February 10, 2014

Master teachers aim to provide inspiration

PLATTSBURGH — Under an initiative sponsored by Gov. Andrew Cuomo, 104 math and science teachers from around New York were selected to participate in a multi-year program of professional growth and exploration.

The North Country contingent is being co-coordinated by Kathleen Fessette and James Howard, operating within the folds of the North Country Teacher Resource Center.

After a vetting of more than 50 candidates by regional math and science experts, 21 finalists were announced by the Governor’s Office and SUNY Central.

The chosen Master Teacher Fellowship participants from school districts in Clinton, Essex and Franklin counties are: Catherine Butts, Peru; Patricia Cannamela, Peru; Tammy Casey, Lake Placid; Scott Danville, Beekmantown; Madonna Gardner, Willsboro; Christopher Gosling, Saranac Lake; Richard Hathaway II, Peru; Jenifer Jensen, Peru; Wayne Kneussle, Saranac; Kassandra Mariano, Lake Placid; Emily McKernan, Brushton-Moira; Corey Mousseau, Plattsburgh; Kelly Penfield, Chazy; Rebecca Shuman, Saranac; Arlington Trombley, Chateaugay; Amanda Zullo, Saranac Lake; and Gretchen Zurlo, Saranac.

The North Country cohort represents, in all, 14 school districts, geographically placed from Plattsburgh to Chateauguay to Lyme Central School, an area of more than 400,000 square miles.

The 21 teachers have a combined experience of more than 200 years teaching and specialize in such fields as algebra, geometry, Earth science, biology and physics.

The program seeks to identify, reward and support master teachers throughout the state. Their role as professional mentors and content experts is key to foster content growth among current educators and help develop the skills of future teachers, according to a news release from local organizers.

“During their tenure as Master Teacher Fellows, participants will create and work within Professional Learning Communities, mentor pre-service teachers, develop and teach professional development courseware for fellow math and science teachers,” the release said.

With a regional goal of 70 math or science teachers, a second round of applications is being reviewed.

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