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New York City
May 2003

Outstanding Teachers of the Month - May 2003

Carmela Montanile
P77K, Brooklyn
Ms. Ivy Sterling, Principal
Susan Erber, Superintendent
District 75

For the last 6 years, Ms. Montanile has served as program coordinator for the summer school program. This assignment includes, but is not limited to, the summer curriculum, planning trips, responding to families concerns, supporting staff new to the school for the summer, and coordinating the induction of new families.

She truly reflects the frontier of education. One that is always learning and pushing the envelope. Ms. Montanile consistently attends workshops and seminars to upgrade her skills.

As a result of utilizing a special grant where she became proficient in using the laptop, Ms. Montanile was elected to the New York State Academy for Teaching and Learning. Ms. Montanile is a consummate educator—passionate, focused, cooperative and sensitive.#

Mrs. Askitopoulos-Friedman
PS 154, Bronx
Mrs. Ballard, Principal
Mr. Rivera, Superintendent
District 7

For more than 20 years, Mrs. Askitopoulos-Friedman has been bringing the joy, exhilaration and wonder of art to public school children and their parents through Doing Art Together, a nonprofit organization she co-founded with Muriel Silberstein-Storfer.

Even after years of teaching thousands of children and their parents, Mrs. Askitopoulos-Friedman retains the same energy for art and for learning she had when she started.

Mrs. Askitopoulos-Friedman grew up in Athens, Greece, and when she first came to the United States felt like she “wasn’t totally being embraced because of the language barrier and the different way of thinking.” She teaches children and adults who aren’t native speakers and may be struggling to fit in. “Art made me secure,” Mrs. Askitopoulos-Friedman said, “I was given a chance because of art.”#

Mrs. Ann Marie Palmieri
P.S. 14, Accelerated School
Staten Island
Mr. Frank Carpenito, Principal
Christy Cugini, Superintendent
District 31

Mrs. Palmieri is a dedicated educator who goes beyond the parameters of her job description in her role as a teacher. She attends a variety of workshops always with the purpose of improving her craft. Mrs. Palmieri’s classroom is alive with children’s work. Not only is her classroom warm and attractive, it also demonstrates powerful learning at its best. Personnel from all levels (New York State Department of Education, New York City Department of Education, District 31 and The Accelerated Program) have raved about her instruction, classroom management and model classroom.#

Alex Lee
IS 89, New York City
Ellen Foote, Principal
Shelley Harwayne, Superintendent
District 2

Alex Lee works magic in the hearts and minds of his students. Alex teaches social studies and is one of the founding teachers of IS 89. Principal, Ellen Foote, says he is always willing to give his all and do what is needed. He is a committed, caring and dynamic. Alex enables all of his students to feel that they have something valuable to contribute to their learning environment. He provides support for students with learning difficulties while maintaining high standards of academic achievement for the entire class. In fact his students are so excited about social studies they can often be found speaking to Alex about their projects long after school has ended. Alex is always available to kids. In addition to serving the academic needs of his students, Alex brings his enthusiasm to the after school sports program as the girls basketball coach. He also runs a basketball clinic for children who aspire to be on the basketball team next year. Alex developed the Big brother/sister program between intermediate and primary 89 students. He has been instrumental in a tradition of annual camping trips for students to foster a sense of community. Alex also finds time to be the school UFT representative.

IS 89 is located approximately 2 blocks away from the site of the World Trade Center disaster. Alex evacuated students to safety that day, before he attempted to reach his brother who worked in the towers. Sadly, Alex lost his brother that day. He continues to be an inspiration to his students and colleagues with his strength and dedication.#

Nadya Awadallah
P.S. 153 The Helen Keller School, Bronx
Julia E. Swann, Principal
Marlene Filewich, Superintendent
District 11

Nadya Awadallah has been a Science Cluster Teacher for kindergarten through grade 4 at The Helen Keller School for the last five years. She involves the students in the scientific process by encouraging them to develop hypotheses, experimentation, and collection of data to support their ideas. She has also rewritten the science curriculum for each grade so that the teachers are able to include science activities in their daily plans.

Nadya Awadallah is an asset to The Helen Keller School, from coordinating the Science Fair each year that salutes excellence in science, to planning development sessions for teachers and paraprofessionals and providing family activities after school during “Family Night.”#

Rhonda Morman
Gladstone Atwell M.S. 61, Brooklyn
Rhonda Taylor, Principal
Dr. Evelyn Castro, Superintendent
District 17

Ms. Morman teaches in our Britou-Moore Academy, our gifted program at M.S. 61. Her effect on the students’ achievement is immeasurable. She encourages and drives her students toward academic achievement and social responsibility. Her teaching methods embrace a firm approach tempered with a tender touch, which provides excellent results and earns Ms. Morman the respect of staff and students alike.

She possesses excellent teaching skills, utilizing modern teaching approaches coupled with old-fashioned common sense. Among her many credits is her investment literacy course, through which her students have ranked among the top three in the City for the past 5 years, and her honor as M.S. 61’s “Teacher of the Year” for two year in a row.#

City: State:

Education Update, Inc., P.O. Box 20005, New York, NY 10001.
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