Congratulations to the Saratoga County Teacher of the Year Recipients!

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Teacher of the Year 2014 Winners

It was truly an honor to be part of the team to help select Saratoga TODAY’s first annual ‘Saratoga County’s Teacher of the Year’!  We read through countless nominations from students and parents and one thing was clear, there are TONS of amazing teachers in this area!  

We were touched by stories of kindhearted and caring teachers, of imaginative and creative teachers, and of energetic and humorous teachers.
Being able to actual visit the schools to surprise our three winning teachers was an unforgettable experience!  These teachers are admired, respected, and loved by their students and staff and that was immediately apparent.  Because of some generous donations, we were able to award our three winning teachers with an engraved glass apple, a $50 Target gift card, $50 Northshire Bookstore gift card, and a $250 DBA gift card from Adirondack Trust Company.
Congratulations again to our winning teachers, and for all of the other teachers who are out there every day making a difference, we sincerely thank you.

See us surprising the winning teachers…

Congratulations to our three
Saratoga County Teachers of the Year!

From Spa Christian School…

teacheroftheyear recipients

From Schuylerville Middle School…

teacheroftheyearDunbar

From Saratoga Spa Catholic High School…

teacheroftheyearMrW

Here’s why they won!  Check out some of the nomination letters here!

Miss Mandy Klint

Miss Klint deserves the title because her lessons, activities and all that she does put kids first. She truly makes learning about the students and takes into account all learning styles. For example, she offers visual, verbal and kinesthetic examples and lessons. She thinks outside the box. She had done research about elementary students and how offering them the choice to stand at high tables increases their learning and focus. She set up the tables with stools but let them stand if they wanted. My daughter loved it and it truly helped her. Miss Klint has the firs graders practice giving presentations and really challenges them. She will assign a task that requires them to solve a problem and work with a partner to show what they did. My daughter and another student had to make something that would move an object from point a to point b so they came up with a catapult and tested it out and then shared with the class what they did. Miss Klint really shows the k ids she cares about them. We invited her to our daughter’s birthday party and not only did she come but she jumped right in tubing with them in the snow and playing games. My daughter’s grandmother could not come to her dance recital so Miss Klint took them time to come and the smile on my daughter’s face was priceless. She creates and maintains an awesome webpage http://www.spachristian.com/faculty/klint/?from_faculty_listing=1&l=&u=&f=. This makes learning fun and reinforces what was done in class. We can’t say enough nice things about her and we love her.

Mandy Klint is beyond what I ever imagined a teacher to be. She not only loves teaching children, but she has an intense passion to help each student become the best they can be, without comparing them to each other. She has taught my daughter not only to read, but to love reading. She has taught her the joy of seeking knowledge and discovering things. She has taught the children in her class critical thinking and teamwork skills. They design and create engineering projects to solve specific problems, and the students LOVE IT! And yes, this is first grade! Mandy not only cares about the students while in school, but she cares about their lives outside of school. She attends sporting events and dance recitals (on her own time), simply so her students know she truly cares. I can’t imagine anyone else teaching my daughter!

Miss Klint is the best teacher ever! She is the sweetest and kindness teacher. She helped me when I had trouble. She made me feel loved in her class. She would take me after school to help me on stuff. We learned about things we love like horses! I always hugged her in the morning.

Mandy Klint is an amazing teacher. Being an educator myself, I am aware of what it takes to be an effective teacher, and she has it! My twin boys are in her class at Spa Christian School. They love school because they have a teacher who cares about her students and desires to see them learn and grow in every area. First grade has been such a great experience for my boys. I know it’s because they have a great teacher, not to mention she has such a great personality. Having twin boys who have completely different personalities in the same class together, I see how Miss Klint meets their individual learning needs based on their different strengths and weaknesses. She has amazing ideas that she implements weekly, making learning so much fun for her students. The other parents of the students in her class feel the same way. Everyone is always talking about how she is the greatest teacher they know. She gives her all to being a wonderful teacher to her students. She is always doing fun challenges with her students. They see it as a fun day, but it’s so much more than that. She creates challenges where they have to brainstorm, while learning how to work together. Then they have to present their project to the class, explaining their method. This is giving the students an early start to practicing public speaking…in first grade! They gain so much confidence. I can’t say enough good things about Mandy Klint. She is an exceptional teacher. If anyone should win teacher of the year award, it should go to Mandy Klint.

Mandy has the best creative ideas that get the kids active and thinking outside the box!! My daughter had her last year but Mandy always does little things to put a smile on my daughters face throughout the day! Mandy klint is a wonderful teacher and deserves this! We love you Mandy ….the delsignores!

Mandy Klint is full of positive energy and truly imparts a love of learning into her students. She is creative and allows each child’s natural curiosity to grow and encourages critical thinking. She has fun Fridays in her classroom when the student earn a certain number of good behavior points throughout the week. Fun Fridays have great challenges that engage the students to combine teamwork and critical thinking to accomplish a task such as creating a system to drop an egg of the side of a desk without breaking it, or making a bobsled out of cardboard and other various supplies and seeing which one actually goes the farthest/fastest in the snow. They talk as a class about why things worked and why they didn’t. This hands on approach has just sparked my sons love to learn and he comes home raving about how much fun he had at school. He is disappointed when he has to stay home sick for some reason….that’s when you know you have a great teacher!!

When I think of all of my favorite teachers growing up, there is not a single one that compares to Mandy Klint. Miss Klint has a heart that was designed to passionately teach, nurture, and love her students. She invests so much time and energy getting to know each one of them, she prays for them, she allows them the joy of being a child while they learn, she understands that all children are different and encourages use of their strengths while building up their weaknesses. She has taken time out of her personal schedule to attend our children’s out of school activities (sports, dance, music classes) because she wants them to know how important they are to her. It absolutely made my son’s day when she watched him play soccer! It is so encouraging as a parent to see how much my son loves school and his teacher…he adores her and his face lights up whenever he sees her. I am beyond thankful for her kindness, her patience, her desire to teach, and her love for my son. I wis h every child had the chance to experience Miss Klint….she’s amazing! And the class pet is a bearded dragon! How much cooler could Miss Klint get?!?!

