Victor and Geneva educators among those to be recognized

A Fairport event to honor dozens of teachers throughout the state for attaining national certification is postponed due to the weather.

The newest class of of 118 teachers — including two from Ontario County and 16 from Monroe County — who have earned the nation's most prestigious credential for excellence in teaching were to be introduced at 9:30 a.m. Wednesday at Fairport High School.

Carl Korn, chief press officer for New York State United Teachers, said a projected snowstorm created weather concerns. The organization is in the process of rescheduling.

The educators will discuss how achieving certification from the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards benefits students in the classroom and other teachers.

Among the 118 newly certified teachers are two from Ontario County: Lisa Whipple, a reading teacher at Victor Junior High School; and Rachel Gillotte, a math teacher at Geneva High School.

Korn said Fairport was selected for the presentation because it has the most in the class: Maureen Aguglia, middle school math teacher; Joseph Ahl, high school math; Kristen Crofoot, high school math; Elissa DeChick, middle school art; Virginia Donahue, high school science; Christina Evans, elementary school; Jessica Hegedorn, high school social studies; Jean Hensel, middle school science; Julie Marshall, high school science; Matthew Riccione, elementary school; Jessica Tennant and Maura Whitman, middle school special education teachers.

Also from Monroe County are Craig Smith, a math teacher at Brighton High School; Donna Timmons, high school science, and Helen Kennedy, elementary school English as New Language, Greece; and Leslie Hanellin, high school science, Pittsford.

Joline DiBrango, NYSUT executive vice president, will introduce the teachers. She is quite familiar with the area, having begun her teaching career in 1994 in the Canandaigua City School District. She also worked at Palmyra-Macedon, but spent the majority of her career teaching sixth grade in the Pittsford Central School District.

“These teachers have voluntarily embraced a real challenge — proving to an independent board that they have mastered the 'art' of teaching,” she said. “They are the newest standard-bearers for the profession, and ambassadors of teaching excellence. We are proud to support them as part of this union-led initiative.”

Created by teachers for teachers, national board certification is a rigorous peer-reviewed process. The latest NBCT's are the first to certify under a redesigned assessment, developed to be more flexible and accessible for teachers.

National board certification is available in 25 certificate areas representing 16 different disciplines and four developmental levels and is applicable to most teachers in U.S. public schools.

To become a board-certified teacher, eligible candidates must demonstrate advanced knowledge, skills, and practice in their individual certificate area by completing four components: Three portfolio entries and a computer-based assessment.

Throughout the certification process, teachers will be able to apply the National Board Standards to their classroom practice and connect with other teachers pursuing certification.

New York, according to NYSUT, now has nearly 2,000 NBCT's with hundreds of districts offering a salary step or stipend for achievement.

In addition to the new NBCT's, 31 teachers are renewing their certification, including Joanne Lowe, a music teacher at Victor Primary School. There are also 686 teachers pursuing national board certification.