ALBANY, N.Y. Sept. 17, 2015 — New York State United Teachers today celebrated the selection of Dana McDonough, a second-grade teacher in Newburgh, as the 2016 New York State Teacher of the Year, saying she exemplifies the knowledge, skills, dedication and professionalism that all of the state's teachers bring to their classrooms every day.
"Dana McDonough has been described as a 'teacher's teacher;' a child-centered professional who values teaching and learning above all, and an educator who readily shares her knowledge and experience with her colleagues. She has deep family roots in Newburgh and is dedicated to giving back to her community through charitable work," said NYSUT President Karen E. Magee. "New York has more than 200,000 fantastic classroom teachers and tens of thousands of other education professionals, and we are overjoyed that Dana will be representing them as the 2016 New York State Teacher of the Year."
NYSUT Vice President Catalina Fortino said McDonough is emblematic of New York's exemplary teaching corps in the way that she nurtures all of her students and creates a community of learners.
"Dana sets very high standards for herself and her students, and uses every resource at her disposal to ensure that every child who walks through her door is not only successful, but feels valued, welcome and accepted," Fortino said. "Dana knows, as she wrote in her Teacher of the Year essay, that 'no single measure exists that produces a clear picture of students' abilities.' Rather, teachers must use many tools, including understanding each of her students' abilities and learning styles, to determine the best path for each individual child."
Magee and Fortino honored McDonough, who teaches at the Fostertown ETC Magnet School, and recognized her tremendous accomplishments at today's meeting of the Board of Regents. NYSUT is a sponsor of the state's Teacher of the Year program. This year's Teacher of the Year finalists also include Deborah Minchin of the New Rochelle Federation of United School Employees; Michael H. Comet of the South Lewis Teachers Association; Jason R. Steinagle of the Hamburg Teachers Association and Sandra Taylor of the Skaneateles Teachers Association.
McDonough, a graduate of Mount Saint Mary's College in Newburgh, has been teaching in that small city since 1991. She has taken on numerous professional development and leadership roles in her school, district and union, including serving as a building representative for the Newburgh Teachers Association.
McDonough succeeds Charlie Giglio, a Latin teacher in Gloversville, who served as the 2015 New York State Teacher of the Year.
New York State United Teachers is a statewide union with more than 600,000 members in education, human services and health care. NYSUT is affiliated with the American Federation of Teachers, the National Education Association and the AFL-CIO.