Four Shaker High School science teachers have been selected as New York State Master Teachers, joining a cohort of a content-rich professional development program which has been in effect since the fall of 2013. These teachers join two other North Colonie teachers who earned this award last year, bringing the district’s total number to six.
Jessica Vaccaro-Piper, Biology
Jodie Kimbrough, Chemistry
Sarah Kowalski, Earth Science
Pam Rosi, Physics
Kelly Ryan, Biology
Elizabeth Carroll, 8th grade Math
“These awards are a tribute to the hard work and dedication of our teaching staff,” said Superintendent Joseph Corr. “We are fortunate to have an outstanding group of teachers in North Colonie who consistently focus on meeting the needs of students and improving and growing professionally throughout their careers.”
The total number of Master Teachers in New York is 552, representative of every region in the state. Teachers go through an extensive application and interview process, take a content area test, submit written essays, and give presentations.
“This is a tremendous accomplishment for these teachers, as they worked extremely hard just to apply for the program,” said Shaker High School Science Department Supervisor, Keith Bogert. “Each applicant submitted various artifacts/paperwork, numerous recommendations, went through rigorous testing, and were required to present a lesson to a large committee. The best is yet to come as all of these teachers will be learning to fine tune their craft and expand their roles as teacher leaders within our classrooms.”
According to Governor Cuomo’s office, Master Teachers receive a $15,000 stipend per year over four years for participation in the program; engage in peer mentoring and intensive content-oriented professional development opportunities throughout the academic year; work closely with pre-service and early career teachers to foster a supportive environment for the next generation of STEM teachers, and attend required regular cohort meetings and participate in and lead several professional development sessions each year.
In the end, the goal is to foster continued growth in STEM education.
“I am excited to have been selected to join the community of master professionals in chemistry and other STEM disciplines. I look forward to participating in professional development opportunities that will help to foster my love of science and enhance classroom teaching.”–Jodie Kimbrough
“It is an honor to have been selected and I am excited to collaborate and share best practices with others in my field. I look forward to using these experiences to promote enthusiasm in STEM careers with my students.”–Pamela Rosi
“As a newly appointed New York State Master Teacher, I am most looking forward to the opportunity to participate in exciting professional development opportunities and working with other master teachers to continue to grow in my practice. I also hope to inspire my students to pursue careers in STEM fields.”–Jessica Vaccaro-Piper
“I am truly honored to be accepted into the Master Teacher Program. This will be a wonderful opportunity to collaborate with teachers from across NYS and bring innovative and exciting ideas into the classroom.”–Sarah Kowalski