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Teachers of the Month


















APRIL 2005

Outstanding Teachers of the Month — April 2005

Christine Linton
Principal: Joan M. Indart
Superintendent’s Name: Bernard Gassaway
Name of School: Career Education Center
School District/Region: Alternative High Schools and Programs
Student Progress:
Christine Linton has been a literacy specialist at various sites in the Career Education Center Alternative High School Program for the past 16 years. Under Ms. Linton’s guidance a literacy center was created for all CEC students in the borough of Brooklyn who are reading at least two grade levels below the average scores. This literacy center is housed in HELP New Horizons, a homeless shelter run by the HELP Organization. The majority of Ms. Linton’s students are homeless, single mothers awaiting permanent housing. Ms. Linton works with students individually as well as in a group setting to help them make incremental gains in their reading and math levels and to help them to progress to Basic Education classes. Her classroom is student-centered and learning takes place in a non-threatening environment.

Innovative Teaching Strategies: When a student enters Ms. Linton’s class, the first strategy implemented is a basic foundation of the multisensory learning process based on the proven research of the Orton-Gillingham philosophy. The Orton-Gillingham methodology utilizes phonetics and emphasizes visual, auditory, and kinesthetic learning styles. The instruction of this program begins by focusing on the structure of language and gradually moves towards reading. Students are given immediate feedback in a predictable sequence that integrates reading, writing and spelling. The students in Ms. Linton’s class move step by step from simple to more complicated material in a sequential, logical manner that enables them to master important literacy skills. Ms. Linton believes that this comprehensive approach to reading instruction benefits all of her students. Ms. Linton has had extensive training in this area and is considered a master teacher. She has also done many professional development workshops for our school as well as for the Alternative Superintendency.

Motivating Students: Ms. Linton motivates her students in the learning process by using many manipulatives which facilitate interesting and practical hands-on learning. Some of the manipulatives are portable mobiles, interlocking blocks, word tiles and game cards. Ms. Linton gives her students a manageable amount of classroom assignments to help reduce their anxiety. She collaborated with a community person to teach her students chess and in return they are encouraged to volunteer to work with younger children in his after school program. She strongly believes in their ability and has high expectations for them to do well in her class, and in society. After one semester in her class, the students show noticeable academic gains. Displayed projects represent the work of many proud students who read books from cover to cover for the first time in their lives.

Parent/Community Involvement: As Ms. Linton’s literacy center is located in a homeless shelter; she has frequent contact with parents and significant others. She also utilizes the CEC Parent Coordinator to organize parental functions and events. Ms. Linton believes it is essential to have open dialogue with parents. She involves her students in the CEC Multicultural Student Conference and publishes their poems in the annual poetry magazine. Ms. Linton is a nurturing, calm and inspiring influence on the lives of her students. She is an asset to our school and her colleagues admire and try to emulate her methods. We feel truly fortunate to have Ms. Linton at our school.

Frances E. Meyers
Principal: Henry Obligado
Superintendent’s Name: Bernard Gassaway
Name of School: Schools 1 and 2
School District/Region: Alternative, Adult and Continuing Education Schools and Programs
Student Progress: Frances E. Meyers is a creative and dedicated teacher who is constantly developing. She has worked for the Office of Adult and Continuing Education for eight years, during which time she has helped numerous students move from an ESL 1 class to an ESL 2 and ESL 3 class in, very often, just a few months. Students in our Adult and Continuing Education Program are tested on the BEST Plus Test, a standardized ESL oral proficiency test.  Students are pre-tested, post-tested and then promoted based on their scores. Her success is a direct result of her conscientiousness, her good rapport with the students, and her hours of dedicated work with whole class, small group and individual students that extends long beyond her regular teaching hours. It is not unusual to see Ms. Meyers in her class two to three hours after her class has ended with a student or see students reviewing or reinforcing the day’s lesson. In addition to small group or individual student tutoring, Ms. Meyers spends long hours planning lessons and organizing material for the next day’s lesson.

Innovative Teaching Strategies: The effectiveness of her teaching is clearly seen in her students’ success. Students improve very quickly in Ms. Meyers’ class. This is much due to her accurate assessment of individual student’s needs as it is to her ability to provide students with constant varied practice in the forms, vocabulary and functions of the English language until they have mastered them. This is not to say that her classes are ever boring. She is one of the most creative teachers I have ever seen. She is constantly expanding her repertoire through workshop attendance, book reviews and discussion and lesson planning.

Motivating Students: Ms. Meyers is a warm and caring person. She has a wonderful nurturing and reassuring manner with her students, to which her students are very responsive. They know very early on that she wants them to succeed and they have complete confidence in her ability to do so. It is inspiring to see her work.

Parent/Community Involvement: The students are the parents of the community where she works. She created an environment where students feel free to bring their personal and children’s concerns to the classroom. She has gotten the students to get involved in being active in their children’s schools. She has set up a children’s library in her classroom. She encourages her students to take the books home to read to their children.

