Sister Betty Neumeister, OSF, executive director of the Francis Center
in Niagara Falls, received the Community Leader of the Year Award from Niagara University's College of Education during a surprise presentation at the center on Wednesday.
Neumeister, a member of the Sisters of St. Francis, has served the Francis Center since its inception in 1997. The center assists second- and third-grade children in Niagara Falls' inner city public schools by offering free tutoring programs to boost skills in reading, language arts and math, areas of study that are emphasized in New York state's Common Core standards.
Niagara University students also work with children at the Francis Center under the supervision of Neumeister and the center's teachers.
The award was presented by Dr. Chandra Foote, dean of the College of Education, along with Carol Beebe, director of the college's Teacher Leader Project, and Beverly Eiler, certification officer.
Prior to working at the Francis Center, Neumeister was a teacher and social worker in Buffalo, Columbus, Ohio, and Greenville, South Carolina. She holds master's degrees in education and social work.