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What you need to know for 01/20/2018

Advisory council to include local teachers

Advisory council to include local teachers

A handful of local teachers have been named to a new statewide advisory council.

A handful of local teachers have been named to a new statewide advisory council.

New York State Education Commissioner John King Jr. on Wednesday unveiled his Teacher Advisory Council, which is tasked with reviewing pertinent education issues, including the progress of the reform agenda from the state’s Board of Regents.

“The teachers on the council will give direct feedback from the front lines of reform — the classroom,” King said in a statement. “The most important thing we can do as educators is maintain focus on the students, and these extraordinary teachers will help us do just that.”

Local teachers chosen for the council include Kathleen Ferguson, who works at Jessie T. Zoller Elementary School in Schenectady and was recognized as the 2012 Teacher of the Year in New York; Melanie Anchukaitis of Schenectady’s Notre Dame-Bishop Gibbons High School; Laura Bellinger of Fonda-Fultonville High School; and Kristen Casey of Albany’s Green Tech High School. A full list of council appointees can be found on the Capital Region Scene blog at

“Our goal is to make sure every student in New York graduates ready for college or a career,” King added.

The list was formed with input from the New York State United Teachers union. NYSUT Vice President Maria Neira said this council will ensure teachers are directly involved in the state’s education system.

“By listening to what’s working — and what still needs work — the state Education Department and the regents will be able to more successfully implement policies benefiting students and schools,” she added.

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