Elizabeth Geli
Principal: Mrs. Mary Petrone
Superintendent’s Name: Mrs. Michelle Fratti
Name of School: P.S. 19
School District/Region: District 31/Region 7
Student Progress: Mrs. Geli’s 2nd grade class is a powerful example of when teaching/learning is effective. She has transformed her classroom into workshops in which students are immersed in the real world of reading and writing every day. There is an investment of time both by the teacher and the students. Students create work that is placed in work portfolios. There is ownership of their writing work because they are interested in its content and have learned to revisit and revise their work until it has reached its final/published stage. Furthermore, reading, in Mrs. Geli’s classroom, takes on a fresh new look. In her readers’ workshops, students are given extended opportunities to read, have ownership for the selection and spend time responding to what they’ve read by talking to others and writing about their reactions. Ms. Geli’s classroom is filled with 25 students, the majority of which are ESL students (15). Yet, the informal assessments, portfolios and gains they have made in reading and writing should be celebrated. I suspect it is because of the discipline she instills in the assessments she chooses. These assessments include individual conferencing, DRA, Monitoring for Results, ECLAS, etc. They help Ms. Geli decide “What’s next” and “What’s best” for each of her students no matter what their ability level. Further, her desire to elevate each child to success is realized every day when I see the engagement of students who are eager to learn and participate.

Parent/Community Involvement: Ms. Geli is involved in many aspects of the parent involvement initiatives at P.S.19. She has coordinated, and organized the March of Dimes Walk, Bread of Life Campaign and has held workshops for parents to understand the value of students to participate in outreaches that elevate the standard of their character. For example, the Read to Feed, sponsored by the Heffer Foundation was a wonderful and interesting opportunity for parents/students to reach out to help others.


Frances Nosal
Principal: Mr. Hector Geager
Superintendent’s Name: Mr. Peter Heaney
Name of School: Manhattan Village Academy
School District/Region: Dist 2 Region 9
Student Progress: Ms. Nosal has very high academic expectations for all of her students and her students rise to meet them. Often teaching youngsters who are below grade level in terms of the performance standards, Ms. Nosal always creates engaging lessons that are tailored to each class. Using both formal and informal assessments to guide instructional planning, she teaches a wide variety of skills, including many aspects of reading and writing. Ms. Nosal’s classes are constantly varied in style and format and always highly creative.

Innovative Teaching Strategies: a risk taker, unafraid to try new approaches or methodologies she believes will benefit students. One recent example is the use of literature circles in which students were placed in one of five groups, with each group reading a specific text. As her class read and discussed five novels simultaneously, Ms. Nosal coordinated both intra and inter-group discussions by identifying common themes and points of interest. All students were meaningfully engaged throughout the entire process, culminating the literature circle by teaching their assigned text to the entire class.

Motivating Students: Ms. Nosal maps out targeted skills that are constantly woven throughout her teaching, enabling students to meet academic standards required by the city and state. Both thorough and detailed, her courses of study provide academic rigor. Ms. Nosal inspires all of them to give their best, and when they do she pushes them to strive even further. The results are impressive. One recent example is over one hundred 9th grade students each wrote a 10-chapter autobiography and made an oral presentation to a panel of staff members. As always, throughout the entire process all students received the level of support and encouragement needed. In many aspects, this project serves to mold student expectations for the remainder of their school experience.

Parent/Community Involvement: Ms. Nosal is committed to involving herself with the parents of her students, holding conferences and making phone calls as needed. Ms. Nosal meets with parents of students while attending the MVA basketball team games. Ms. Nosal hosted a bake sale for the students at MVA to raise money for the Tsunami Relief Fund. Ms. Nosal baked the items herself. She attended the College Night Fair involving parents gaining knowledge of financial aid. Ms. Nosal attended the High School Fair, engaging students interested in attending 9th Grade at Manhattan Village Academy.


Ken Tudor
Principal: Robert Zweig
Superintendent’s Name: Bernard Gassaway
Name of School: Offsite Educational Services
School District/Region: 79/8
Student Progress: Mr. Ken Tudor currently teaches Math and Science at Offsite Educational Services at the Thomas Askin Youth Program/Jewish Board site. This site is located at Coney Island Avenue and Quentin Road in Brooklyn, New York. Mr. Tudor educates at-risk students who battle many issues other than academics which include, in some instances, drug abuse, mental health illnesses, behavioral issues, truancy etc. Mr. Tudor joined the Offsite Educational Services staff in September 2004. He has been a beacon of light in a site that needed direction, structure and organization. Mr. Tudor is a person who goes above and beyond the normal expectations of a teacher who will stay one to three hours a day beyond his regularly scheduled time. During this time, Mr. Tudor has assisted students with their homework, provided extra help in areas that need attention, created a Chess Club, and created an Arts & Crafts Activity Club. Mr. Tudor has been a spark to our program. Even though he has been a part of OES for just one year, his attitude, dedication, commitment, enthusiasm, energy and concern for the well being of our students is exemplified every day he engages the students of Offsite Educational Services at the Thomas Askin Youth Program/Jewish Board site. Mr. Tudor’s students have shown progress in the following areas: since Mr. Tudor’s arrival, attendance has increased, student average grades have increased this school year as compared to last school year, excellent student participation in activities including model and kite building exercises, student interest is clearly displayed on a daily basis due to the care, respect, effective classroom management and overall positive instructional techniques that are used to motivate and engage our students.

