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2005 Friend of NYSOMA – Phyllis Aldrich

The Friend of NYSOMA Award was established by the NYSOMA Board of Directors to honor the service of individuals who, through personal action, demonstrate in an extraordinary way, those social values affirmed to the goals of New York State Odyssey of the Mind.  The inscription on the plaque reads: “In recognition and appreciation of unique talents and creative energies offered on behalf of NYSOMA”.

The honorees receive a plaque and also have their names engraved on the State Plaque, which is displayed each year at the State Finals Tournament.

The recipient of the 2005 Friend of NYSOMA Award is Phyllis Aldrich.

Phyllis began her involvement with the program in 1979 when it was known as Olympics of the Mind.  As a member of the Advocacy for Gifted and Talented Education, (AGATE), she, and others, were looking for enrichment opportunities for students in New York.  Phyllis became president of AGATE and, in that position, continued to look for ways to help grow the Odyssey of the Mind Program as well as other programs that would benefit students of all abilities.  The Saratoga/Warren BOCES was the first BOCES in the state to offer the Odyssey of the Mind program, largely due to Phyllis’ efforts.

Phyllis has served as the Regional Director for Region 6 since the beginning of Odyssey in New York.  Originally that Region covered Saratoga and Warren counties, today the Region covers Warren, Saratoga, Washington, Hamilton and Essex Counties.  When other Regions began to offer the Odyssey program Phyllis served as a mentor to the Regional Directors, ensuring they got off on the right foot.  Many students have benefited as a result of her time, talent and dedication to the program and the field of education.