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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

September 12, 2017
For More Information Contact:

Jonathan Burman or Jeanne Beattie

(518) 474-1201

www.nysed.gov

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State Education Department Names Brockport CSD Elementary School Teacher 2018 New York State Teacher of the Year

 

HUNTER COLLEGE STUDENT RECIPIENT OF
2017 MARGE A. TIERNEY MEMORIAL SCHOLARSHIP

Veteran Teacher is a Tremendous Positive Force in the
Lives of Countless Students

The Board of Regents today named Christopher Albrecht the 2018 New York State Teacher of the Year and awarded the 2017 Marge A. Tierney Memorial Scholarship to Simone Sylvester, a graduate student at Hunter College, the City University of New York, the State Education Department announced today.

2018 Teacher of the Year:

Regents Chancellor Betty A. Rosa and State Education Commissioner MaryEllen Elia presented Albrecht, a fourth-grade teacher at the Fred W. Hill School in Brockport, with a certificate of recognition as well as the Thomas Sobol Award and the David Johnson Award, both created as annual gifts for recipients of the Teacher of the Year award.

"In his more than 20 years as an educator, Christopher Albrecht has served as an exemplary classroom teacher, proving to be a tremendous positive force in the lives of his students,” Chancellor Rosa said. "Every day he goes above and beyond to provide his students with the best learning experience possible. His dedication to fostering learning in the young minds of all children, whether in his classroom or community, make him especially deserving to be named the Teacher of the Year.”

“Christopher Albrecht not only teaches academics, but helps build character, humor and a positive attitude in every student,” Commissioner Elia said. “He has a long history of service to his district, students and his community. Teaching offers a priceless gift—the chance to impact students’ lives—and Mr. Albrecht lives that gift each day.”

Albrecht, the 48th New York State Teacher of the Year, has taught at the at Fred W. Hill School for 20 years, the last 14 spent teaching fourth grade. He is a native of upstate New York and first discovered his passion for teaching when he worked as a camp counselor on Keuka Lake in the Finger Lakes region of the state.

"We have more than 200,000 fantastic teachers in our state. They are highly skilled professionals who put the interests of children and their public schools first and foremost every single day of the year," said NYSUT President Andy Pallotta. "Still, Chris Albrecht stands out. He is the perfect standard-bearer for the dedication, passion and excellence in teaching that is found throughout New York’s public education system."

“Teaching is one of the noblest professions. All our teachers put their hearts and souls into the extraordinary work they do each and every day. Chris Albrecht’s recognition as New York State Teacher of the Year is a true testament of his passion and dedication to his students, school and district,” said Brockport Superintendent of Schools Dr. Lesli C. Myers. “We couldn’t be prouder of his achievement and are certain he will serve as a phenomenal ambassador for teachers throughout the state during his tenure as Teacher of the Year.”

“We are extremely proud of Chris here at the Fred W. Hill School. He will be a wonderful ambassador for New York State’s educators and embodies so many of the qualities that make our teachers second to none nationally,” Fred W. Hill School Principal Brandon Broughton said. “Chris is an outstanding practitioner and creates one of the best classroom environments you could ever hope to experience. Where he really separates himself even among exemplary educators is his dedication to the whole child and to building a deep relationship with both his students and their families. Being in his classroom can be a life changing experience for a child. I have witnessed him dedicate a great deal of his own time to helping students reach their personal goals both in the classroom and beyond. He is always accessible and takes great joy in celebrating his students’ successes with them. We are lucky to have him with us at Hill School and look forward to sharing the wonderful journey that comes with such a prestigious honor.”

Albrecht is a graduate of St. Bonaventure University where he earned a bachelor’s degree in elementary education. He earned his master’s degree in elementary education from Clarion University. While there, Albrecht worked as a graduate assistant at a time when the internet was first being pioneered in classrooms. Shortly after graduating, he was hired to teach a newly formed technology program at a school in West Virginia. There he created a first of its kind, fully-integrated technology curriculum involving the internet.

