Congratulations to Shaker Junior High School social studies teacher Kathryn Peterson who received an Empire State Excellence in Teaching Award on June 21.
New York State Executive Deputy Commissioner of the Department of Civil Service Lola Brabham presented the award to a surprised Peterson before a small group that included Shaker Junior High School Principal Dr. Russell Moore, Hall Principal Jan Zadoorian and several colleagues.
Brabham commended Peterson for being an educator who sets high expectations for every student, provides access to higher level learning and someone who is preparing students for a changing economic workforce.
“On behalf of Governor Andrew Cuomo, it is indeed a privilege to honor a teacher who represents the very best of the profession. Your colleagues and students are so fortunate to have a teacher of your caliber, talent and compassion for kids,” Brabham said. “You understand the role of the teacher as a facilitator of learning, and you provide guidance that allows your students to take ownership of their own education, which is important. More importantly, you understand the value of learning and education to shape your students into who they are and who they are going to be in this world.”
Peterson, who has been a teacher in the North Colonie School District for the past 16 years, reflected on being chosen for the award.
“I am truly honored, and I look forward to many more years teaching here and the opportunity to work with many different students and engaging in a lot of different learning activities,” she said. “Seeing students progress and learn from each other along the way inspires me and keeps me going. I’m half way into my teaching career and I am still fully 100 percent excited about it. I’m so grateful and I thank you very much.”
With the award, Peterson also receives $5,000 to support her professional development interests.
“I think the choice of Kathryn as a recipient of this award is an excellent one,” Moore said. “When I think back to when I took social studies and history as a student, it’s certainly not like anything Kathryn does in her classes. She is on the forefront with technology integration in teaching and students are excited to be in her class. We are pleased for her and pleased for our school.”
More about Excellence in Teaching Program
Governor Cuomo created the Empire State Excellence in Teaching Program to recognize New York teachers and their dedication to making a difference in the lives of children by fostering creativity, instilling a love of learning, and motivating students, while maintaining high expectations and academic goals for every child. This program will recognize teachers from each region of New York who work tirelessly every day to prepare a new generation of learners for the future.
When he announced this program earlier this year, the governor said, “New York State has thousands of excellent teachers who prepare our students for the future and help them reach their full potential. I commend all teachers for their dedication to making a difference in the lives of students across the state.”