It is with the utmost sadness that NYS PTA announces the death of Vice President Susanne Smoller, a tireless advocate and warrior for children, after her courageous health battle.
Susanne committed her life to supporting and advocating for those in need.
She was a dedicated PTA leader with the Fairfield PTA, the Massapequa Jr/Sr PTSA, the Massapequa Council of PTAs, the Nassau Region PTA, and NYS PTA.
Most recently, she served as the NYS PTA Vice President for Advocacy, after her service as the Juvenile Protection Specialist, Strategic Planning Committee Chairperson, Legislation Coordinator, Wellness Coordinator, and Health Specialist. She was also leader of the LGBTQ Caucus. National PTA recognized Susanne’s expertise, and she was a panelist at the 2018 National PTA Convention Opiate Summit.
She was a NYS Assembly Woman of Distinction, a Nassau Region PTA Carolyn Fiori Leadership Award recipient, a Friend of Education from Massapequa Federation of Teachers, a NYS PTA Distinguished Service honoree, a NYS PTA Honorary Life Member, a NYS PTA Jane Skrzypek Volunteer of the Year, a NYS PTA Advocate in Action Award recipient, and a Nassau Division National Association of Social Workers Social Worker of the Year recipient.
She was a steadfast community advocate with Massapequa Takes Action Coalition, Massapequa School District AIDS Advisory Committee, Massapequa School District Wellness Committee, the Nassau County Heroin Task Force, the Long Island Youth Safety Coalition, the Engagement Community Quality Initiative, the Nassau/Suffolk HIV Planning Council, and the Nassau/Suffolk HIV Care Coordination Network.
Susanne has been a professional social worker for 34 years, working in New York City and Long Island. As a social worker in the criminal court working with crime victims, in the 1980’s she became the first advocate in Staten Island to accompany child sexual abuse survivors in Grand Jury proceedings. Susanne has also provided training and consulting services to organizations throughout the country in the areas of sustainability, substance abuse and HIV/AIDS. Susanne was currently a full time assistant professor at Suffolk County Community College in Brentwood in the Chemical Dependency Counseling Degree program. At the college, Susanne was a member of the Governance Disability Committee, the Campus Life Committee, and the advisor for the student Diversability Club.
Most importantly, Susanne was a wonderful wife and mother to her husband of 26 years Jeff and incredible daughters Elizabeth and Alexa.
Susanne lived by the quote: “Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has.” Margaret Mead.
We will miss her each and every day, and continue her legacy and life’s work with the tenacity of her spirit.