Summer 2011 Issue
June 27, 2011


Source: NYSUT United

It's an honor

Hanna Aghabi, United University Professions, Brooklyn Health Science Center Chapter, was honored for his commitment to excellence in graduate medical education by the president of SUNY Downstate and the residents and fellows of the Alumni Society. Aghabi is medical director, assistant professor and chief of service at Downstate's Dept. of Family Medicine.

Peter Hanrahan, North Colonie Teachers Association, was selected for the Library of Congress Teaching with Primary Sources Summer Teacher Institute. Hanrahan teaches sixth grade at Boght Hills Elementary School in Latham.

Paula Engel, Plainiew-Old Bethpage Congress of Teachers; and Anne Manwell and Samantha Daves, United Federation of Teachers, served as mentors and coaches to award-winning student teams. Their students won honors in the ExploraVision program, sponsored by Toshiba and the National Science Teachers Association. Eight teams were chosen as first and second place winners from more than 4,340 entries.

In print

Andrew Brezak, Sachem Central TA, has written The Perfect Answer, a novel inspired by his quest to make history relevant to his students' present and future. The book is available at or

Gertrude Shaffer, South Seneca TA, received the United Nations' Global Educator Award in recognition of her work on human rights. An English teacher, Shaffer originally launched her human rights curriculum, Words to Deeds, as an elective.

Her students have raised more than $25,000 since 2008 for causes near and far, including Seneca Habitat for Humanity and Global Run Water Project for Uganda.

Her mission, Shaffer said, is to teach her students about different concerns so they may make informed decisions. "I do not tell students what to think. I try to teach them how to think. They make the choice."