Miss Klint is an amazing teacher. She chooses to see every child individually and takes care of them specifically to their needs. She sees their potential and acts on their strengths and works on their weaknesses. Loves them for whole they are and doesn’t try and conform them to something they are not or can’t be. She teaches them about life – it’s hardships but also its greatest joys. She shares in their excitement for learning. She in innovative and exciting in her education lessons and makes all kids enjoy learning. She deserves so much more then we can give. This would be an amazing honor for her! Thank you –

Mandy Klint is the most amazing teacher that I know. She truly loves and cares for each child that she teaches. She always makes learning fun with new ideas. Her class pet is a bearded dragon named Yoshi that the children love. It would be wonderful to see Mandy win this award to let her know how much she is appreciated!

Mandy Klint is beyond incredible!! I am so thankful to have her in our school and teaching my son. Her love for each student and for learning as a whole is very inspiring. She is creative, energetic, encouraging, and has a huge heart. She has taken so much time out of her personal life to devote to the children of our school, tutoring, being a mentor, and friend. Her Friday activities in 1st grade inspire the kids to think outside the box and beyond ‘the book’. Hands on and collaborative learning is a top priority in her classroom. She also challenges the kids to achieve more, on their level, than many teachers. She is a gem and without a doubt deserves this honor!

Miss Klint is the most amazing teacher I have ever seen! I am a parent of a child in her class and a school teacher. At the first parent teacher open house, Mandy gave my husband and me her home phone number in case we wanted to talk outside of school hours! She doesn’t just teach her students, she inspires and enlightens them. With her amazing personality, Miss Klint has created relationships with each of her students far beyond a simple teaching and learning exchange. While her students are often seen being silly or joking with her in the halls and at the lunch table, Miss Klint remains in constant control in her classroom and always engages the kids in learning beyond the books. She spends many more hours beyond the school day in preparing for experiments and projects or staying late to tutor students…just to take more time one and one teaching. As a fellow teacher, I am constantly challenged by her fresh ideas and positivity in the classroom as she challenges her students. They frequently achieve high scores in testing. My child raves about her “fun Friday” ideas in which Miss Klint presents team work opportunity to do pertinent projects that enhance the weekly lessons or units. Examples include: designing and building bobsleds that will meet a list of criteria and actually races them on the snow hills outside with beanie babies intact, creating a 3-D model of the classroom, making a ship likened to The Mayflower that can actually float the length of a basin, making an egg container to keep an egg from braking if dropped from the top of a desk, and so many others! Not only did she successfully teach and guide the students through the project, but she also videos and blogs about the project each week on her school webpage for parents to view. Miss Klint also fills her webpage with current activities that can be completed online to enhance the learning in the classroom. I could write pages and pages about the incredible teach e r Mandy is! She should absolutely be the teacher of the year! She definitely is in our house!

 

Miss Klint is teacher that is creative, energetic and purposeful in all that she does. We are so fortunate to have her molding our little ones and building their character. We know world view is created at this young age; Miss Klint goes above and beyond to teach and set an example in how to act at all times including respecting each other and themselves. The first week of the school she had the children create classroom rules and consequences. These rules are posted in their classroom and each child is held to the standard. She holds them accountable. She encourages them with her words and actions. She even attends each of the child’s extracurricular activities throughout the year. Her caring is in her being. Each week the kids are challenged to complete their work and earn points for good behavior. If they do both they earn fun Friday which is filled with a challenge like creating a basket out of paper that can hold six apples or creating a poncho for a stuffed an animal that repels water or making a boat that really floats and holds objects. Like everything she does, the challenges are purposeful and connected to their studies. The children are so excited to go to school and work together on the activities. As a parent, I want a child that is respectful, hardworking, engaged, kind and inquisitive. Miss Klint works on all of these character traits with passion. Unfortunately, this teaching role does not provide enough pay or benefits and Miss Klint works several other jobs throughout the year but you would never know that she is burning the candle at both ends as she NEVER complains or is seen without a smile. It is with great joy and respect that I nominate Miss Klint for teacher of the year.

Sometimes you will come across individuals who “teach to live”. And then there are those who genuinely Live to Teach. That is our beloved Miss Klint! She has a passion for our children that is undeniable. They are not merely a class, they are individuals; unique and special. Her ideas and incentives for a class of 11 boys and 3 girls are fun, and she lets the children develop their own creative ways to problem solve. Whether it’s figuring out how to get Christopher Columbus across the sea in a cardboard boat, insulating the base of “ice snowmen” with different materials to see which melts the slowest, ways to drop an egg without it cracking, or simply letting the kids design their own Truffula Tree, all the while, Miss Klint praises, encourages and delights in each of her students. To say we love Miss Klint would be an understatement. She is truly one in a million.

Mrs Amy Dunbar

Mrs. Dunbar is a unique teacher that combines the best of both worlds: hard work and fun. My twins Madison and Brady describe Mrs. Dunbar: “she has high expectations of us” “she pushes us to do better” “she has dance parties” “she acts like a teenager with us sometimes” “she shares our music” “she plays games that make us learn” “we got to make the cabins from Lightning Thief in the classroom”, “she makes us be better writers.” As a mom I see all of the hard work she puts into planning that make the learning fun yet to the highest standards. Every piece of work they do is well thought out and thoughtfully corrected. I also know she has 2 young children at home and still manages to give 100% to her other “kids.” I feel very grateful that Madison and Brady have been introduced to the middle school with the help of such a dedicated teacher.

