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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: 2075539

Reported Deaths: 52770
CountyCasesDeaths
Kings27622810275
Queens2732379808
Suffolk1989063374
Nassau1818043159
Bronx1806976514
New York1363994432
Westchester1285842264
Erie878771773
Richmond737331800
Monroe659361063
Orange47706810
Rockland46564955
Onondaga37769670
Dutchess29064442
Albany24349350
Oneida22143505
Niagara19556356
Broome18258356
Saratoga15014166
Ulster13705251
Schenectady12924197
Rensselaer11049140
Putnam1052191
Chautauqua8749140
Chemung7486135
Oswego738190
Ontario726792
Steuben6710143
Sullivan651772
St. Lawrence645396
Cayuga615592
Jefferson584766
Wayne560267
Cattaraugus552687
Genesee5319123
Herkimer5077107
Clinton476933
Madison444088
Fulton431191
Livingston430758
Tompkins421451
Montgomery4178122
Columbia3974101
Cortland371060
Tioga365161
Warren356357
Wyoming347052
Allegany338684
Chenango337676
Otsego337647
Greene333475
Washington305555
Orleans303183
Lewis265534
Franklin251012
Delaware230137
Seneca197156
Schoharie164816
Essex157026
Yates116426
Schuyler102614
Hamilton3052
Unassigned13258
Out of NY0234
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