NNY teachers lauded for excellence

Future educators take advantage of the Early Childhood Education resources available in Saterlee Hall at SUNY Potsdam. Christopher Lenney/Watertown Daily Times

ALBANY — Gov. Kathleen C. Hochul on Wednesday announced the 54 recipients of the latest round of Empire State Excellence in Teaching Awards.

The pre-K to 12th grade public school teachers were recognized for their skills as educators and commitment to success for all of their students.

“Before, throughout, and as we move past this pandemic, teachers have selflessly shown up for our kids and deserve our immense gratitude,” Gov. Hochul said in a statement. “It is impossible to recognize each one for their hard work and effort, but I am pleased to congratulate 54 outstanding educators for their commitment to their students. They embody the values and mindset that every educator should have, and I applaud them for inspiring thousands of children across our great state.”

Recipients come from ten regions across the state and include 24 teachers with multiple teaching certifications and those providing instruction and support in counseling, elementary education, family and consumer science, literacy, mathematics, music, science, social studies, students with disabilities, English as a second language, and world languages. The awardees have been teaching on average for over 16 years.

North country teachers awarded in the third round are Lori Griffin of the Copenhagen Central School District; Sara Narrow-LaPoint of the Gouverneur Central School District; Mary Pennock of the Jefferson-Lewis Board of Cooperative Educational Services; Bridgette Havens of the Ogdensburg City School District; Kylie Pinkerton of the Ogdensburg City School District; and Michael Comet of the South Lewis Central School District.

The recipients were rewarded after an extensive application period, in which several professional education associations were involved. Awardees will receive a $5,000 stipend distributed by the State University of New York to put toward professional learning opportunities. A full list of recipients can be found on the SUNY website.

“We are pleased to have SUNY be a part of celebrating our talented and dedicated teachers. These recipients set the standard for what it means to effectively inspire young students to embrace and enjoy learning,” SUNY interim Chancellor Deborah F. Stanley said in a statement. “I extend my congratulations to the awardees and thank all of our teachers for their commitment to education that builds success and confidence in students in and beyond the classroom.”

Recipients are also provided with professional engagement opportunities to share insights on their teaching practices, curriculum and instruction, and professional learning. Awardees will also work with regional development leaders, university leaders in teacher education, policymakers, and school leaders to advise them on trends in education.

North country educators awarded in round two were Stephanie Bisceglia, fifth and sixth grade teacher at Norwood-Norfolk Middle School; Jara Filiatrault, history teacher at A.A. Kingston Middle School in Potsdam; Christina Frank, Spanish teacher at Ogdensburg Free Academy; Marcie Goodrow, special education teacher at Jefferson Elementary in Massena; Sonal Patel-Dame, science teacher at Plattsburgh High School; and Sean McGrath, social studies teacher at Edwards-Knox High School.

North country educators awarded in the first round included Molly Reilly, an economics teacher for the Alexandria Central School District; Dianne Drayse-Alonso, art teacher at Ogdensburg Free Academy; and Charlene Rydgren, physics teacher at Franklin Academy in Malone.

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