Seven Earn SUNY Dean’s Award for Excellence in Teaching

NEW PALTZ — Seven outstanding teachers from the mid-Hudson region have been awarded the 1998 Dean’s Award for Excellence in Teaching from the State University of New York at New Paltz. Robert Michael, newly appointed Dean of Education, announced the list of honorees and commented on the difficulty the awards committee experienced in choosing among many outstanding candidates. “We’re very proud to be able to honor these excellent teachers,” he said, “and we are proud to work with the school districts in the mid-Hudson Valley as we all strive to provide the best possible education for our children.”

The seven teachers will be honored at a September 16 ceremony to be held at the campus of the State University of New York at New Paltz. Each award recipient will receive an honorary appointment as an adjunct clinical professor within the School of Education. Recipients will also be recognized at an awards dinner, sponsored by the Mid-Hudson School Study Council, later this year.

The awards for excellence in teaching are made by the Dean of Education after receiving recommendations from a review committee of education professionals.

1998 award winners are:

Susan A. Cartisano, a kindergarten/grade 1 looping teacher at Pine Bush Elementary School. She was selected for her leadership in a district-wide review of mathematics teaching and assessment in kindergarten and first grade. Always open to new ideas and strategies, Cartisano was one of the first in the district to promote developmentally appropriate practices at the kindergarten through second grade level, and is considered to be an expert within her district in the areas of early literacy, math manipulatives, curriculum integration, and the use of computers in the classroom.

Karen Bartoletti, a special education teacher at Ulster County BOCES. Bartoletti is recognized for her work in teaching multiply-disabled preschool children. In particular, she is cited for her most recent work in utilizing teaching techniques originally designed for autistic children, adapting them to the specific needs of her students, and incorporating the concepts into her classroom.

Gloria Smith, a third grade teacher at Livingston Manor Elementary School. She was recognized for her A Trout Goes to School program, which involved students in extensive river life studies, and for River in Your Backyard, also an environmental studies program for elementary school children.

Gary Silverman, an eighth grade science teacher at Monticello Middle School. Silverman is recognized for his excellence in teaching science and in developing laboratory experiences for his students. He was also cited for involving his students in activities that keep them excited and engaged, giving them responsibility for planning and producing musicals, talent shows, clean-up and Earth Day activities.

Sharon Tobin, a K-5 art teacher at Fulmar Road Elementary School in the Mahopac Central School District. Tobin is honored for her work with children and for developing a curriculum that extends throughout the elementary school years, allowing them to produce a significant class art work in the fifth grade. Most recently, the departing Grade 5 students designed a pavilion to serve as an outdoor theater and to celebrate the “spirit of childhood” on the school grounds. Other projects have included totem poles, a life-size statue, and a 20-foot-long mosaic.

Jane Hicks, a mathematics/reading content area support teacher at Clarkstown High School. She is honored for her leadership as the school’s Achievement Center teacher. The Achievement Center, to which she has added a Homework Center, is a content support program open to any Clarkstown High School student. Hicks also serves as a consultant teacher to classroom teachers and advises the school’s Math League and National Honor Society.

Karen MacLeod, a music teacher at Vassar Road Elementary School in the Wappingers Central School District. She is honored for her work with the “Standards Champions,” a group within the district, working on developing grade- level curricular outcomes, explaining them to district parents, and training district teachers to write performance assessments and evaluate students’ progress according to carefully developed standards. MacLeod has also worked with her students to allow them to participate in arts-in-education programs, music festivals, and the “World’s Largest Concert.”

The Dean’s Award for Excellence in Teaching was instituted 15 years ago to honor outstanding area teachers. For more information on these awards, please call the Office of the Dean of the School of Education at the State University of New York at New Paltz, at (845) 257-2800.