Feb. 29 is the deadline to nominate candidates for 2009's New York State Teacher of the Year. The program, now in its 39th year, is administered by the State Education Department, which is seeking pre-K-12 teachers who "have the respect and admiration of students, parents, faculty members, the school administration and local business leaders."
While anyone with the school or community may nominate a candidate, SED says the formal nomination should be a collaborative process that involves support of all groups concerned with the quality of teaching. An in-depth portfolio, including a letter of introduction from the district chief administrator and letters of support, must be completed.
A key backer of the program, NYSUT is part of the selection committee that will evaluate the credentials and portfolios of 10 semifinalists who will be selected from all nominees.
Richard Ognibene, a high school chemistry and physics teacher and member of the Fairport Educators Association in Monroe County, is the current Teacher of the Year. He is scheduled to lead a session at the March 7-8 Teaching and Learning Celebration in New York City, an event co-sponsored by NYSUT (see article, page 25).
The Teacher of the Year application can be downloaded at www.highered.nyssed.gov/kiap/TEACHING/toty/totyindex.htm.