Congratulations to Sheri Abdullah, Lindsey Hendricks, and James Schmitt for being named New York State Master Teachers.
The New York State Master Teacher Program celebrates the work of the highest-performing STEM teachers by establishing an expert community dedicated to developing expertise in the areas of content, pedagogy, and students’ families and communities.
“I’m honored to join the Master Teacher program. I think one of the most important things we need to do as educators is better ourselves through personal growth and with our practice, and the Master Teacher program allows for that to happen,” said Hendricks.
The goal of the program is to attract talented students into careers in STEM fields, including STEM education. Through participation in the NYSMTP, selected STEM teachers receive $15,000 stipends annually over four years.
Schmitt credits his hands-on lessons which bring the outside world of biology into the classroom.
“For example, we have a lab in the back of the room. I’ll create a fake river for our catch-and-recapture study,” said Schmitt. “I want my students to get a feel in the classroom of what they’d do in the real world.”
The Master Teachers will also 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 regional cohort meetings, participate in and lead several professional development sessions each year.
“The big reason I wanted to do this is the great professional development attached to the program. It’s for teachers, by teachers. It’s ideas meant to help students problem-solve, think critically, communicate, and collaborate more,” said Abdullah.
“I’m looking forward to working with others to bring new ideas and resources back to my classroom. I am also looking forward to collaborating with other Windsor Master Teachers in hopes that we may create a professional learning team that can instantly impact our community,” said Hendricks.
“This honor for Sheri, Lindsey, and Jim is a result of their hard work and ability to weave real-world and 21st-century learning concepts into their classrooms. As they continue to collaborate with the other Master Teachers in the District, I look forward to seeing the innovations they create to benefit our students,” said Windsor Central School District Superintendent, Dr. Jason Andrews.