2013 NYSUT Constituency Awards
Delegates recognized the winners of the 2013 NYSUT Constituency Awards. Members are first nominated by their locals for outstanding service. After they are reviewed, the winning selections are approved by the NYSUT Board of Directors. They are:
Health Care Professionals Member of the Year
Rockland BOCES Staff Association
Kahn has spent 12 years as a school social worker serving the mental health needs of a diverse population of students at Rockland County BOCES. He also has served as a building rep and currently is a member of the negotiating team and the Local Action Project team for the Rockland BOCES Staff Association.
Kahn developed and organized the local staff association newsletter, and he promotes and demonstrates excellence through his positions as both a union representative and a BOCES social worker.
He continually advocates for harmonious working environments by modeling positive work styles.
School-Related Professionals Member of the Year
Western Sullivan United Teachers and SRPs
Monfredo, a teacher aide at Sullivan West, researched a way to begin a union-run food pantry, and the WSUT & SRP Backpack Pantry began in fall 2011. To date, 191 backpacks have been delivered to 14 needy families in the Sullivan West school district. The backpacks go home with children every other week. Union members donate food and money.
Monfredo manages the entire program. She contacts families about receiving assistance, keeps inventory of the pantry and packs the backpacks to go home. Her high level of professionalism, caring nature and devotion to the students is shown through her ability to persevere and maintain the program while preserving anonymity for the recipients of the backpacks.
During her 18 years of service, she has negotiated the past two SRP contracts. She's also a NYSUT Education & Learning Trust instructor and sits on the SRP sick bank committee.
Retiree Members of the Year
Joseph P. McLaughlin
Harrison Association of Teachers
McLaughlin was elected as a teacher-member of the state Teachers' Retirement System Board of Directors in 1990, and served NYSUT members throughout the state for 18 years. He eventually became the first teacher-member elected president of the TRS board.
A high school teacher for more than 40 years and a longtime former president of the Harrison AT, McLaughlin continues to serve on the NYSUT Member Benefits Trust Board of Trustees and as an at-large director on the NYSUT Board representing retirees.
United Federation of Teachers
Guido, an activist for 50 years, has participated in every strike of the UFT and marched at all the union's rallies.
She has served on many professional and ethnic committees such as the UFT's Italian-American and the Irish-American heritage committees. Guido has assisted with the running of the UFT Westchester retiree section. Her everyday activity for the UFT epitomizes the strength of the rank and file members, which is what has made the UFT such a strong union.
Guido spent a career dedicated to teaching hearing-impaired students at JHS 47.
Higher Education Members of the Year
Faculty Association of Suffolk CC
Kevin Peterman is a professor of library services at Suffolk CC and executive vice president of the Faculty Association. In 2005, he received the Chancellor's Award for Excellence in Professional Service.
As chair of the Political Action Committee, he works constantly to educate elected officials and candidates about the role of the college and what is needed for it to function effectively. Peterman has provided invaluable advice and guidance to many faculty members as they face the promotion cycle. He also has provided essential support for his local at the bargaining table.
Professional Staff Congress
When English Department members at Queensborough Community College stood up to the City University of New York's new Pathways curriculum, which would reduce classroom hours with students, Judith Barbanel, their PSC chapter chair, never faltered.
No matter how much pressure was put on her by the college president and the administration, Barbanel never wavered in her support for her colleagues. The department has maintained its position and continues to preserve the time in class that students need.
Schenectady Teacher Named 2013 Pearson Global Learning Fellow by NEA
The NEA Foundation named Kathleen Ferguson, a teacher at Jesse T. Zoller Elementary School in Schenectady, NY, as a 2013 Pearson Foundation Global Learning Fellow. With this honor, Ferguson joins a unique class of 36 award-winning public school educators who will build their global competency skills, or the capacity and disposition to understand and act on issues of global significance.
New York State School Counselors Association Honors NYSUT Members
The New York State School Counselors Association recently honored several NYSUT members from locals across the state.
- Robert Astrowsky and Regine Dejean of the United Federation of Teachers were awarded the President's Choice Award.
- Joyce Connell of the Teachers Association of Pleasantville was named School Counselor of the Year.
- The Beekmantown High School Counselors were recognized for their Outstanding Program; counselors Jennifer Duffy and Andree Sapp - both members of the Beekmantown TA - accepted the award on behalf of the Beekmantown School Counseling Department.
- Maureen Rundle and Linda Fortin, both members of the Hilton CSTA, received Career Achievement Awards.
