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Local educators honored during Teacher Appreciation Week

The Genesis Group and First Source Federal Credit Union are recognizing local teachers who have helped students thrive by going above and beyond, especially during these challenging times.

Posted: May 4, 2020 4:43 PM
Updated: May 6, 2020 4:47 PM

The Genesis Group and First Source Federal Credit Union are recognizing local teachers who have helped students thrive by going above and beyond, especially during these challenging times.

Teachers have been faced with the challenge of transitioning to distance learning methods, while avoiding any significant stall in course curriculum. Many of those chosen to be honored have successfully adapted to this new teaching style.

Teacher Appreciation Week takes place May 4- 8, and five local teachers have been chosen to be honored, including:

Andrea Palmieri-Bansner, Utica City School District

Palmieri-Bansner has been a Special Education teacher in the Utica City School District for 18 years.  She currently teaches fourth, fifth and sixth grade Special Education Resource at Columbus Elementary School.  During this unprecedented time, Palmieri-Bansner has continued to adapt to the concepts necessary to effectively teach her students through distance learning. Andrea continues to maximize her students educational experience by creatively using all of the learning platforms at their disposal. She is also teaching her own children at home, who are in Pre-K, 1st and 2nd grade.  

Diana Durso, L.S.W., Whitesboro Central School District

Durso has been a social worker for nearly 30 years, with the past 21 years at the Whitesboro Central School District. She has worked with people of all ages, one-on-one and in groups. She is an author, having written a children's story about bullying called "Did You Know That's Not My Name." Durso has been in constant contact with her students and their families throughout the time away from school. 

Scott Rogowski, Utica City School District

Rogowski works at Jefferson Elementary in North Utica. He uses unique teaching exercises to get the student engaged. Students, and colleagues, have stated that he makes the classroom experience vibrant and fun. He starts off each Zoom with a game called Gimkit. This is a 10-minute multiplication game where you can buy merchandise and power-up, all while learning math. He also uses this platform to reach out and let students know he is readily available for tutoring. 

Erica Pendrak, Whitesboro Central School District

Pendrak teaches first grade at Deerfield Elementary School with sensitivity, compassion, creativity, and fun.  Since schools closed because of the coronavirus, she turned a spare room at home into her virtual classroom and started posting video lessons before anyone said she had to. She keeps in touch with her students and their parents, using Google classroom and teaching live on Zoom so her students can interact with her and each other.  She even made each student a  “Mini Miss Pendrak” that she mailed them, as well as a poem that encourages them to take her with them whatever they do, whether it be building a fort or climbing a tree, and send her a photo.

Marisa Cardillo, Sauquoit Valley High School

Cardillo has been teaching six different classes, including AP English, with Google Classroom and Zoom so that her students’ learning can continue to be interactive and bring classic literature to life. She does all this while homeschooling her two young children and doing all of the grocery shopping and errands for her parents and grandfather to protect them from the virus. She also helped deliver congratulatory “Senior Strong” lawn signs to each 12th-grader’s home to give them something special while they finish their final year in a different way. 

New York Coronavirus Cases

County data is updated nightly.

Cases: 2533155

Reported Deaths: 56222
CountyCasesDeaths
Kings33439110849
Queens31559610296
Suffolk2404693613
Nassau2149303300
Bronx2078026754
New York1685484637
Westchester1438522343
Erie1071301956
Richmond890341936
Monroe849411189
Orange57778920
Rockland53278779
Onondaga52461765
Dutchess35776500
Albany31074390
Oneida28870590
Broome24729409
Niagara24203398
Saratoga20485204
Ulster17349280
Schenectady16899229
Rensselaer14947170
Putnam1254198
Chautauqua12526175
Oswego11817115
Chemung11046157
St. Lawrence10701128
Steuben10273173
Ontario9436110
Jefferson900378
Cayuga8722107
Sullivan852683
Wayne827885
Cattaraugus7830118
Genesee7098132
Herkimer6875128
Clinton680740
Tompkins657459
Fulton6432104
Madison6266102
Montgomery6036142
Livingston580071
Warren557184
Cortland540180
Tioga518672
Columbia5043111
Chenango473388
Washington468467
Allegany468298
Otsego461755
Wyoming442858
Greene442087
Orleans440189
Franklin435222
Lewis364938
Delaware359148
Seneca276163
Essex236231
Schoharie232822
Yates167328
Schuyler155417
Hamilton4393
Unassigned15130
Out of NY0319
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