Mrs. Dunbar is a unique teacher that combines the best of both worlds: hard work and fun. My twins Madison and Brady describe Mrs. Dunbar: “she has high expectations of us” “she pushes us to do better” “she has dance parties” “she acts like a teenager with us sometimes” “she shares our music” “she plays games that make us learn” “we got to make the cabins from Lightning Thief in the classroom”, “she makes us be better writers.” As a mom I see all of the hard work she puts into planning that make the learning fun yet to the highest standards. Every piece of work they do is well thought out and thoughtfully corrected. I also know she has 2 young children at home and still manages to give 100% to her other “kids.” I feel very grateful that Madison and Brady have been introduced to the middle school with the help of such a dedicated teacher.

Mr. W

Brad Walajtys (known to his students as Mr. W) is a chemistry teacher at Saratoga Central Catholic. He is a great teacher who makes learning fun while enjoying what he teaches. Mr. W uses PowerPoint presentations that correspond directly to fill-in-the-blank packets that are easy to learn from and make for easy studying. He has a great sense of humor and enjoys making jokes. It is a rare day that Mr. W doesn’t smile throughout the class period. He is known for his review games, which include games using remote clickers, problem-solving races, bluff games, Who Wants to Be a Millionaire, and more. The winning students of the game receive bonus points on the upcoming test. All of Mr. W’s test questions are from the Regents examinations of yesteryear, helping to prepare his students for the end of the year exam. Overall, Brad Walajtys is deserving of the Saratoga County Teacher of the Year award because he enjoys what he teaches while at the same time making the material interesting and exciting. He uses a multitude of ways to engage students in the topic, as well as incentives for studying. Not only that, but he smiles throughout it all.

Brad Walajtys (known to his students as Mr. W) is a chemistry teacher at Saratoga Central Catholic. He is a great teacher who makes learning fun while enjoying what he teaches. Mr. W uses PowerPoint presentations that correspond directly to fill-in-the-blank packets that are easy to learn from and make for easy studying. He has a great sense of humor and enjoys making jokes. It is a rare day that Mr. W doesn’t smile throughout the class period. He is known for his review games, which include games using remote clickers, problem-solving races, bluff games, Who Wants to Be a Millionaire, and more. The winning students of the game receive bonus points on the upcoming test. All of Mr. W’s test questions are from the Regents examinations of yesteryear, helping to prepare his students for the end of the year exam. Overall, Brad Walajtys is deserving of the Saratoga County Teacher of the Year award because he enjoys what he teaches while at the same time making the material interesting and exciting. He uses a multitude of ways to engage students in the topic, as well as incentives for studying. Not only that, but he smiles throughout it all.

Here are the nomination letters for all the other amazing teachers!

Nomination Letters

Mrs. Flynn is an amazing teacher. My child is a smart, bright student that has a history of absolutely loving school and very little academic struggles. Approximately 1 to 2 weeks after school started, my child began having serious physical symptoms of anxiety disorder and missed over 4 weeks of school, then some. If it weren’t for Mrs. Flynn’s patience, understanding, and confidence in my child and very close individual attention to my child, I don’t think he/she would be where he/she is today. My child is still progressing but definitely back to thriving with the love of school and good grades. It takes a real special person to be such great teacher, and Mrs. Flynn is definitely one of those special people. Thank you so much Mrs. Flynn.

My teacher Mr. Grace deserves the title of Saratoga Country’s Teacher of the Year, because he is like no other teacher. He puts his heart and soul into teaching and our school. Math is my favorite subject this year because of Mr. Grace. During our math lesson, our class takes a test to see what we know. Depending on what we know, we all started on different lessons. Based on that lesson, he either gave us a mini lesson or we watch a video. Then you take another test. If you don’t so well, he gives you another lesson. If you pass you receive an exit ticket to move onto the next lesson. He does this so the class members don’t have to do a lesson they already know. He spends a lot of time planning this and it really helps everyone in the class. Mr. Grace also likes to have fun. This year whenever we had a snow day he made up a song and record himself singing it. Then he emailed it to all the parents to show the kids. It was great to have a snow day, but the day was even better when we get to hear our teach sing a funny song made just for us. He also has nicknames for everyone in the class. This makes everyone feel special. Mr. Grace will do anything for St. Mary’s School in Ballston Spa. He volunteers to emcee at any event at the school. Recently he shaved his head that raised over $2,000 for the school. He also volunteers to coach the Odyssey of the Mind team. He encourages each student to push him or herself further and to work together as a team. He believes in each student and pushes us to do our best. That’s why I think my teacher Mr. Grace should be Saratoga County’s Teacher of the Year. By Sophia Faul 5th Grade St. Mary’s School Ballston Spa

Mrs. Ingersol is my favorite teacher because she made learning fun and exciting by telling stories and many other thing. I wish she could have come to fifth grade with me.

I nominate my teacher, Mr. Bryant for this award. He uses fun to teach us. We don’t even realize sometimes that we are learning because he uses games on his funny smart board that doesn’t like him, it likes his students. He helps with student council, he’s a football coach and he’s getting married! His favorite teams are the Cubs and the NY Giants. Thank you.

I am so grateful for my daughter’s teacher, Mrs. Claudia Hauser. The parent teacher conference was going to be my first real conversation about my daughter and I did not know what to expect. The first thing said to me was, “Your daughter has to be willing to take some educational risks or she is going to be her own worst enemy.” I was shocked. She wanted my child to be a risk taker? Not a rule follower? In the current world of common core, what teacher was willing to allow a child to take a risk, be willing to make a mistake??? In that moment I realized how special a teacher Mrs. Hauser was because she cared about the person my child was to become. She valued her student’s personal growth over the score on a test. Mrs. Hauser did not want my child to be passively receiving information, she wanted to offer her real ways to apply what she was learning, to be chaotic and make mistakes. What better environment for a child to learn than that. Mrs. Hauser is retiring this year, it makes me sad, but the gift she has been to my child will continue throughout her life.

Mrs. Brennan has taught both of my children and I have always been amazed at how she has complete control over an entire room full of children, but always has a smile and a friendly, encouraging word for her students. Despite the new Common Core standards, she is dedicated to making learning fun for the kids and keeps them engaged. She’s one in a million!

