Commissioner Leona Chereshnoski was honored by Senator Patty Ritchie on Wednesday, July 25 as part of the Senator’s annual “Women of Distinction” ceremony in Alexandria Bay. Leona, the
longest serving current Tug Hill Commission board member, was initially appointed to the board in November 1983. A resident of Lorraine, with long-term family ties to Osceola, she has a long
history of civic and community involvement, including: Treasurer, NYS Old Tyme Fiddlers’ Association; Secretary, Osceola Snowmobile Club; NYS Library Association; Jefferson Lewis Library Association; and election observer for the Town of Lorraine. She is also the librarian, Osceola Public Library; the owner of Old Lard’s Barn Bed and Breakfast, and is a retired librarian from the South Jefferson Central School.
She and her husband, Ray, raised their three children Sherry, Pete, and Jackie in Lorraine, where Ray operated a logging business and served terms as town justice and highway superintendent.
After raising her children, Leona went to college at age 47 and finished her bachelor’s and master’s degrees in five and a half years, while working full-time at the South Jefferson Central School as librarian and taking care of her family. Leona’s mother Alice Clemens, a renowned fiddle player, was honored as a Tug Hill Sage in 1993, and her husband Ray received the same honor in 2006. Leona and her family were highlighted in the Venerable Folks of Tug Hill exhibit in 2016.