August 25, 2016

NYSUT members honored for outstanding math, science teaching

Author: Sylvia Saunders
Source: NYSUT Communications
Award winners Zullo and Mattoon
Caption: Amanda Zullo, a Saranac Lake TA member who teaches chemistry, and Daniel Mattoon, a Niskayuna Teachers Association member who teaches computer science, calculus and geometry, both received a Presidential Award for Excellence in Mathematics and Science teaching.

NYSUT congratulates two New York high school educators who will receive a Presidential Award for Excellence in Mathematics and Science teaching. They are Daniel Mattoon, a Niskayuna Teachers Association member who teaches computer science, calculus and geometry, and Amanda Zullo, a Saranac Lake TA member who teaches chemistry. 

An awards ceremony for the 203 nationwide winners announced this week will be held Sept. 8 in Washington, D.C. Recipients will receive a trip to the nation’s capital to attend a series of recognition events and professional development opportunities, as well as a $10,000 award from the National Science Foundation.

Mattoon has been an educator for 11 years. He currently teaches geometry, multivariable calculus, computer science and Advanced Placement computer science to several grades at Niskayuna High School, where he has been teaching for seven years. Previously, Mattoon was at Heatly High School in Green Island and was a mathematics coach at Capital Region BOCES. 

“I’m really passionate about teaching and math and I always try to improve on my teaching,” he told the Albany Times Union. “I know that everyone is not going to love math, but I try to make it fun so students enjoy coming to class.”

Mattoon earned a bachelor’s degree from Siena College and a master’s in teaching from Union College. 

Zullo has taught chemistry at Saranac Lake High School since 2005. She is an advocate for inquiry-based instruction that is student-centered. She was an associate editor for the high school’s process-oriented guided inquiry books, a curriculum that she credits with increasing scores in her class and increasing the retention in post-chemistry science classes.

Zullo strongly believes students learn best with real-world applications, an idea that has fueled her work with the Adirondack Farm to School initiative. The program has grown to include several area schools that focus on integrating the origin of food with curriculum, onsite gardens and lunches containing local food for students in all grade levels. 

Zullo earned a bachelor’s degree in organizational communications and pre-medical studies from SUNY Geneseo and a master’s in science from Clarkson University.

Both Mattoon and Zullo are National Board Certified teachers.

For more information about the awards, go to https://www.paemst.org.