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Teachers of the Month



















Outstanding Teachers of the Month - February 2005

Pat Wallace

Pat Wallace
Principal: Bridget Carrington
Superintendent’s Name: Bernard Gassaway
Name of School: Bedford Stuyvesant Preparatory High School
School District/Region: Dist 79/Region 8
Student Progress: The students of Pat Wallace have shown progress in their work by passing the Math A regents. The success rate in her class is approximately 50-70%. Ms. Wallace offers her time during lunch and PM School, an after school program offered at Bedford Stuyvesant Preparatory High School. She works with the students one on one and devotes her time to creating ways to teach all learners. Many of her students enter her class with poor math skills and are able to pass the Math A Regents by utilizing the various skills presented by Ms. Wallace. The portfolios show an increase of test scores and student achievement. The students are able to work collaboratively to solve problems and present strategies suggested by Ms. Wallace in order to provide an appropriate solution. The use of math manipulatives encourages the students to participate in classroom activities, thereby promoting high test scores.

Innovative Teaching Strategies: The use of innovative teaching strategies is very impressive in Ms. Wallace’s math class. The integration of technology has allowed her to increase student achievement and encourage collaborative learning. The use of the plastiograph, algebra tiles, balance beams and many other manipulatives promotes academic achievement. Students enjoy Ms. Wallace’s math class and are able to comfortably enjoy math. They are provided with an experience of a non-threatening math environment. The mini-projects that are done in her math class are creative and provide success for all types of learners. The students are always motivated and feel that the dedication exhibited by Ms. Wallace allows them to study math without any fear.

Motivating Students: The motivation that Ms. Wallace provides for her students allows for continuous academic achievement. The methodologies and heuristics used as suggested solutions allow the students to freely express themselves mathematically. The in-house contest of the math department has allowed students to “showoff” their math skills and easily express themselves using mathematical terms. Currently, Bedford Stuyvesant Preparatory High School would like to consider implementing an in-house math team that would later prepare students for outside competition. Having the encouragement of Ms. Wallace, students will definitely present projects and create a competitiveness that would successfully prepare them for the outside world of mathematical competition.

Parent/Community Involvement: Ms. Wallace uses an open door policy for parents and teachers of other schools. She encourages the parents to visit her classroom and involve themselves in the mathematical strategies suggested in the classroom. There is a community involvement by encouraging students to tutor the students of a neighboring elementary school. This promotes student achievement and opens doors of opportunities for many students. Some students began to consider studying elementary or secondary education.



Beverly Gammon-Hill

Beverley Gammon-Hill
Principal: Bridget Carrington
Superintendent’s Name: Bernard Gassaway
Name of School: Bedford Stuyvesant Preparatory High School
School District/Region: Dist. 79/Region 8
Student Progress: Her students have shown progress in their work by presenting projects of intense academic study, with the encouragement and dedication of Ms. Gammon. Many of the students enter her class with poor reading, writing and studying skills. Ms. Gammon’s methodology of teaching allows the students to explore the inner abilities and create a quality of work that makes one proud. The students’ portfolios demonstrate the dedication and hard work of a high school student and show the progress of each student. There has been a 5-10% increase of the ELA passing rate each year in Ms. Gammon’s English class. Many students are encouraged to study during lunchtime, after school and Saturday School. Students appreciate Ms. Gammon’s dedication and show a steady increase of academic success.

Innovative Teaching Strategies: Ms. Gammon uses innovative strategies to teaching. She uses a newsletter format to express the ideas and reading skills of a specific literary device. She integrates technology to enhance learning. Life-like butcher-block paper dolls are used to teach character analysis. These are just a few of the many innovative teaching strategies that are introduced in her class. An increasing success rate of the ELA attributes to the many innovative teaching strategies.

