© 2022 Western New York Public Broadcasting Association

140 Lower Terrace
Buffalo, NY 14202

Mailing Address:
Horizons Plaza P.O. Box 1263
Buffalo, NY 14240-1263

Buffalo Toronto Public Media | Phone 716-845-7000
WBFO Newsroom | Phone: 716-845-7040
Your NPR Station
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
Available On Air Stations

Online education company co-founder receives local education service award

PLS 3rd Learning

The Western New York Educational Service Council (WNYESC) is naming PLS 3rd Learning Executive Vice President Michael Horning, Jr. the 2017 recipient of the Dr. Robert W. Heller Distinguished Service Award. The award, which started in 2014, recognizes those not employed by a school district who have make a positive impact on education within the eight-county region of Western New York.


Horning co-founded PLS

3rd in 2007. The company co-creates web-based projects and initiatives with partnering organizations to support teaching and learning. Horning is also co-creator of SuperEval, which streamlines the superintendent and school leader evaluation process.

“To have one’s professional work and contributions recognized by the educational community is an incredible honor that I graciously accept with great humility and deepest levels of profound appreciation. For me, this remarkable award represents my shared passion for leadership and education within our Western New York Community which was personified by Dr. Heller,” Horning said in a statement.

The Heller Award honors the legacy of Dr. Robert W. Heller, who served as the WNYESC Executive Director from 1966-1998 while also serving as a professor emeritus in the Department of Educational Leadership and Policy in the University at Buffalo’s Graduate School of Education.

Previous recipients of the award include Chancellor Emeritus, Mr. Robert Bennett (2014), UB Dean of the Graduate School of Education Dr. Jaekyung Lee (2015), and Hodgeson Russ Partner Karl Kristoff (2016).