2012 NEA Foundation Award Recipients
Kevin Holtz, an eight to ninth grade science teacher of Greece Central School District in Rochester, New York, has received a $2,000 Learning and Leadership Grant from the NEA Foundation to use lesson study to develop and test science activities grounded in authentic text and literacy strategies to make learning relevant and foster literacy skills in students.
Denise Leonard, an intervention coordinator, and her co-applicant, Livia Pantuliano, of PS 15 in Brooklyn have received a $5,000 Student Achievement Grant from the NEA Foundation to fund extended puppetry workshops focusing on local history and government. The workshops will help improve literacy and oral language skills of English Language Learners by linking language and content through puppetry and creative arts.
2013 Teacher of the Year
Webster high school history teacher Gregory Ahlquist was named 2013 Teacher of the Year.
Congratulations to runner-up, Neil J. Lange from Bennett High School in Buffalo, and three finalists -- Stephanie Muson, of Briarcliff Middle School; Grace Barrett of Commack Middle School; and Julene J. Waffle of Morris Central School – you all exemplify excellence in teaching
Joseph A. Varacalli, Nassau Community College Federation of Teachers, co-edited Volume III of the Encyclopedia of the Catholic Social Thought, Social Science, and Social Policy, published by Scarecrow Press. For copies, visit www.scarecrowpress.com.
2012 Next Generation Indie Book Award Winner
Laurence Carr, United University Professions SUNY New Paltz Chapter, was named the First Prize Winner in the 2012 Next Generation Indie Book Awards. Carr's book, Pancake Hollow Primer: A Hudson Valley Story, is published by Codhill Press.
2012 California Casuality Award for Teaching Excellence
Katie Ferguson, Schenectady Federation of Teachers, is one of 38 recipients of the 2012 California Casualty Award for Teaching Excellence. The award will be presented February 8, 2013 at the NEA Foundation's Salute to Excellence in Education Gala in Washington, D.C.
NASA Hurricane and Severe Storm Sentinel (HS3) Teacher Institute
Carrie Herron and Jim Reynolds of Galway TA were among six teachers chosen to complete NASA's Hurricane and Severe Stom Sentinel (HS3) Teacher Institute this summer at NASA Aero Institute in Palmdale, California. The educators attended technical briefs from HS3 scientists and engineers and pedagogy workshops in science as inquiry, engineering design and 21st century skills. They will take part in an earth science campaign from 2012-14 to study how tropical storms form and develop hurricanes. For more information visit www.nasa.gov.
NEA Foundation Award Recipients
Ariana Butler and her co-applicant, Danella Christiani, of PS 327 Dr. Rose B. English School, in Brooklyn, New York have received a $5,000 Student Achievement Grant from the NEA Foundation to implement a digitized interactive curriculum to deliver personalized lesson plans and homework assignments to students. The system will manage all elements of teaching, learning, and assessment while allowing Butler to remain at the center of instruction.
Brendan Noon of the Williamson Faculty Association has been selected to receive a $1,000 award from the NEA Foundation for their latest C2i: Challenge to Innovate Gaming challenge. Noon is one of the top 10 innovative educators to be awarded for his game-based learning idea, posted on the Department of Education’s Open Innovation Portal.
Dr. Elsa Morote, professor at Dowling College has published a book co-authored with a Military Hero and Professor, Col. Fernando Morote-Solari and a successful Long Island Educator, Dr. Patricia Bowens McCarthy.
The Book "The Final War, Avoiding It through a New Harmonic Society" is already available through Amazon, and teachers all over the world have been preparing lessons plan based on this book, teaching students how to live in harmony!
For more information: http://www.thefinalwar.net
Dr. Deborah Getman and Karen McDonough of PS 207 in Brooklyln, New York have received a $5,000 Learning and Leadership Grant from the NEA Foundation to establish and lead a collaborative professional learning community among third and sixth grade educators that will enable participants to perfect their instructional strategies.
Ted Krye of the Alden Central School Employees Association recently retired after 55 years — yes, 55 years! — as a school bus driver.
Christina Sharp of Retiree Council 42 has received the Everyday Heroes Award from the American Federation of Teachers. The award recognizes Sharp's 10 years as president of RC 42, representing NYSUT Retirees in the state of Florida.
Laura Pietropaolo, a teacher with the Monroe Woodbury Teachers Association, was honored with the NEA Health Information Network’s Ryan White HIV Prevention Award for her efforts in HIV/AIDS prevention.