Ronnie Israel is a longtime and beloved teacher at Division Street Elementary School. She is a senior member of the teaching faculty who demonstrates enthusiasm, energy, and dedication each and every day. Mrs. Israel goes above and beyond to make learning fun. Whether it was developing an innovative cultural program through which Skidmore College students from foreign countries visit the classroom to introduce different customs of the world, partnering with parents and community members to share their skills with students, or engaging her students in chess, aerobic exercise or yoga as part of their daily routine, Mrs. Israel maximizes every minute of the school day. She has embraced the new learning standards and excels at teaching her students the core subjects of math, English, social studies and science. Her passion and skill as a teacher are unparalleled and evident in all that she does. For the decades she has spent sharing knowledge and the countless students’ lives she has touched, Mrs. Israel is deserving to be recognized as Saratoga County’s Teacher of the Year!

Mrs. Ingersol is my favorite teacher because she is very funny and tells the best jokes.

I think my teacher, Mrs. Israel, is the best teacher in the world. Mrs. Israel is nice and friendly. She makes learning fun. Mrs. Israel teaches us about all kinds of things. I think Mrs. Israel should win this contest. Madilyn Wilson 1st Grade student Division Street Elementary School

I think my teacher, Mrs. Mazur, is the best teacher ever. She makes learning a whole lot better and makes me want to do more. Mrs. Mazur is kind and respectful to all students. She makes sure that learning is fun but still educational. Mrs. Mazur helps the class by keeping them in a positive mood and answers everyone’s questions. She gives her students opportunities to help in the classroom. This is why my teacher should win the Teacher of the Year. Andrew Wilson 3rd Grade student Division Street Elementary School

I think my teacher, Mrs. Mazur, is the best teacher ever. She makes learning a whole lot better and makes me want to do more. Mrs. Mazur is kind and respectful to all students. She makes sure that learning is fun but still educational. Mrs. Mazur helps the class by keeping them in a positive mood and answers everyone’s questions. She gives her students opportunities to help in the classroom. This is why my teacher should win the Teacher of the Year. Andrew Wilson 3rd Grade student Division Street Elementary School

Ms. Shauna is an active presence in the lives of all the children at SIS. She is enthusiastic about teaching, patient and energetic at the same time. She leaves parents feel confident that their children are getting the best education

I would like to nominate Mrs. Cailin Rabideau of Milton Terrace North (2nd grade) as the 2014 Saratoga County Teacher of the Year. There are so many awesome qualities about Mrs. Rabideau that I don’t where to start, so I’ll share her best qualities using the letters of her last name. Reassuring- She makes sure that the classroom is comfortable for everyone. A Yankee fan- enough said! Be better- She challenges me and my classmates to work harder each day to be better students and people. Inspiring- She makes us all want to do better with her words and actions. Dedicated- She is always at school working and participating in activities with us. Energetic- We do so many different activities each day like popping popcorn to talk about adjectives Admirable- I look up to her and hope to be like her someday! Understanding- She understands when things are hard and makes them better for us. I have lots more to say, but my mom and dad say there is a word limit and that I need to stop. I am so lucky to have her. She makes every day so fun that I don’t want to go home at the end of the day. Please come and surprise her! Thank you, Catherine Miller

Ms. Dina is a wonderful teacher. My son is always excited to go to school and see her. When she was out for medical leave for a few weeks my son asked every day when she would come back.

Mrs. Swinner is a really great social studies teacher. She teaches cool stuff! She is also really good at recess duty. CHARLIE, age 7

On my first encounter with Mrs. Dickenson, she spoke of the love she feels for her students and teaching. She proceeded to share how she wants parents to feel comfort when sending their child to school. She expressed that when a child is at school, she is not only their teacher, but she considers them her child. Mrs. Dickenson operates her classroom as one big family, teaching more than just academics. She has proceeded to teach the children how to interact socially, and respect one another as individuals. She has lived up to her words and has truly treated my daughter with the respect and compassion one would only hope for their child. She fosters personal growth and encourages her students to strive to do their best. She is intuitive to her student’s individual needs. She has excelled in helping my daughter become a more confident 7 year-old socially, emotionally, and intellectually. I will be forever grateful for her dedication and ambition as a teacher and person. I can only hope that as my daughter progresses through her academic career, that we are as fortunate to encounter more teachers that have the same integrity and compassion for their students that Mrs. Dickenson exhibits.

I just started at Division Street Elementary school and I like Mr.Orszulak because he really explains things that we have trouble with.

I would like to nominate my daughter’s teacher, Mrs. Vanessa Flynn. Mrs. Flynn truly partners with parents to give the very best to each of her students. She doesn’t “call home” just to discuss challenges; she calls parents to share upcoming lessons and successes as well. She has unique ways to engage children in each lesson, such as the way she made her students really feel what segregation was and therefore why we celebrate Martin Luther King’s achievements. Mrs. Flynn energizes and motivates her students every day, even through the very difficult adoption of the “common core”. And she does not limit this just to the students of her own class. My daughter had to write an essay about why we should or should not extend the school day. My son, who is in the eighth grade, is passionate about this topic so he too wrote an essay citing comparisons to Finland’s school system and sent it in with his sister’s. Mrs. Flynn responded to him as well. There are just too man y great examples I can cite and will run out of space here. Mrs. Flynn is an inspired educator who arouses a true love of learning in her students.

I would like to nominate my teacher, Mrs. Flynn. I like that Mrs. Flynn treats all kids equal. When there is a student who doesn’t understand what we are working on, she will work one on one with them until they do. She takes time to help her students work out their own personal problems too. Mrs. Flynn always stays calm and doesn’t stress us out with the state tests. Mrs. Flynn makes learning fun and exciting.

