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David Woodton of St. Catherine’s Center for Children Receives Purcell Excellence Award

Updated: Dec 5, 2022

(ALBANY, NEW YORK) David Woodton was nominated by his peers at St. Catherine’s Center for Children to receive the Council of Family and Child Caring Agencies (COFCCA)'s

Jim Purcell Excellence Award, and chosen among only ten awardees from agencies across the state. The Purcell Excellence Award is given to staff of COFCCA member agencies who demonstrate excellence in their jobs, providing foster care, adoption, family preservation, and juvenile justice in New York. Jim Purcell, the award's' namesake, opened the ceremony by solidifying how life changing it can be for children to realize ‘that a stable adult really cares about them.’

The awardees were lauded by Assembly Member Andrew Hevisi and Senator Jabari Brisport for being stars of their organizations. David was chosen by the Purcell Excellence Award committee for his unwavering commitment to the children in his care, as Unit Supervisor of Group Homes, and dedication supporting a positive agency culture.

David was presented with his award on Friday, May 13th during a COFCCA-hosted virtual ceremony. Excerpts from his nomination letter were read aloud by Katharine Briar-Lawson, the Dean Emeritus from SUNY University at Albany’s School of Social Welfare, which included examples of David going above and beyond to ensure the children in his care know they are important and safe.

‘…David immediately drove from his home at a late hour to support his team with a child who needed his care… During the holidays when a large donation of children’s bicycles arrived, David was the first person up on the truck unloading them during a downpour of freezing rain… David integrates all of himself into helping the Group Home kids participate in activities at all times of the day and year, ensuring they are successfully engaged. He has led hundreds of activities and spent countless hours planning and participating in hikes, fieldtrip, outings, and games with them…’

A watch party was hosted for David and his colleagues by his supervisor Mark Mandeville, Director of Residence, and Dr. Kerri Harrington, Associate Executive Director of Residential and Education.

After being recognized, Frank Pindiak, Executive Director of St. Catherine’s Center for Children, presented David with his award letter and certificate. Purcell Excellence awardees also receive $500.

“David’s commitment to caring for the children dealing with the effects of abuse, trauma, and neglect living in our group homes, has established him as a role model for all St. Catherine’s Center for Children staff to aspire to and follow,” says Pindiak of David’s commitment to St. Catherine’s.

David’s colleagues across the Agency define him as someone who is dedicated, nurturing, and selfless.

“His calm demeanor, expertise, and guidance help the leadership team daily. I can’t think of anyone more deserving,” says Jaclyn Yusko, Chief Operating Office, who served on the St. Catherine’s nominating committee.

Staff continuously echo praises about the positive impact David makes on their lives.

“David will provide a helping hand whenever called to do so. He is often the first one on site and the last one to leave,” adds Harrington.

Related Links:

UAlbany School of Social Welfare

About Council of Family and Child Caring Agencies

The Council of Family and Child Caring Agencies (COFCCA) is the principal representative for nearly all the not-for-profit organizations providing foster care, adoption, family preservation, and juvenile justice services in New York State. COFCCA is comprised of over 100-member organizations, ranging in size from small community-based programs to the nation’s largest multi-services agencies — all of which share the mission of serving children and families. COFCCA works with its members and government to ensure quality services for children and their families. To learn more visit:

About St. Catherine’s Center for Children

St. Catherine’s Center for Children was founded by the Daughters of Charity in Albany in 1886 as a home for sick orphans. Today, the Agency offers a comprehensive range of human services to children, families, and adults who have experienced abuse, trauma or neglect. St. Catherine’s provides residential care and special needs education for children ages 5 to 13, therapeutic foster and kinship care programs, and community-based prevention services, among others. St. Catherine’s Center for Children is one of the oldest and most comprehensive human service providers in the Capital District. To learn more visit

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Office: 518-453-6700



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