After three years of teaching in West Virginia, Albrecht returned to New York and began teaching at the Fred W. Hill School in Brockport. In his time there, he proved to be an incredibly involved member of the school and community. He spent 20 years on English Language Arts curriculum development committees, founded the Hill School Spelling Bee, mentored 11 student teachers and four first-year teachers, and founded the Hill School yearbook committee, which he still advises. Albrecht also coached high school baseball for 14 years and soccer for five years.

In 2015, Mr. Albrecht began an afterschool running program for 4th and 5th grade students with a focus on building self-confidence in special needs children. This team has grown from 5 to 19 students with all students completing a 5K road race.

In the community, Albrecht sits on the Board of Trustees for the Western Monroe Historical Society and is a trustee on the Board of the Clarkson Historical Society. Albrecht served for six years on the Board of YMCA Camp Cory. As a self-taught geologist focused on paleontology, he is a frequently requested presenter by the Rochester Academy of Sciences, the Rochester Lapidary Society and in 2016 was the keynote speaker at the annual convention for the Eastern Federation of Mineralogists.

In the coming year, Albrecht will serve as an ambassador for teachers throughout the state and will be the New York State nominee for the National Teacher of the Year.

Finalists for the 2018 New York State Teacher of the Year include:

  • Brian Sztabnik, an English and Advanced Placement Literature and Composition teacher at Milller Place High School in the Miller Place Union Free School District;
  • Rosa Ismail, an English as a New Language teacher for Kindergarten through 3rd grade students at Fort Salonga Elementary School in the Kings Park School District;
  • Mary Howard, an English Language Arts and social studies teacher at Veronica E. Connor Middle School in the Grand Island Central School District; and
  • Christina Pawlowski, a New York State Master Teacher who teaches Advanced Placement and college level mathematics at Commack High School in the Commack School District.

The New York State Teacher of the Year Program is administered by the New York State Education Department and sponsored by New York State United Teachers (NYSUT); United Federation of Teachers (UFT); New York State Parents and Teachers Association (NYSPTA); New York State Association for School Curriculum Development (NYSASCD); New York State School Boards Association (NYSSBA); School Administrators Association of New York State (SAANYS); New York State Association of Teacher Educators (NYSATE); New York Association of Colleges for Teacher Education (NYACTE); Voya Financial; the SMARTer Kids Foundation; SMART Technologies and the Council of Chief State School Officers (CCSSO). The program is run in conjunction with the National Teacher of the Year Program, sponsored by CCSSO.

Additional information about the New York State Teacher of the Year Program is available in the Office of Curriculum and Instruction at the New York State Education Department at (518) 474-5922 or on the Teacher of the Year website.

2017 Marge A. Tierney Memorial Scholarship:

The Board of Regents selected Simone Sylvester, a graduate student in the Rehabilitation Counseling program at Hunter College, to be the 2017 Marge A. Tierney Memorial Scholarship recipient.

“Simone Sylvester's dedication to helping students with disabilities obtain a fulfilling and successful career truly makes her a deserving recipient of the Marge A. Tierney Memorial Scholarship,” Chancellor Rosa said.

“Simone Sylvester has shown tremendous passion for her field through her work over the past decade, and we are honored to present her with this scholarship so she can continue to excel in her career,” Commissioner Elia said.

This scholarship was established in memory of Marge A. Tierney, a State Education Department employee whose career in vocational rehabilitation spanned 33 years. Under Tierney’s leadership as the Director of District Office Administration, over 63,000 individuals with disabilities were placed in jobs. To honor Tierney’s many achievements and dedication to her field, one student studying vocational rehabilitation counseling is selected each year to receive a scholarship to help with college-related expenses. Recipients of this award receive a citation and $1,000.

Sylvester has 10 years of experience working in the disability field and is currently working as an advisor for CUNY at Hostos Community College, CUNY LEADS Program (Linking Employment, Academics and Disability Services). The CUNY LEADS Program helps eligible students with disabilities enrolled in CUNY programs obtain successful academic and career outcomes. Sylvester is passionate about helping individuals with disabilities secure employment that is a match for their abilities.

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