Mr. Preston is an exceptional teacher. Thing we really appreciate about him are: He is inspirational to all the children When something interesting comes up in class he checks it out and comes back to all the kids He does amazing things like introducing healthy foods for the students, which has helped our child in tasting new vegetables, for example even seaweed. He never raises his voice, he just has a way with the kids. His calm demeanor rubs off on the children He has fish and hamsters in the class. The kids love them. His teaching of math and reading is exceptional.

She is commonly referred to as “Classroom Mom.” After spending the year with her as my daughter’s first grade teacher I understand and agree why she has earned this noble title. If you are a parent, I’m sure you can agree that it is one of the most blessed and truly special roles a person can ever have. Karen Dickinson touches the hearts and minds of all her 23 students/children each and every day as she beautifully does what she is truly passionate about i.e. being a mentor and true educator to our children. Despite the new challenges the common core has introduced to our academic lives, Mrs. Dickinson embraces these challenges and discovers creative ways to implement these new standards making learning natural and fun. She has a gift of seeing each child as an individual with unique needs then uses her talents to best guide her students to achieve their full potential. Her classroom is a safe place where academic mistakes are looked at as rich learning opportunities. The children not only learn their subject matter but more importantly, Mrs. Dickinson creates an environment where there is genuine respect for her, each other, themselves, their school, the community, and nature. Currently, the class is learning how to care for and appreciate the miracle of new life as they just experienced twelve fertilized chick eggs hatch. You can see by the sparkle in her eyes and hear the genuine enthusiam in her voice that when Mrs. Dickinson is interacting with our children she is truly in her element. Every student loves her and she will forever be a positive influence on every fortunate child that can call her their teacher. Thus, it is with great appreciation that I have this opportunity to recognize such an outstanding person/mentor/educator by nominating Karen Dickinson as Saratoga County’s Teacher of the Year! Thank you!

Ms. Saville has an incredible way with the children – she is soothing, yet firm, kind and respectful. She gets the students excited about learning, and really understands how children learn. My son has been loving school, which is so important to begin his school career on a huge positive note. On weekends, he asks why it can’t be a school day so he can see Ms. Saville. As a room mom, I have also seen her ability to get 21 kids quickly to listen, to interact, to have fun, and to learn.

Mr. Tom Bryson is a very great teacher. He helps to make sure that every student is doing their best at all times. This man deserves this award because the countless effort he puts into his job. He doesn’t ever stop trying to motivate the students to get their work in.

Mr.Varney is one of the best teachers I have had in the ten years that I have been in school. Not only does he have a fun personality, he also makes living environment exciting to learn. He puts me in a great mood whenever I walk into his classroom and I am sure that he will help me to achieve an amazing grade on the New York State Regents. He went to Cornell University and has inspired me to follow a career in veterinary medicine with hopes of attending Cornell in the future. Mr. Varney is an excellent teacher and deserves the title of Saratoga County’s Teacher of the Year.

Mr. Longo always helps us feel better and brightens up our day. He’s extremely smart and friendly. If people acknowledged his ideas I’m sure he could help out the district. Every day he attempts to make all the students smile. Almost everyone in the middle school knows him for his bright spirit, his helpful hand, and his great ideas. Mr. Longo always makes it about his students and asks what’s going on in their lives. He connects with our everyday problems to make them minuscule. I couldn’t have imagined how many kids would be gloomy without his bright and wonderful personality. Also, Mr. Longo interacts with the students. Helping them socialize and interact with other students. All in all Mr. Longo makes our lives, so much lighter.

As the mom of 5 kids I have experienced many different kinds of teachers, but none of them come close to Mrs. Terry. Mrs. Terry is able to take each student where they are and help them progress from that point rather than teaching to the middle. Her classroom is set up to help students learn in a variety of ways. She understands each child learns differently and has a variety of resources to help them. She is constantly going above and beyond, whether it is taking the extra time with a student who needs a bit more help or finding that little something extra for a student who needs more of a challenge. She is also instrumental in the school’s afterschool tutoring program which helps a large number of students who may otherwise fall behind. Her classroom is a fun place to get the work done and her students have a great time while learning. She doesn’t “teach to the test” but rather teaches to share knowledge and so her students do well on the tests. My third child had Mrs. Terry and I cannot wait for my fourth and fifth to have the same wonderful experience.

Ms. Rechak is a teacher that really deserves this amazing title. She is devoted many extra hours of her day to her students to help us all succeed. If it’s giving up her lunch for student to come up and work or staying after the day for students to get help she has made her students her number one priority. Every day the students of Schuylerville’s eighth grade are excited for the fun and joy of her class

Mrs. K makes every day fun and exciting even getting in trouble is exciting. All of my teachers are nice to me. Mrs. Staffer makes reading fun. Mrs. Adams is good at math. Mrs. Orom is good in Spanish. I’d go on and on with every teacher in the school but I can’t. But I’d like to add my principle Mrs. Kromm who adds fun and learning to our school.

I had Mrs. Israel for 1st grade. I like her because she challenged me and made class fun. Every morning she would have us do a morning workout to get us woken up. I am now in third grade and she is still my favorite teacher. Mrs. Israel also taught our class how to play chess and I now like to play against my dad. I write to her every once and a while through our school mail. She is a great teacher!

This is (luckily) our second child to have Mrs. Cooper for second grade. She is great with the kids! She is teaching them to be good citizens, not just educating them (which she is also doing an excellent job at!)

Mrs. Cooper is very friendly. Works great with students. Goes above and beyond to make students feel appreciated. Very involved with school activities and community activities. Teaches the kids the importance of exercise daily and being healthy.

Mrs. Kelly goes out of her way to notice the positives in each of her students and my son thrives in her classroom. She is upbeat, energetic and incredibly warm. She works hard to get the kids mastering new skills and ready for state testing but is respectful of their limits and gives breaks as needed. She is really a wonderful teacher and we are lucky to have her!

