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ONEONTA -- A former Center Street Elementary School teacher is the 2011 Trailblazer Award winner.

Doreen Sosa, who retired two years ago, was recognized Tuesday for her efforts as a leader, role model and talent as a school teacher.

The Trailblazer Award is given annually to recognize women's contributions to the community by the city Commission on Human Rights and Community Relations.

The commission and the Common Council hosted a reception for Sosa before the regular Common Council meeting Tuesday.

About three dozen people, including Sosa's friends and family, congratulated her with hugs.

In a proclamation, Mayor Dick Miller said Sosa is a valued member of the community, set an example for other teachers at Center Street and developed special programs at the school.

She was nominated for the award by retired Center Street Principal John Cook.

"In education, there needs to be a passion for the students, a love for the students," Cook said.

Sosa exemplified that, he said.

She was also a leader at the school and was "the best ever at delegating."

Sosa said she is still part of the school community and serves there as a substitute teacher.

"I am honored to get this award," Sosa, 59, said.

The Trailblazer Award recognizes a woman in the Oneonta area who, by demonstrating outstanding achievement in her field or in the community, has enhanced the visibility and stature of women, according to a media release from the city.

Previous winners of the Trailblazer Award include Tracy Ranieri, who won the inaugural award in 2007. Kate O'Donnell and Molly Swain shared the award in 2008. Cheri Albrecht won it in 2009. Norma Lee Havens won in 2010.

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