The Capital Region now has 23 “Master Teachers” to its name.
The teachers make up a growing cohort of instructors across the state who will work with SUNY schools to enhance teaching and learning in the fields of science, technology, engineering and mathematics in their districts, according to a news release from Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s office announcing 215 newly selected teachers from all 10 regions of the state.
They add to the first 104 Master Teachers announced in October that did not include teachers from the Capital Region.
Daniel Anderson, Queensbury
Janice Balogh, Schodack
Jeffrey Bower, Scotia-Glenville
Kim Bruton, Troy
Elizabeth Carroll, Kelly Ryan, North Colonie
Stephanie Conklin, Charlotte Naple, Crystal Perno, Saratoga Springs
Tammy Darby, Lake George
Kristin Darlington, Galway
Marnie DeJohn, Queensbury
Nicole Dixson, Greenwich
Jason Finn, Jody Suprenant, Fort Edward
Nichole Huskie, Fort Ann
Deborah Mabey, Hoosick Falls
Jason Reinhard, Cairo-Durham
George Reluzco, Rotterdam-Mohonasen
Michelle Riley, Melissa Thomas, Burnt Hills-Ballston Lake
Dolores Storey, New Lebanon
Barry Witte, South Colonie
“The Master Teacher Program allows for our brightest STEM educators to share their experience and knowledge with their colleagues, furthering student success and helping to improve college readiness across the state,” SUNY Chancellor Nancy Zimpher said in the release. “This program complements the newly established STEM scholarship program that will provide full tuition scholarships to any SUNY college or university to New York’s best high school graduates if they pursue a STEM career and work in New York for five years.”
To be selected, teachers needed to have: a minimum of four years experience teaching STEM disciplines, a current course load of at least 60 percent in STEM disciplines in grades six through 12 and an effective or highly effective rating on their Annual Professional Performance Review.
The list includes three teachers from the Saratoga Springs City School District — Charlotte Naples, Crystal Perno and Stephanie Conklin.
“We were excited to learn that three Saratoga Springs City School District teachers have been named as master teachers and recognized for their work in STEM education,” said Michael Piccirillo, superintendent of schools.
The selection comes with a $15,000 stipend per year over four years for each teacher.
“The Master Teacher Program creates a community of teacher experts dedicated to providing a first-rate learning experience for students across New York, and contributes to our efforts to attract and retain the best and the brightest in our STEM classrooms,” Cuomo said in the release.
Subjects of expertise among the teachers include calculus, algebra, physics, earth science, chemistry, engineering design and development and genetics. The teachers are invited to attend the first annual Master Teacher Program professional development conference on Aug. 15.
“They’re going to place us with experts in our field and focus on everything that goes along with our subjects, and really allow us to dig deeper into understanding the students and bringing information to them,” said George Reluzco, a technology teacher at Mohonasen High School selected for the program.
Reluzco, who coaches the high school’s robotics team, the MohonBots, said it’s important to engage students in the STEM fields “because the types of jobs that are going to be available to students, good-paying jobs, are going to require the skills that we teach in STEM classes.”
Jeffrey Bower, who teaches earth science and science and engineering at Scotia-Glenville Senior High School, said STEM is “pretty much everywhere around you.”
“Everything you do involves STEM,” said Bower, another Master Teacher. “So to be able to bring that to the students, to kind of open up their eyes so that they can actually see, ‘Oh, this does affect me, this does matter’ — that’s the big challenge.”
Bower said he looks forward to teaching other teachers through the program, and has that experience from teaching summer courses through Project Lead the Way.
“I think it’s a good opportunity for me to continue my professional development as a teacher, and I have been teaching adults for over 10 years,” he said. “And I enjoy working with other teachers because I feel that through teaching, I learn as much as others do who are taking the class.”
Teachers had to apply for the designation, and applications for a third round of Master Teachers will be accepted later in the year. STEM teachers can register to be notified when the next online application process begins at www.suny.edu/masterteacher.