Lifetime Achievement Award Honoree
Susan Gordon Ryan
This award recognizes an outstanding community leader whose professional career has been marked by extraordinary personal and professional accomplishments.
Susan Gordon Ryan began her career as a special education teacher at the Henry Viscardi School in Albertson, New York. She has held a variety of professional positions in the fields of education, government, and social reform for individuals with disabilities. After her special education career, she worked for the New York State Office of Parks, Recreation & Historic Preservation. She founded the "Empire State Games for the Physically Challenged," a fitness and competition program for children with disabilities, which serves approximately 2,000 children per year. As a woman with a disability, Susan was able to use her personal and professional background to develop this unique and innovative program.
Susan was the first woman to serve as the Regional Director for the Long Island State Parks System, the largest and busiest state park region. She coordinated all administration, programs, events and activities throughout Long Island.
After her 12-year tenure with the government, Susan moved to work in the not-for-profit field in various capacities which included corporate and foundation relations at St. Johns University. Additionally, she coordinated government relations, special events, and fundraising for other not-for-profits, including UCP of Suffolk and Abilities in Albertson, New York.
Susan retired in 2008, but has remained very active in the Long Island community. She currently serves on several boards including the Long Island State Parks Commission, Sacred Heart Academy in Hempstead, New York and the Irish Studies Institute at Molloy College. Susan is also is a member of the Energeia Partnership at Molloy College, Class of 2007.
Susan studied at St. John's University, Jamaica, New York where she received a BA in Education. She also studied at Oxford University, England and University of Grenoble, France. In addition, she studied at SUNY Stony Brook University, Stony Brook where she received an MA in Education.
Susan is active in her parish, Our Lady of Miraculous Medal, as well as Sacred Heart Academy and St. Johns University. She resides in Point Lookout with her husband Frank and their children Shayne and Taylor. The entire family has been educated and fully benefitted from Catholic Education.