Motivating Students: The students are motivated in her classroom through collaborative learning. Many of her projects utilize group activity, which has increase student interest and creates an environment that the students find non-threatening. They are able to express themselves freely and provide creative writings that would spark the mind of any literature professor. Ms. Gammon’s students have entered writing and poetry contest. Some of her students were winners as well as acknowledged as great writers.

Parent/Community Involvement: There has always been a concern for parent involvement whereby Ms. Gammon always welcomes parents and teachers to visit her class. There has been community involvement by encouraging the students to tutor students of a neighboring elementary school. Many of the students are apart of the College Now program at Medgar Evans College. Ms. Gammon offered her time to help students prepare their essays needed for entrance into the program.



Marisol Rivera
Principal: Mrs. Jeanette Sosa
Superintendent’s Name: Mr. Reyes Irizarry
Name of School: P.S. 151K
School District/Region: District 32/ Region 4
Student Progress: Mrs. Marisol Rivera is a veteran teacher with a beautiful smile, who consistently makes each term fresh and exciting for her students. Ms. Rivera has taught first grade for her entire career. Her students always demonstrate a great deal of success and progress. The standardized assessments in the ECLAS and Voyager programs consistently demonstrate the successful teaching strategies of Ms. Rivera. Using the components of the Readers’ Workshop, this teacher compiles for each child a writing folder that demonstrates to anyone who reads it, the progress made during the school year. Children begin able to write only words, quickly move on to sentences, and eventually are able to write a cohesive paragraph. Quite a remarkable achievement for little first graders! Students are proud to announce to visitors that they have advanced to another level of “just right” books. Ms. Rivera’s room is print rich with a wide variety of charts and tables that are the outgrowth of her many exciting lessons in the content areas that make up first grade.

Innovative Teaching Strategies: Ms. Marisol Rivera has made her room into a model classroom. Our visitors are most impressed! She is renowned for the learning environment that she has created. Her classroom is a beautiful mixture of what is required along with what is pleasing to a child’s eye. All this, and the room never looks cluttered or overwhelming. A visitor to Ms. Rivera’s room can expect to see groups of students working in small clusters. These first graders can be found doing research, using the internet, reading, finding correlating pictures and focusing on the latest non-fiction topic that the class is working on at that moment. Some children are fortunate to have internet access at home, but this is not a necessity, as Ms. Rivera makes sure that every student receives a turn to “surf the net” in class. Ms. Rivera is proud to say that the students choose their own topic, find appropriate books and publish the final product. Ms. Rivera loves to choose a special topic for a month’s focus. This topic receives a wide variety of attention through a myriad of curriculum areas—language arts, math, science, and social studies. Students revel in a culminating celebration, involving measuring and cooking, music, art and literature.

Motivating Students: Ms. Rivera uses a wide variety of incentives to encourage her students to always do their best. They are rewarded for their diligent work with free time on the computer, reading a book that is simultaneously read to them at the listening center, working on an art project that will become part of a seasonal bulletin board, along with incentives, treats, and presents that certainly motivate her students. Ms. Rivera’s students are eventually intrinsically motivated, but enjoy the many incentives that she provides to bring them to that level.

Parent/Community Involvement: Our school is fortunate to participate in the Learning Leaders program, where parents are recruited, screened and trained before being matched with a teacher who then receives their assistance. Ms. Rivera is a pioneer in this program and has had the same parent volunteer for several years. They are a perfect match! Ms. Rivera maintains an open classroom. Parents are always invited to observe any lesson, but primarily encouraged to sit in on a reading lesson. If a child is experiencing a learning problem, the parent is invited to visit the classroom, sit with the child, observe the lesson and ultimately, help the child by reinforcing the lesson that the parent has observed. Parents are always welcome in Ms. Rivera’s class, but especially invited to help out at times of parties or celebrations. Ms. Rivera’s welcoming smile always puts the parent at ease and makes him or her feel most welcome.