Capital Region Teachers Deborah Byrne, Scotia-Glenville TA, and Nancy Thompson, Schoharie TA, were selected to participate in the Library of Congress Teaching with Primary Sources Summer Teacher Institute. The educators worked with library education specialists and subject matter experts to learn effective practices for using primary sources in the classroom.
David Andalora, South Jefferson TA, has published original adaptations of four popular Shakespeare plays: Hamlet, Romeo and Juliet, Julius Caesar and Macbeth. The adaptations were initially developed for special education students, but, Andalora said, have proven successful with mainstream English classes as well. For more information or to order copies of the adaptations, visit https://sites.google.com/a/a/dishmail.net/shakespeare-adaptations/home.
White House Honors
The good work of several members of United University Professions, representing academic and professional faculty on the State University of New York campuses, has been recognized and honored by the White House.
- Nancy Elwess of SUNY Plattsburgh and Joe Skrivniak of SUNY Purchase, Presidential Award for Excellence in Science, Mathematics and Engineering Mentoring;
- Igor Lednev of SUNY Albany, named to the White House Subcommittee on Forensic Science’s Interagency Working Group on Research, Development, Testing and Evaluation;
- Elizabeth Boon of SUNY Stony Brook and Scott Craver of SUNY Binghamton, Presidential Early Career Awards; and
- Esther Takeuchi of SUNY Buffalo, National Medal of Technology and Innovation.
The following members of United University Professions have been awarded prestigious Fulbright scholarships to travel for research and teaching:
- Jennifer Rogalsky of SUNY Geneseo, to Ghana to teach and research how women cope in the informal economy in urban markets;
- Linnea Goodwin Burwood of SUNY Delhi, to Russia to research the history of Russia’s revolutions;
- Rob Compton of SUNY Oneonta, to Zimbabwe to study political repression in the days leading up to a presidential election;
- Edward Schwarzchild of SUNY Albany, to foster an ongoing collaboration between the university center and a college in Spain where he taught, building connections that can build programs and future exchanges of students and scholars;
- Timothy Frerich of SUNY Fredonia, to Germany to teach studio art courses and to put together art exhibit;
- Elizabeth Barnum of SUNY Stony Brook, to Germany to study higher education that crosses national boundaries;
- Stuart Chen of SUNY Buffalo, to Turkey to lecture on developments in bridge engineering design; and
- Theodore Endreny of SUNY Environmental Science and Forestry, to Cyprus to research and lecture on stormwater engineering for conservation.
NEA Foundation Grant Recipients
New York educators are regular recipients of grants from the NEA Foundation to pursue and improve academic achievement in their schools. The National Education Association is one of NYSUT’s national affiliates.
Recent grant recipients are:
Wendy Wright, a member of the Lansing Faculty Association and a teacher at R.C. Buckley Elementary School in Lansing, who received a $2,000 Learning and Leadership Grant to participate in an Earthwatch Institute expedition to study Trinidad’s leatherback sea turtles. After the expedition, she will develop a website to give students a tutorial on applying concepts of conservation to solve real-world problems.
Kristine Ackerman and Jennifer Cotter, educators at the Skoi Yase Primary School in Waterloo, who were awarded a $5,000 Student Achievement Grant to create a “leveled library.” To address a growing student population in need of additional reading support, these members of the Waterloo Education Association will use the grant money to create a library of books and resources that will provide adequate materials for students of various reading levels. The use of leveled books will enable the Yase faculty to provide differentiated guided reading instruction and implement strategies to increase student reading success.
Michael Rozalski and Annmarie Urso of SUNY at Geneseo, who have received a $5,000 Learning & Leadership Grant to train pre-service teachers to respond to emergency situations and to manage safe environments in school settings. Teachers will learn CPR and other response strategies. Through training additional instructors and up to 50 pre-service teachers per semester, the project will expand to support the training of all pre-service teacher candidates at SUNY Geneseo's School of Education. Rozalski and Urso are members of United University Professions.
Celeste Cafiso and Dana Mahoney of PS 18 JG Whittier in Staten Island and members of the United Federation of Teachers, who received a $5,000 Student Achievement Grant to create a classroom library to encourage students to read. In classroom lessons, the project will focus on phonics-based instruction aimed toward English language learners. Students will ultimately create a series of bilingual books that will be displayed in the classroom library.
Scott Becker and Jamie Shaw of Cohen Middle School in Elmira Heights and members of the Elmira Heights Teachers Association, who have received a $5,000 Student Achievement Grant to create the Making Music Modern Project to engage music students. The project will incorporate software which students will use to compose, arrange, play, and record music. Students will learn to read and notate music, play instruments, adapt existing music to their ability level, and compose original songs.
