists cafeteria staff and students during lunchtime and has served as a recess coach. They are cornerstones of the district and true Friends of Education.