It’s Teacher Appreciation Week, and each day five educators throughout the region will be featured in recognition of their hard work and dedication.
Teacher Appreciation Week is presented through a partnership between NEWSChannel 2, The Genesis Group and First Source Credit Union.
Here are Tuesday’s honorees and the messages submitted by those who nominated them:
Christina Malara is a first grade teacher at Robert L. Bradley Elementary School and an example of someone born to teach. In a school year of uncertainty for so many students, she has been their constant. A constant support, constant encouragement, a teacher who willingly and consistently gives every ounce of her time and effort to her students. She has created a classroom of learners who love their school, their teacher and their place in the school community.
Mrs. Malara has also been a dream for the parents of a first grader. She keeps us well informed, prepared and above all loves our babies and finds the beauty within each of them.We couldn't have asked for a better teacher or first grade year for our little ones. Thank you Mrs. Malara! We’re lucky to have you.
Msgt. Della Pray
Msgt. Della Pray is a retired Air Force Veteran and has taught AFJuniorROTC at Rome Free Academy for the past 17 years. Della is a special kind of instructor, she teaches her students with a unique style that allows them to learn many different facets. She will teach the history of the military along with current events and life skills students will use for many years to come.
Before COVID hit she also made sure students took pride in community service projects allowing them to give back to the community that she herself holds in high regard. She is such an inspiration to many of her students that you can see her mentoring in them for many years after graduation. Msgt is also a DJ in what little spare time she has as well as a cherished friend to many, she truly is a one a kind teacher.
Mr. Bostic is a fourth-grade teacher at Hart’s Hill Elementary in Whitesboro. He goes above and beyond everyday. Mr. Bostic doesn’t care about your grade on a test he only cares about your effort. He makes learning fun all the time even on remote learning. Mr. Bostic does cool experiments, activities and learning adventures! Once he transformed our classroom into a safari adventure for a writing lesson. Furthermore, Mr. Bostic helps us better understand difficult concepts. This is why I appreciate his hard work and dedication to our class.
Phil Lacelle is the Conservation teacher at the Career and Technical Education Center at OHM BOCES. His 'classroom' is the campus woodlot, where Mr. Lacelle teaches sustainability and the responsible use of natural resources. His outdoor instruction includes harvesting wild leeks, growing and harvesting Shiitake mushrooms, cutting and harvesting trees for firewood, and gathering balsam boughs for wreaths and centerpieces for the FFA holiday sale.
During the 2020-2021 school year, Mr. Lacelle expanded the program's syrup production as students connected sugar maple trees using an expansive tubing system. This led to collection in a holding tank and ultimately to the program’s brand new, custom-built evaporator, filter press and bottling unit where students processed and bottled pure, local maple syrup. This project helped strengthen student accountability and allowed them hands-on experience and knowledge on what it takes to run a small business. Kudos to Mr. Lacelle for always striving to develop new and innovative avenues to engage students in the Conservation program.
Heather Judd is an elementary teacher at Poland Central School District. Heather goes above and beyond for her students. She is a very loving ,supportive person. She is a teacher who thinks of everything possible that a person can think of. Whether its bringing in donuts for her kiddos in the morning because they have a test that day, celebrating with ice cream, or having reading sessions outside because the sun is shining.
She is a teacher that gets down on your child's level and helps them accomplish there goals. My son started off the school year discouraged about his reading, and because of Mrs. Judd he is striving and enjoys reading more than ever. He is very proud of himself as are we for how far he has come. Heather is one of the greatest teachers I have ever met . My child adores her. We are very lucky to have her. Thank you for everything you do! We appreciate you!