Weekly Feature

2018-10-10 / Local News

Ken-Ton, Tonawanda City educators named master teachers

Gov. Andrew Cuomo has announced the selection of 275 educators from across the state to join the New York State Master Teacher Program, including three from districts in the Ken-Ton area.

Roughly 33 percent of the new master teachers are from the elementary level, expanding the network of teacher-leaders to include kindergarten through 12th-grade science, technology, engineering and math educators. These educators join the network of master teachers created in 2013, bringing the total number of master teachers across the state to 980.

“Education is the cornerstone to success, and it is the brilliant, dedicated teachers in New York who make a difference in countless lives and inspire the leaders of tomorrow,” said Cuomo, in a prepared statement.

“Congratulations to the 275 newest members of the Master Teacher Program, who will join the ranks of the top educators in the state as they work to further their skills and their impact on students in every corner of this great state.”

Among those new members are Robert O’Connor of the Ken-Ton School District; Melisa Dettbarn, master teacher emeritus, of the Ken-Ton School District; and Colleen Andres, master teacher emeritus, of the Tonawanda City School District.

All master teachers are active beyond their classrooms, serving as curriculum department leaders or on district and state-level committees. They are also sponsors of science olympiad competitions, school gardens, robotics teams, coding clubs, community service organizations as well as coaches, and PTA members. The master teachers hold leadership roles in New York State STEM professional associations, and many have received awards and public recognition for their teaching from their peers and communities.

Throughout their four-year participation in the program, master teachers receive a $15,000 annual stipend; engage in peer mentoring and intensive content-oriented professional development opportunities; work closely with pre-service and early-career teachers to foster a supportive environment for the next generation of STEM teachers; attend regional cohort meetings; and participate in and lead several professional development sessions each year.

Along with announcing the new master teachers, Cuomo announced the opening of the next round of applications for STEM teachers in all regions of the state. Teachers are asked to review the eligibility requirements at www.suny.edu/masterteacher. Eligible computer science teachers are encouraged to apply.

The deadline for applications is Feb. 23, 2019. Additional information about the application requirements and process is available at www.suny.edu/masterteacher.

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