Durojaye Akindutire

Durojaye Akindutire
Principal: Bridget Carrington
Superintendent’s Name: Bernard Gassaway
Name of School: Bedford Stuyvesant Preparatory HS
School District/Region: District 79, Region 8
Student Progress: The students in the class of Mr. Akindutire, AKA Mr. Duro, continuously show progress. The students are challenged by the projects given within the class work. Mr. Duro has shown noted achievement on the Living Environment Regents Exam. Many students have successfully passed the regents because of Mr. Duro’s dedication and diligent work. He teaches a Saturday science course which prepares the students for the NYC Regents Examination. His teaching style and strategies promote student achievement and interest. The student portfolios exhibit the many projects designed by Mr. Duro and the difficulty level of the projects increase each time a project is implemented. The portfolios show a “true picture” of academic growth.

Innovative Teaching Strategies: Mr. Duro uses many innovative teaching strategies. The use of the Smartboard allows for interactive technology and promotes student interest and provides academic growth. Many of his classes are project based and require collaborative learning. The students freely interact effectively and are able to produce projects that require a great deal of intense study. The rapport he has with the students allows him to teach effectively and implement innovative teaching strategies without any difficulty. The students are able to freely use the scientific language needed to explain the projects.

Motivating Students: Mr. Duro’s classroom management skills are superb. He is able to successfully implement new and innovative ideas without difficulty, thereby producing quality scientific work. Mr. Duro is the “key” person in the school when questions have to be answered relating to the Smartboard. This technology is an excellent motivational tool for the students and Mr. Duro implements the interactive technological strategy of the Smartboard daily.

Parent/Community Involvement: The open door policy that Mr. Duro has allows the parents to view the lessons and experience the Smartboard and other technology used in his classroom. The students of Bedford Stuyvesant Preparatory are in the process of partnering with a neighborhood elementary school, whereby the high school students will be tutoring younger students in science.



Olga Rosa
Principal: Mrs. Jeanette Sosa
Superintendent’s Name: Reyes Irizarry
Name of School: PS 151K
School District/Region: District 32, Region 4
Student Progress: Ms. Olga Rosa has been teaching at P.S. 151K since 1983, currently grades 1, 3 and 5. Ms. Rosa loves the challenge that a class with wide ranges of abilities brings to her. She is a gifted teacher who finds her chosen career challenging and exciting. Her current class is now displaying encouraging scores in the preliminary standardized tests given to the 5th grade. They arrived in September as struggling writers, and the latest Princeton Review assessment shows that they are all performing at remarkable levels. Their scores in math demonstrate comparable growth. Ms. Rosa especially enjoys the teaching of math. She carefully records a portfolio of achievement for each of the students. Students are very comfortable in Ms. Rosa’s class. She teaches her own class in our after-school program.  When necessary, she has the ability to translate into Spanish and speaks most comfortably with the parents.

Innovative Teaching Strategies: Ms. Rosa is truly a unique teacher. She loves plants and her room exemplifies that green thumb. Her students read about these unusual specimens, learn to care for the plants, develop responsibility and teamwork, all along with enjoying their lovely environment. Another unusual unit of study in her class is incubating chicks, ducks and quails. Following the 4H model as taught by the NYS Cooperative Extension, students learn to turn the eggs, observe the hatching process, feed and care for the hatchlings, and finally return them to the vendor as required by law. During the time that the chicks are in our building, Ms. Rosa most graciously allows the lower grade students to visit her room to observe this remarkable occurrence. Her proud students tell about their work and answer the many questions that the little ones pose. Ms. Rosa is a whiz at technology. She incorporates this talent in daily lessons and her bulletin boards exemplify that interest. Accomplished students help others and this peer tutoring brings the strugglers along. This talented teacher is also a very gifted dancer and choreographer. Besides putting on plays and participating in our Annual Dance Festival, she has brought her considerable talent to a District 32 dance troupe, traveling with the students to dance in Manhattan, (the students even met and were photographed with personality Henny Youngman) and NYC high schools, later culminating in so impressing the Turkish Consulate, that a troupe of District 32 dancers went on an all-expense trip to perform in Turkey. Ms. Rosa uses her talents to motivate the students. She coaches them in running and accompanies them on Saturday to compete and win at the Colgate Women’s games.

