Six north country math and science teachers will join the select group of 319 teachers in the New York Master Teachers Fellowship.
Weve worked so hard and now well have the opportunity to help new teachers coming into the field, Carthage Central School biology teacher Heather M. Randall-Neville said.
Ms. Randall-Neville, along with five other teachers from Jefferson and Lewis counties, was chosen for the four-year fellowship.
Other master teachers named are Bridget G. DeMarse, LaFargeville Central School; Lynn S. Gaffney and Edward A. Oliver Jr., Thousand Islands Central School; Michelle Watkins, Beaver River Central School, and Erin Wiley, South Jefferson School.
To qualify, teachers had to apply online, provide copies of their transcripts, participate in interviews with state representatives and give a 10-minute lesson on a subject of interest to other educators. Teachers in the fellowship are required to spend 50 hours per year on professional development.
Carthage math teacher Valerie H. Pond said the north country teachers alternate meeting at SUNY Plattsburgh or Clarkson University, Potsdam, for professional interviews and monthly meetings. At the monthly meetings, they discuss science, technology, engineering and math education leadership and faculty work to lead the transformation of STEM teaching and learning in the classroom.
Before there were just three teachers who could get together and discuss different ideas, she said. Now there will be nine teachers in our area. That is definitely going to be nice.
The newly named master teachers statewide have more than 2,700 years of combined full-time teaching experience. Teachers accepted into the fellowship teach different STEM subjects, including calculus, algebra, physics, earth science, chemistry, engineering design and development and genetics. The master teachers already fulfill various leadership roles within their school districts such as department heads, curriculum development leaders and STEM club sponsors and contribute to their communities as active members of professional associations, technology innovators and athletic coaches.
Travis W. Hoover, superintendent of LaFargeville Central School, said he is excited that Ms. DeMarse, LaFargeville math teacher, was honored. Were very excited for her and the opportunity she will bring back to the district, he said.
On Aug. 15, all master teachers will attend the first annual Master Teachers Program professional development conference in Albany. The event will allow the educators to design, lead and participate in professional development workshops.