United Federation of Teachers member Kris Caulfield of Waterside Children's Studio School, PS 317 in Rockaway Parke, who received a $2,000 Learning & Leadership Grant to attend Columbia University’s Teachers College Reading and Writing Project, a leading educational institute in advancing teaching techniques that align with the Common Core State Standards (CCSS). After attending the seminar, Caulfield will use her newly acquired knowledge to enhance the learning of her students and support her colleagues in applying the CCSS.
Sara Oaks of Baldwinsville Central School District in Baldwinsville, who received a $2,000 Learning & Leadership Grant to attend a five-day Summer Reading Institute at Columbia University's Teachers College Reading and Writing Project to gain the tools needed to implement a successful reading workshop model in her classroom. Upon completion of the institute, she will share what she has learned with her district's Reading Workshop Committee and will support the committee's efforts to implement reading workshops throughout the district. Oaks is a member of the Baldwinsville Teachers Association.
Beth Sullivan, Binghamton Teachers Association, will receive the 2010 Lee Bryant Outstanding Teacher Award for her exemplary use of technology in the classroom. The New York State Association for Computers and Technologies in Education will present the award to Sullivan, a fourth-grade teacher and technology mentor, at the association's annual conference this month in Rochester.
Deb Lynch, Hilton Central School TA, led students at Village Elementary School to No. 1 in the nation in the Scholastic Summer Reading Challenge. Students of Lynch, a library/media specialist, logged 895,317 minutes of reading from May 1 to Aug. 31. The honor will give the school a listing in the 2010 Scholastic Book of World Records.
Michael Boloker, Smithtown Teachers Association (retired), has published his seventh book, Noo Yawk — A 70-year-old Brooklyn Kid's Commentary on His City Today. Available at Amazon.Com.
Sylvia Finkel-Rosenberg, United Federation of Teachers (retired), was honored by City College of New York Alumni Association as Outstanding Teacher of the Year. She was a math teacher at JHS 139 in the Bronx.
Lorry MacPherson and Yvonne Rabdau Alexander, Arlington Teachers Association (retired), have published their second children's book, The Adventures of Super Keith! Suitable for K-4 students, this funny picture book is available at bn.com, amazon.com, and strategicpublishinggroup.com.
Laurence Wernar, UFT (retired), has recorded two CDs: "After 5" contains original piano music; "Tracks of My Heart" contains standard hits. Both are available by e-mailing DRLA@comcast.net.
Ellen Kimmel, Nanuet School-Related Professionals, won $38,600 as a two-time champion on Jeopardy!, the long-running TV quiz show, in late December. Not surprisingly, the veteran school nurse topped her opponents in the "Medical Abbreviations" category, where only she knew what "NSAID" stands for.
Michael Fabricant, Professional Staff Congress, has written Organizing for Educational Justice, about the Community Collaborative to Improve District 9 a campaign for public school reform in the South Bronx. The book is available at locations that include Amazon.com.
Laura Bellinger, Fonda-Fultonville Teachers Association, has won a $7,500 grant from the Thomas and Dorothy Leavey Foundation for "innovative efforts to help young people understand the function and benefits of America's private enterprise system." Bellinger's application described her Ventures in Entrepreneurship class in which high school students run a bakery two days a week, learn about business ownership, write a business action plan and hold formal board meetings. Students leave at the end of the year with one high school credit, a business plan and a paycheck. A first-time grant winner, Bellinger is a member of NYSUT's Subject Area Committee for Career and Technical Education.
Willie Worsley, who is already featured in our profile section, will recieve the H. Councill Ternholm Award, NEA's Human and Civil Rights Award at the end of June 2011. In a first reaction, he said: "This is, to me, the most important award that I've ever received. It's something to do with the kind of work I'm doing with young adults. To me, it's very important." Read more about it here.
Two NYSUT members have been awarded fellowships from the New York State PTA for advanced graduate study. The recipients are Dina Barone of Central Islip, an English teacher at Udall Road Middle School in West Islip and a member of the West Islip TA, and Robin Fitterer of Commack, a special education teacher at Garden City Middle School and a member of the Garden City TA.
The PTA established the Richard Gazzola Fellowship in 1961 for recipients to “improve their teaching skills, update their professional knowledge and expand their professional horizons.” Teachers who apply must have worked at least one full year in their school; must have already obtained their Master's degree; must be an active participant in their school PTA or the PTA that their own children attend; and must work at least one additional year in teaching.
For information and an application, go to www.nyspta.org (Awards and Recognitions). The deadline for the next round of applications is June 15