ALBANY, N.Y. September 15, 2009 - New York State United Teachers today applauded the selection of Debra Calvino, a math teacher and department chair at Valley Central High School in Montgomery, Orange County, as the 2010 New York State Teacher of the Year.
"In a state known for the quality and professionalism of its teaching force, to be named Teacher of the Year is indeed a high honor," said NYSUT President Richard C. Iannuzzi. "We applaud Debra Calvino for her work with students, her colleagues and her community. She is a fitting choice to represent all the terrific teachers in our state."
NYSUT Vice President Maria Neira said Calvino, a teacher for 27 years, mentors other teachers and has successfully written grant applications to bring new funding to her district. In addition, she is known as an advocate for students and her fellow teachers.
"She helps her students to succeed in math and has inspired many to enter the field of teaching," Neira said. "She is a wonderful ambassador for our profession."
Neira said Calvino will represent New York teachers around the state and is in the running for national teacher of the year honors.
Neira also saluted other educators who were named Teacher of the Year finalists by the state Education Department.
"These teachers, like all teachers, are highly accomplished professionals. They have taken the 'art of teaching' to the highest levels and are symbols of what great teaching and community involvement are all about," Neira said. The finalists for 2009 are:
Rockette Brunetti, a high school English teacher at C.W. Baker High School in Baldwinsville.
Glen Cummings, a high school social studies teacher at Eastridge High School in Rochester.
Ashli Dreher, a special education teacher in the Lewiston-Porter Central School District in Youngstown.
Sandra Jabaut, a high school art teacher at Queensbury High School in Queensbury.
NYSUT, the state's largest union, represents more than 600,000 teachers, school-related professionals, academic and professional faculty in higher education, professionals in education and health care and retirees. NYSUT is affiliated with the American Federation of Teachers; National Education Association and the AFL-CIO.