Motivating Students: Ms. Rosa runs a very busy room. She is very comfortable in delegating authority and responsibilities. The most capable students assist less able ones in the ever-increasing use of technology. This year, there are several accomplished typists who are a great asset to the class. Other jobs students vie for are the filing paperwork in student portfolios, caretaker of the magnificent plant collection, curator of the fish tank, class librarian, and others. Ms. Rosa’s students love their teacher, take pride in their room and have a great sense of accomplishment in the work they do.

Parent/Community Involvement: Ms. Rosa is a perennial favorite with our parent community. In 1989, she was the recipient of the Angela Zirpiades Award presented by the Office of Health, Physical Education and School Sports.  Then, in 1993, she was singled out as Puerto Rican Educator of the Year. Parents are cordially invited and most welcome to accompany their children on the educational trips that she plans, participate in their child’s 5th grade trip as well as participate in the “senior activities” that parents and 5th grade students eagerly anticipate each year. Ms. Rosa is a community resident, and the parents appreciate her gifts of care, concern and time that she selflessly gives to her students.



Malcom McDowell

Malcolm McDowell
Principal: Mrs. Eva Garcia
Superintendent’s Name: Ms Laura Rodriquez
Name of School: PS 75X
School District/Region: District 8/Region 2
Student Progress: Mr. McDowell is a positive and dynamic force within our school community. His ability to program his students for mastery in all facets of the curricula is well known. The measurable progress of his students is well documented, worthy of much praise and emulation. Mr. McDowell’s tireless work extends beyond the perimeters of the classroom. His dedication to students’ growth and development is incalculable. His weekly writing class projects include: writing reports from inside a Japanese Internment Camp, crafting and forwarding one thousand origami cranes to Hiroshima, Japan as a symbol of peace, and requiring students to form a cooperative airplane factory on paper. The students also designed and tested its assembly line. His most recent project will require the students to conduct in depth research into the history of the Bronx.

Innovative Teaching Strategies: In addition to the aforementioned projects, the letters crafted by McDowell’s students, to Members of the New York State Assembly resulted in the students’ acquisition of a significant number of free tickets to Yankee Games and games at Madison Square Garden. This personifies their “power of the pen.” Mr. McDowell’s young student authors and writers have been published in numerous periodicals which include: The African Burial Ground Project, The New York Teachers’ Council of English, The Environmental Projection Agency and The Anthology of Poetry Contest. His students are now gifted with a “voice.”

Motivating Students:  Johanna Heureaux, one of McDowell’s former students, has just returned from a six-week study-tour of South Africa, which McDowell helped to arrange. Presently, Johanna Heureaux attends a private high school. She ranks third in her class and participates in all of the extra curricula activities. While attending P.S.75X, Johanna, like many of Mr. McDowell’s students, displayed remarkable ability in the game of chess. In addition to the training by “Chess in the Schools,” McDowell added aspects of the game to his curriculum. McDowell’s students are still outdistancing many students as they work to secure a brilliant future. Surely, these skills have transferred over to the Game of 24. The students’ placement in the Game 24, a district wide math competition was masterful.

Parent/Community Involvement: Mr. McDowell is active in many of the Parent Teacher initiatives. As a recently appointed member of the Team Leadership Committee, Mc Dowell’s active involvement with all school personnel and parents has increased. Mary McLeod Bethune, a renowned educator and advisor to President Roosevelt once said, “Invest in a human soul, it may be a diamond in the rough.” Malcolm McDowell meets this challenge each day in the classroom. I wish him the best as he continues an advanced Education Degree at Teachers College, Columbia University.#



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