Mrs. Smith always puts the students first. She is a Computer Skills Teacher for 4th and 7th grade students. Our 4th grade daughter really enjoys her class and always has to show us a new skill that she has learned. In the Middle School Mrs. Smith goes above and beyond for clubs and community service. Whether it is her time or her own money, she spends plenty of it helping the underpriveleged members of the Schuylerville Community.

My son loves her Science class. Mrs. Rechak makes class interesting and the parents like that she sends weekly emails on homework to keep us involved!

Ms. Rechak is a teacher that really deserves this amazing title. She is devoted many extra hours of her day to her students to help us all succeed. If it’s giving up her lunch for student to come up and work or staying after the day for students to get help she has made her students her number one priority. Every day the students of Schuylerville’s eighth grade are excited for the fun and joy of her class

I am nominating Mrs. Janicke. Mrs. Janicke is the best and most beautiful music teacher. I like all the instruments she has. Mrs. Janicke is also the best singer. I like it when she gives Tomahawk tickets for being respectful, responsible, and safe. She does conductor for the day. I like it when we do music fun day. Music for me is on Tuesdays. I like my music class very much. If it wasn’t Mrs. Janicke I wouldn’t like music class. I like music class with Mrs. Janicke. We have fun when we are on TV.

WOW Mrs. Hauser loves math and I love math too. She helps me when I have trouble with something. She makes sure all of my work is right and then I make corrections. If I didn’t feel good she would help me talk out of it. She makes me feel happy when I’m not happy, and when I feel down she makes me feel up. She is the best teacher because she loves everyone and everything that kids love. Mrs. Hauser is the best teacher because she rocks at everything that kids rock at. That is why Mrs. Hauser is the best teacher! Wow, wow, wow!!! -Mallory Sprissler, Current 1st Grade Student

Mr. Longo is a great role model and pulls out the imagination in us kids. Mr. Longo helps all of us Middle School students become better people along with educating us. For study halls he lets us come in and listen to his amazing band. Mr. Longo is greatly deserving of this award due to his ability to make your day 100x better. Thank You, Colt Guilder of Corinth School District.

200 words can’t describe this teacher! A few yrs. back one of Mrs. Fuller’s former students lost his mother suddenly. I vividly remember her standing right outside the funeral home not wanting to leave this boy alone. I knew then that I wanted my daughter to have her in 2nd grade. Mrs. Fuller is filled with love, compassion and has an amazing ability to truly feel the emotions of her students. Every child is equal in her eyes and she builds the confidence of each and every one to make them realize that they can do what they set their minds to. Every child is #1! Mrs. Fuller treats all children as her own. She is the kind of teacher that will fight for your child to get any help they need or spend her own time making sure they are understanding concepts being taught. I am a worrier and Mrs. Fuller ALWAYS takes the time to personally assure me that my daughter is on task and doing well! Negativity isn’t allowed in her room…she’s just amazing!

My son John just loves his teacher she makes school fun. Mrs. Fuller goes out of her way to make sure the kids have a fun family environment while learning. She has a great personality and loves to joke and sing in class to make it exciting. We appreciate all that she does.

I would like to nominate Mr. Fedor because he makes learning fun. You don’t realize your learning something because he makes it into a game. He is a very nice teacher and is willing to help you in any way he can.

Mr. Sorbera is a teacher that really strives to better his students. He has hope for each one of us and believes that we can do anything. Other than believing in us Mr. Sorbera tries to help us understand things and go through problems we don’t understand. He offers to set aside time to help each student that wants it. Mr. Sobera makes jokes and puts some jokes into the lessons. I believe Mr. Sorbera really deserves the teacher of the year award.

Mrs. Jordan is creative, thoughtful and fun. A recent lesson involving learning about the 7 continents involved suitcases for the children (made from Abercrombie and Fitch shirt boxes), passports, (complete with their pictures and personal information), and boarding passes (to 7 different continents). Students entered the classroom and the chairs were organized in two rows, similar to an airplane. On the smart board was a picture of the inside of an airplane. A recording welcomed them aboard the flight and they were instructed to take present their boarding passes and passports to the appropriate place. Their tickets were punched and off they went, exploring a different continent and its countries each day. Each student was assigned a continent to do a presentation about including the culture, and fun places to see. At the end of the unit, the parents were invited to see the presentations. This is teaching as it should be. Fun, creative, engaging, efficient, captivating, out-of-the-box, crazy creative. Mrs. Jordan from Schuylerville Elementary School is the reason my son loves school!

Mrs. LeClair is my school librarian. She tells us funny stories they are related to what we are talking about. If we heard of a good book series, then she will write the name of the series on a list of other series that we want. She is kind, caring and funny. Mrs. LeClair is great at giving me book suggestions. I think that Mrs. Leclair should be teacher of the year.

My son, Riley, had the pleasure of having Sarah Mehan as his 5th grade teacher last year. My son has always been a good reader, always in the high reading group, but never reading for pleasure. He just never had the love of reading. Not until he was in 5th grade and had Ms. Mehan, did he really enjoy reading. Ms. Mehan develops real relationships with her students, and she matched books with Riley’s interests. We found Riley reading all the time at home, and browsing the library and bookshops. Ms. Mehan isn’t just a teacher that teaches, but she really spends the time to form relationships with her students. Riley loved his 5th grade year, and would often come home and tell stories of Ms. Mehan and how funny she was, or what he learned and he was motivated to always do his best. Ms. Mehan is the teacher that got my son to truly love reading.

Brain Banks defines what teaching excellence is. He heads the Connections Class at O’Rourke Middle School. It is a Special Ed class for grades 6-8. Brian goes out of his way to make our children feel part of the school community through outreach, education and inclusion. He has developed “Buddy Groups” to help educate and integrate mainstream kids for peer modeling and acceptance. He educates other staff on developing programs to help foster learning and inclusion. My child went from being a “labeled” child with disabilities, to a child that is part of his school community getting high fives down the hall and smiles and greetings from all of his new friends. This is all because of the tireless efforts of Brian Banks. BHBL Schools and our children are blessed to have him.

