Teacher Appreciation Week is at an end, and these are the final teachers chosen to be recognized for their hard work and dedication.
Here are Friday’s honorees and the messages submitted by those who nominated them:
Anna Lee is a first year teacher at St. Patrick's School in Oneida. Anna Lee makes learning exciting and fun for her third grade students. She has successfully navigated teaching lessons to students in the classroom while simultaneously engaging students who are joining class via Zoom at home. She can often be seen giving students one-on-one support at their level in order to see them make learning gains.
She approaches students' differing abilities with grace and creative teaching techniques. She makes all of her students feel comfortable and able to take learning chances. She ensures that each student knows that they are an integral part of the class family. She believes that each student can be successful and makes sure they know theycan do anything they put their mind to.
We are very blessed to have Anna Lee teaching third grade this year! She is a kind and gentle teacher that really cares about her students. Thanks for everything you do!
André is an award-winning English Teacher at Frankfort-Schuyler High School where he has worked since 2014. André was honored with the 119th Assembly District Teaching Recognition Award in 2020. This is a recognition of the Mohawk Valleys finest teachers for their commitment to improving the quality of education, and enriching the lives, of students. Short also was honored with the 2018 Empire State Excellence in Teaching Award, New York State’s highest educational honor, given to only 60 of 200,000+ teachers. This award is in recognition of “the professional work of outstanding, progressive teachers, and innovative educators.”
André was also recognized with the Duke Cannon Good Folks Project in 2018. This award goes to “Folks making a positive difference in communities and country... Those who live up to the values of hard work, chivalry, patriotism, sincerity, and camaraderie.” In the COVID era, André adjusted his Public Speaking lessons to prepare students for using Zoom in the workplace.
He also used his weekly class “review day” to teach new material, so his students wouldn’t fall behind by 20% each week. In his spare time André co-hosts a radio podcast called “Some Things Considered” at Hamilton College, served as a TEDx Utica organizer, and is an active participant in basketball and Ultimate Frisbee.
Noelle Arcuri exhibits profound patience, compassion, and respect in every interaction with her high school students at Sauquoit Valley High School. Her resource room is a safe haven where students feel comfortable and at home. She strongly advocates for and selflessly supports her students behind the scenes, going far above and beyond any set of “job responsibilities” to ensure that her students feel seen, heard, and loved.
Continuously finding “the glass half full,” Mrs. Arcuri sincerely praises her students for some type of accomplishment-- no matter how big or small-- every single day. As their biggest cheerleader, she motivates them to want to be successful in academics and in life. Through her relatable nature, she forges strong relationships with all types of students-- including many students whom others struggle to reach. She is always adjusting, adapting, collaborating, and reflecting — and never complaining.
On a volunteer basis, she also helps lead Handshakes Club, a mentoring program in which high school students are paired as mentors to their elementary aged mentees. All of her students are so fortunate to have Mrs. Arcuri in their corner and I am honored to co-teach alongside her every day.
David Dampf is a longtime Social Studies teacher at Otto Shortell Middle School. His specialty is bringing the past to life using any style necessary including simulations, stories and re-enactors. In addition to his classroom duties, Mr. Dampf has served as Dean of Students and just finished a stint as president of the Oneida Teachers Association.
His students can make a special claim- Mr. Dampf is co-author of The Ghosts of Saratoga, a young adult novel about the Battles of Saratoga. He is very deserving of this honor.
A Teacher Assistant at Sauquoit Valley Central School, Mallory Snow does a phenomenal job at keeping kids motivated. While helping out at the elementary school most of this year because of Covid, her return to the high school has filled a void not only in at-risk students’ lives but even kids who are not her students.
While taking a personal interest in their lives, she becomes a second mother to high schoolers who pretend they don’t need anyone to look out for them - not only do they need that someone, but also they hunger for it. Ms. Snow satisfies that hunger by checking with their teachers to make sure assignments are done, reminding them when they have something due, praising them for a job well done, and always having a smile and snacks on hand!