SWR teacher selected into NYS Master Teachers program

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04/16/2014 10:00 AM |

SWR

Shoreham-Wading River High School math teacher Ellen Fraser is among 42 Long Island teachers recently selected to participate in the New York State Master Teacher program.

A total of 215 educators were selected, Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced in a press release Monday. The program launched in 2013 with 104 teachers. Participants have backgrounds in science, technology, engineering or math — known as STEM — including calculus, algebra, physics, earth science, chemistry, engineering design and development, and genetics.

“The Master Teacher program creates a community of teacher experts dedicated to providing a first rate learning experience for students across New York, and contributes to our efforts to attract and retain the best and the brightest in our STEM classrooms,” Mr. Cuomo said. “Investing in our teachers is investing in our students, and I am pleased to welcome and congratulate 215 additional outstanding teachers to this program, who have already proven to be some of the highest-performing professionals in their field.”

Shoreham-Wading River High School principal Dan Holtzman described Ms. Fraser as a “consummate professional.”

“Reaching the status of master teacher demonstrates her commitment to education, professional growth and, most importantly, to her students,” he said.

Ms. Fraser, who’s worked in the Shoreham-Wading River School District for 12 years, said she’s excited about joining the program and becoming a mentor to student teachers.

Ellen Fraser

“I’m really looking forward to working with the teachers I met through the screening process,” she said. “The program is appealing because I’ll be able to work with other teachers who are committed to increasing our professional development.

“We’re ready to learn more — even though we are experienced teachers,” she said.

Under the program, each teacher receives a $15,000 stipend each year for four years. They’re required to become mentors and to attend meetings with other educators in an effort to “foster a supportive environment for the next generation of STEM teachers,” according to the press release.

Teachers are also expected to attend professional development sessions at SUNY campuses, including Stony Brook University.

While applying for Master Teacher, Ms. Fraser said she was required to submit her annual evaluation, take a content exam called the Praxis standardized test, write an essay and submit letters of recommendation from administrators and colleagues.

In February, she was also required to conduct a lesson plan at Stony Brook University in front of some of the college’s professors and other master teacher applicants.

“I find math not only fascinating and interesting — I believe it’s going to give students the tools they need to make good decisions about what they want to do for any career path they choose,” she said.

For a list of all teachers selected for the program, visit suny.edu/masterteacher/cohort.

jennifer@timesreview.com