AECSD Leader & County Legislator Join 91 BOT

91 recently welcomed a long-time local leader in education and an author and publisher currently serving her second term in the Cayuga County Legislature as the newest members of the College’s Board of Trustees.

Cayuga County District 8 Legislator Heidi Nightengale was formally sworn-in as a new College trustee this month, bringing with her decades of experience in higher education and community service. Auburn Enlarged City School District (AECSD) Superintendent Jeffrey Pirozzolo, who has spent almost a decade leading the district, was formally sworn-in as a trustee in late 2023.

Cayuga President Dr. Brian Durant and Board of Trustees Chair Tony Franceschelli welcomed Nightengale and Pirozzolo, saying they offer valuable perspectives as trustees due to their leadership and familiarity with a broad range of education-related issues.

“Heidi and Jeff both have vast experience in education, but from different perspectives and roles in local and higher education. Having both of them join the board adds a wealth of knowledge to our already strong group of leaders,” said Dr. Durant. “I look forward to working closely with Heidi and Jeff to enhance opportunities for our students and the community.”

“Heidi and Jeff are a welcome addition to our Board of Trustees. Both of them have experience as leaders, they understand the challenges and opportunities in higher education, and they know the ties between educational institutions and the community,” said Franceschelli. “We’re excited to hear their ideas and approach to serving our students and communities.”

Nightengale, who holds a bachelor’s degree from Keuka College and a master’s degree from Cornell University, spent 25 years developing and administering programs for at-risk youth and families in Auburn and Cayuga County. She also taught at SUNY Empire’s College of Human Services for 20 years before retiring in 2022, and is an editor and partner for Clare Songbirds Publishing House. She’s published two children’s picture books and two chapbooks of poetry.

“I’m excited to join Cayuga’s Board of Trustees, and I’m eager to work on diversity, equity and inclusion initiatives that create an environment for success in academic achievement, retention and graduation for first-generation students,” said Nightengale.

Pirozzolo joined AECSD almost two decades ago, and has been the district’s superintendent since July of 2015. He has also served as an assistant principal and assistant superintendent for personnel, and has announced his retirement from the district effective in 2025.

In joining the Board of Trustees, Pirozzolo complimented Cayuga’s commitment to the community and the opportunities it offers high school and college students.

“I’m happy to join the Cayuga Board of Trustees. The College is a gem in our county that provides so many opportunities for our students and young adults,” said Pirozzolo. “Our students are earning up to 50 college credits while in high school, which is allowing Auburn students to graduate a year early in many colleges.”

A full listing of Cayuga Board of Trustee members can be found at /about/governance/board-of-trustees/.