Innovative Teaching Strategies: Mr. Tudor has used several strategic techniques to engage students. These strategies include the incorporation of kite building in Math A Class to demonstrate how the various angles were needed to construct a flyable object. Mr. Tudor used the kite building exercise to explain the various degrees of a triangle and the difference between supplementary and acute angles. He demonstrated how the various angles, when completed with wood and kite paper, can create a kite that can actually fly. When the exercise was completed, the students went to a local park and actually flew the kites. Mr. Tudor also used the activity of model building to explain how buildings, bridges, planes and cars are built. Mr. Tudor’s “hands on” approach created a new way to absorb these areas of study.

Motivating Students: Mr. Tudor has displayed the ability to motivate his students throughout the semester. This can be demonstrated by some of the examples of the following finished projects: the creation of flying a kite, the building of a model which included a tower, car, plane, etc, creating student groups for individual student projects.

Parent/Community Involvement:
Due to Mr. Tudor’s commitment to his students and school, he has made himself available not only to the students but also to the parents. He frequently meets with parents after school. He is more than willing to stay after school hours to accommodate the time constraints of parents. This is an extremely commendable act. Mr. Tudor is also involved in the Offsite Educational Services’ Parents Association, which provides access to many organizations that assist students in this great city.


Gloria Torres
Principal: Mrs. Jeanette Sosa
Superintendent’s Name: Reyes Irizarry
Name of School: P.S. 151K
School District/Region: District 32 / Region 4
Student Progress: She is an exceptional SETTS teacher (Special Education Teacher Support Services), a position that she has held for the past two years. Prior to that, she taught self-contained special education classes that spanned grades three, four and five. Before that, she was a paraprofessional for twenty-two years. P.S. 151K is certainly fortunate to have such an exceptional teacher as a member of our staff. Ms. Torres works with small groups of targeted children, giving them nearly individualized instruction in concentrated areas of the curriculum. These fortunate students receive the necessary skills that will allow them to progress and eventually succeed in their regular classroom. Ms. Torres bursts with pride when she describes their progress and achievement. The children’s work is displayed on beautiful bulletin boards as well as in colorful portfolios. Students are able to demonstrate their ability in decoding unknown words, writing skills are vastly improved and they develop more ability in math when they can perform various operations with ease. In a nutshell, Ms. Torres knows that they have shown the most progress when they no longer need her!

Innovative Teaching Strategies: Ms. Torres is required to implement the very same teaching strategies as the rest of our teaching staff. She uses Everyday Math as well as the Teachers’ College Model for literacy. However, along with these techniques, she intrigues the students with some very unique teaching approaches. She is well trained in the Wilson Reading Program, where students perfect their reading through tapping out sounds. She is also quite well known for the Great Leaps Program, a remedial program accompanied by Leapfrog Learning Machines, and do the students relish that! She participates in the Schools Attuned program, a program that develops the students neurologically, builds on their strengths and assists them in overcoming their weaknesses. This accomplished teacher perfects student writing skills by coaching them in planning their writing using web mapping, implements a wide variety of teacher-made manipulatives for math instruction, incorporates a great deal of technology in all areas of her teaching and assists students in being able to always check their math using calculators.

Motivating Students: Ms. Torres clearly motivates her students to be very involved in the many activities involved in her teaching strategies. She tells of a particular student who arrived as “a blank slate.” After four years with Ms. Torres, this student today scores threes and fours on standardized tests, loves school, and beams with pride, almost as brightly as his teacher! Other students are peer tutors in the program, reinforcing their grasp of subject matter and passing it on to others. When appropriate, students participate in-group discussions, assisting classmates in finding good solutions to pressing problems. Another motivation Ms. Torres finds successful is to use a wide variety of materials, along with allowing students to select their favorite color for folder, portfolio, etc. The students love this, and take a greater pride in their work.

Parent/Community Involvement: Ms. Torres is a unique teacher, and her approach to parents is unique as well. She begins the year with a letter of introduction. She sends home a gift packet to parents, consisting of colorful paper, special markers, pens, pencils, flash cards, etc. and instructs parents with tips on how to best use these in assisting their children. She collects brochures and materials to benefit parents in being better able to work with the child at home. If necessary, she translates the material into the native language of the home. Some students require an FM unit for more ability in hearing. Ms. Torres invites the parent up to try out the unit themselves, to better understand the child’s experience. In all, Ms. Gloria Torres does whatever she can to make the homeschool connection the most pleasant experience that it can possibly be. It is with the utmost pride that I offer you Ms. Gloria Torres as P.S. 151K’s teacher of the month.



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