This is Miss Lividini’s first year of teaching kindergarten. At first we were concerned about her experience level, but we quickly forgot about that (within two weeks!) when we saw how much our daughter was learning–and how often she talked about school and Miss Lividini. Miss Lividini has proven to be an outstanding teacher. She has a wonderful personality, she is kind and gentle with her class, and she never has to holler because the kids respect her so much. She also speaks respectfully to the children and is never condescending. My daughter tells me that Miss Lividini sings instructions to them (among other favorite songs) and the whole class listens. My daughter also shows me all the sign language she has learned from her teacher! It’s really incredible. LS is not a part of the curriculum, but Miss Lividini thought he kids would enjoy it–and they do! It’s amazing how much my daughter is learning. Aside from the fact that Miss Lividini is right on track with teaching the academics, she also teaches them so many other things in fun, interactive and exciting ways. I’m amazed at the meaningful projects and journal entries that come home. Miss Lividini is making learning fun and exciting. I’m so thankful that my daughter’s first year of school has been so positive and rewarding. Miss Lividini will be remembered for a lifetime.

As I shuffled through my daughter’s homework binder yesterday I discovered this poem she wrote to Ms. Randall, her Language Arts and Science teacher at Saratoga Independent School (SIS). Unaware of the contest, I asked her if she wanted to nominate Ms. Randall for Teacher of the Year – and she whole-heartedly said “yes”. Dear Ms. Randall, Thank you for being true. You’re the best even after a test. You can believe in leaving too soon, like the moon. You are great so you should have a plate of gold. Teachers are better than the beach, teachers that teach, at least. From: AJD Finding an unsolicited thank you poem written by your child to her teacher is the best example of why we are nominating Ms. Randall for Teacher of the Year. She inspires our daughter to go beyond the basic requirements and work to her full potential, to never stop learning, and to explore new ideas. She challenges our daughter to set high goals for herself, and continues to spark her curiosity. Ms. Randall is deeply invested in the success of her students, embracing SIS’s mission and creating a safe, nurturing environment where her students have the opportunity to blossom.

Mrs. Hauser is the best because she knows so much about math. She taught us to do double digit subtraction and to count backwards with big numbers. She is also the best teacher ever because she helps us read hard books like Oregon’s Journey. She showed us to look for clues and look deeper into the story. She also gives us opportunities to help others. For example, Mrs. Hauser is allowing me to read to a student with disabilities. She thinks helping others is important. Mrs. Hauser is so great at being the best teacher ever! By Ben Skillings

Ms. Corr makes learning fun, she encourages children to dive deep in the science subjects. My son has become a mini expert in all topics she covers, showing us she is engaging, exciting, and most importantly, reaching our child where he will want to learn more! Thanks a ton Ms Corr!!!

Ms. Miltenberg can take reluctant math students and give them the support and encouragement they need to be successful. She absolutely refuses to allow students (or parents) to believe that the child “can’t do math” and she works tirelessly to ensure that each and every student attains an appropriate level of success. Ms. Miltenberg also understands that parents often need as much support as her students and she thinks nothing of calling parents when she senses that they need to be encouraged! I am grateful each and every day that my son has such an amazing math teacher!

As a father of two daughters, I am always looking for ways to set a good example and to cue my girls on the characteristics and values that I feel they should embody. My oldest has the good fortune of being a student of Shauna Swinimer in her Kindergarten class at Saratoga Independent School. Shauna knows when to push my daughter and when to back off. She knows when to expect more, how to encourage and maybe most importantly, how to hold her accountable. Shauna sets the tone for our school, and promotes a culture of strong work ethic, responsibility for one’s words and actions, along with providing love and respect for her students. In turn, Shauna’s boys and girls offer that same respect and love to the kids, teachers, parents and other members of this incredible school community. We are so lucky to have our daughter in Shauna’s class. We know that this is a great start to opening the door for our daughter to build a lifelong love of learning. Please consider Shauna as she is a most deserving recipient of this award.

“Most of us end up with no more than five or six people who remember us. Teachers have thousands of people who remember them for the rest of their lives.” Andy Rooney I can remember like yesterday; my 6 year old stating every so clearly that he was not going to Kindergarten. Now, nearly 10 months have passed and he not only loves school, he sees no reason to enter 1st grade and have another teacher; he insists he will be perfectly fine remaining with Mrs. Molteni. When first mentioned by his Jr. K Teacher at St. Clement’s who our son would have for Kindergarten, she was often described as “The Kindergarten Whisperer”. We were assured that we would all, including our son, would be very pleased. It is difficult to even begin to explain the impact she has had. He will move on to 1st, then 2nd and so on … each educator with evidence for being best teacher, but for the here and now, as I am sure many others (past and present)would agree, Mrs. Cathy Molteni aka “The Kindergarten Whisperer” at St. Clement’s Regional Catholic School is most definitely deserving of “Teacher of the Year 2014”.

Mrs. Sitterly has an amazing way of making the transition to kindergarten easy on the kids and the parents! She sends home detailed notes every week so we know what our kids are doing. She responds to all notes and e-mails, no matter how trivial they may be. And the kids love her! She must do some amazing stuff in that classroom, because our daughter actually gets sad on the weekends because she can’t go to school and see Mrs. Sitterly! She uses great take home games and sends home lots of great tips on how we can help make learning fun at home too! She does a great job of praising the kids for their strengths and encouraging them in areas where they need more help. We feel so lucky that our daughter’s first teacher has truly made her love school and love learning!

