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  • Capital region band director Kermit Wamsley hits all the right notes

    Posted October 14, 2021 by Liza Frenette

    When Kermit Wamsley snaps his fingers, a lot of people snap to attention. That’s because he’s a middle school band director, calling budding musicians and singers to action.

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  • Matthew Pinchinat

    Guilderland teacher unites students and community for action and awareness

    Posted July 15, 2021 by Liza Frenette

    Climate change comes in many forms. Guilderland teacher Matthew Pinchinat is trying to change the climate from one where people are maligned because of their differences, to one where differences are appreciated.

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  • guilderland rock walk

    Ready for the Rock Walk: Guilderland teachers create campaign of support

    Posted April 29, 2021 by Liza Frenette

    Photo by El-Wise Noisette. Thanks to the efforts of two teachers, on April 30 students in Guilderland schools will be participating in Rock Walk to raise awareness and support for two students battling a rare cancer. High school students Gabe Zullo and Jenna Meier are in treatment for Ewing sarcoma. About 200 children and young adults in the entire country are diagnosed each year, according to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, and somehow the compass spun twice on Guilderland, an Alb...

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  • giving circle

    Giving is second nature to Saratoga Springs special education teacher

    Posted April 1, 2021 by Liza Frenette

    Marion Gyarmathy honed her caring nature in her day job teaching special education students at Saratoga Springs high school. When there’s a need outside of school, she turns her attention to The Giving Circle of Saratoga Springs. Like many volunteers, Gyarmathy is happy to help keep the wheels of caring turning. Sometimes she works with a crew responding to a call for help by doing cleaning or yard work for a local person in need; other times she helps collect and sort supplies for hurric...

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  • johnson landry

    Clinton educators help students get 'A Better Chance'

    Posted March 5, 2021 by Kara Smith

    Clinton TA members Amie Johnson (left) and Kelly Landry. Photos provided. Kelly Landry knows that education is seldom equal. But 11 years ago, an article in The Boston Magazine made it personal for her. The piece was about Lawrence High School, a Massachusetts school near the New Hampshire border with a 50 percent graduation rate. She and her family had welcomed Malaquias Canery into their home the day before for the start of a four-year period as his host family through A Better Chance of...

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  • Carey Fusco

    Grassroot giving includes sharing the gift of books

    Posted March 2, 2021 by Liza Frenette

    Albany reading teacher Carey Fusco knows books, cover to cover, inside and out. They are not casual friends. She sees them as lifelines. Fusco volunteers at Grassroot Givers, a nonprofit organization supporting underserved communities in the Capital District. Fusco’s work with the organization’s literacy initiative helps put books into the hands and homes of children. Fusco, a member of the Albany Public School Teachers Association, helps to sort and label some of the hundreds of boo...

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  • pamela mary schmidt

    Global human rights action began as small ripple for Long Island educator

    Posted November 24, 2020 by Liza Frenette

    It all started with chocolate. Learning about children being exploited as workers on cocoa farms gave teacher Pamela Mary Schmidt a taste for making change. Chocolate on the mind can be as strong as chocolate on the tongue. As an educator now teaching in Freeport, she has had many transformative moments in the classroom, but it was her introduction to human rights work while teaching in Brentwood in 2009 that she says changed her life. “I like to teach by connection to real-world events, ...

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  • ironman

    Port Jefferson teacher Charlotte Johnson rides in memory of ALS champion and fundraiser Chris Pendergast

    Posted October 29, 2020 by Liza Frenette

    You might assume that, as a marathon competitor, Charlotte Johnson has a sparkling collection of hard-earned medals hanging on a wall. But no. She’s given them all away. It’s personal. She used to teach with Christine Pendergast, whose husband Chris, also a teacher, was diagnosed with ALS the year Johnson began her career at Comsewogue. Chris Pendergast, an outdoor enthusiast and athlete who founded ALS Ride for Life, raised $10 million in the more than 27 years he lived with the cr...

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  • little libraries

    In Copenhagen, 'Little Libraries' bring big opportunities

    Posted August 28, 2020 by Liza Frenette

    It’s a different way to walk the beat. These days, Copenhagen retired teacher Deb Barnard Strianese makes the rounds once a week to check on and restock three new Little Libraries she helped bring into being in her own very little town. Her story began, as most do, with an idea. She thought about how her town did not have a library. As an elementary teacher, she knows first-hand how students can lose a lot of reading skills in summer, a situation heightened by not having a public library...

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  • kingston reads

    Kingston educators begin community-wide book group on race

    Posted July 15, 2020 by Liza Frenette

    Sometimes a journey of a thousand miles begins with a single book. In Kingston, that book is “So You Want To Talk About Race” by Ijeoma Oluo. City residents are reading it as a group called Kingston Reads.

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