My teacher Mr. Grace deserves the title of Saratoga Country’s Teacher of the Year, because he is like no other teacher. He puts his heart and soul into teaching and our school. Math is my favorite subject this year because of Mr. Grace. During our math lesson, our class takes a test to see what we know. Depending on what we know, we all started on different lessons. Based on that lesson, he either gave us a mini lesson or we watch a video. Then you take another test. If you don’t so well, he gives you another lesson. If you pass you receive an exit ticket to move onto the next lesson. He does this so the class members don’t have to do a lesson they already know. He spends a lot of time planning this and it really helps everyone in the class. Mr. Grace also likes to have fun. This year whenever we had a snow day he made up a song and record himself singing it. Then he emailed it to all the parents to show the kids. It was great to have a snow day, but the day was even better when we get to hear our teach sing a funny song made just for us. He also has nicknames for everyone in the class. This makes everyone feel special. Mr. Grace will do anything for St. Mary’s School in Ballston Spa. He volunteers to emcee at any event at the school. Recently he shaved his head that raised over $2,000 for the school. He also volunteers to coach the Odyssey of the Mind team. He encourages each student to push him or herself further and to work together as a team. He believes in each student and pushes us to do out best. That’s why I think my teacher Mr. Grace should be Saratoga County’s Teacher of the Year. By Sophia Faul 5th Grade St. Mary’s School Ballston Spa

Stacey Wahl makes learning fun for her young students and consequently they learn to enjoy their educational experiences. She dresses up as her 100 year old grandmother for 100 days of school. She dresses up as a 50’s girl on the 50th day of school. Her students love her and remember her throughout all their years of education as someone who inspired them to make learning fun. She participates in the parents as reading partners and reads to kids throughout the community. She encourages her students and her own children to be a part of the whole community by participating in fund raising events for good causes. Stacey has a very warm, welcoming personality that puts everyone at ease immediately, especially those very small children who are not only just her students but her loves.

Miss Measeck is a teacher with that magic ability to engage students on every level. The students are lovingly challenged to reach their best both academically and socially. Her focus on literacy is extensive – written vocabulary assignments, book reviews, q&a discussions about what they have read, and comparative studies: e.g., comparing a book to the movie version. Through weekly journal writing, the students also are encouraged to value their own unique ideas, which is so important at this age. The classroom environment is engaging and exciting. We highly recommend Miss Measeck.

Elizabeth Sabatella shows kindness, care and compassion for her students. She goes above and beyond for them emotionally, academically and in all ways imaginable. She is always available for questions, comments & concerns from parents at her own home number after school hours and even on weekends.

Mr. Fersch has looked at my child as an individual and found ways to encourage his learning through his own interests. He has recognized his needs and his areas that he has excelled in to make him a better student and person. My son has a new joy and excitement for school.

Mrs. Walz teaches at Wood Road Elementary. She is an amazing Kindergarten teacher who is loved and respected by her students, past and present. Mrs. Walz incorporates so much play into her lesson plans that the kids are learning so much, but they are having so much fun doing it that they don’t even realize how hard they are actually working. My daughter is in her class this year, and she comes home every day with a folder full of great writing and artwork. You can tell when you enter the classroom that Mrs. Walz loves what she does and is completely invested in how to best help each student not only learn, but also how to help them to love learning. This year my daughter was very sick and hospitalized for over a month and after she recovered and was ready to return to school, Mrs. Walz made the transition such an easy process and even came to our house to visit. She has developed a classroom environment where the kids are happy and caring and helpful to each other. She has amazing classroom management skills without ever raising her voice. I could go on and on about what a wonderful teacher Mrs. Walz is, but in the end it really comes down to seeing the smiles on the kids’ faces every day and knowing that my daughter and her friends are getting the very best education every day they enter school, and having a lot of fun while doing it. I can see my daughter’s confidence and love of learning growing each day and that is an amazing gift for a teacher to give! I hope that you will recognize Mrs. Walz as the teacher of the year. She is so deserving and dedicated to making sure that Kindergarten is still fun and a place to play while learning.

Mrs. Kholstinin is always so energetic. Willing to help any way she can. Always available to chat on the phone or by email even on weekends she replies! Never makes you feel like you are bothering her. Loves her students almost as much as they love her. She is the best!

Mrs. Perez teaches us rhymes which is lots of fun. I like when she teaches us about the constellations and tells us stories about Columbus and Louis & Clark. We learn about all the holidays we had a huge dragon up for Chinese New Year and she showed us how to eat with chop sticks. We just celebrated Mardi Gras with beads and a Cake for a King. The cake has a tiny baby doll inside and whoever gets it in their piece of cake gets to be King or Queen for the day. Also, her clothes always match and I think she looks fabulous.

Mrs. Lunman loves her students! There is energy and joy in her classroom. Our family didn’t even realize our son was learning from the new Common Core Curriculum because Mrs. Lunman differentiated her instruction for each student and used tools from the curriculum accordingly. Our child learned to read, enjoyed practicing math facts and filled up a writing journal! Every school day, our child felt safe, encouraged and happy in Mrs. Lunman’s classroom.

Mrs. Greene is an awesome teacher. This is my son’s first year in school and he started late due to being diagnosed with type one diabetes just a few weeks before school was scheduled to start. She has such a sweet spirit and is always so understanding when it comes to any issues he has. She is accommodating to the parents, allowing us to have access to her via phone conferences for those of us that can’t take off time to come to her classroom for parent teacher conferences. She answers emails promptly. And is never too busy to take a moment to speak with a parent. All of this and she’s participating in the JDRF walk for awareness in May. Which is awesome that she’s getting involved. In my mind she rocks. I couldn’t have asked for a better kindergarten teacher for my son.

After two young students in her kindergarten classroom were diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes, Mrs. Greene took it upon herself to show her support by getting involved with the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation Walk to Cure Diabetes. Not only is Mrs. Greene participating in this walk on her own time, she is walking in honor of these two children by wearing a shirt with their names on it! Mrs. Greene’s selfless actions not only put smiles on the faces of the children she is supporting (and their families), but they support the millions of people living day to day who have to walk a fine line of 24 hour maintenance of this disease while at the same time raising awareness and funding to help find a cure. She is truly a blessing and an inspiration.

Ms. Henry is the best teacher ever! When we are learning math most of us think that it is boring but ms. Henry makes math so it is really fun! She is really nice and does the best she can for us.

 

 

 

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