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Two UV Faculty Members Named as New York State Master Teachers

Two Unadilla Valley Secondary School science teachers are among the newest members of the New York State Master Teacher Program.

John Jackson and Andy Wolford were among 214 educators who joined the Master Teacher Program in the latest round of selection. Their inclusion in the program, which focuses on advanced professional development, makes them the first Master Teachers at Unadilla Valley and places them among only a handful in the region.

The Master Teacher Program is a partnership between the State University of New York and Math for America to create a professional development program for the state’s highest performing STEM teachers. Through participation in the NYSMTP, selected STEM teachers receive $15,000 stipends annually over four years. The program creates a state-wide network of the highest-performing STEM teachers that are dedicated to sharing expertise with peers and attracting the brightest minds to a career in STEM.

Jackson said recently he and Wolford were excited to get selected. The key element of the program is being able to collaborate with other teachers and find better ways to connect with students, according to Jackson.

“We are always looking to perfect our trade and offer things that are really pertinent and show kids what real jobs they can do,” Jackson said. “It’s about making a correlation between academics and the real business world and the science field.”

Gov. Cuomo announced last year the program would be continued and expanded. The 214 Master Teachers are dedicated professionals who teach science, technology, engineering, and math courses including advanced placement, honors, Regents and International Baccalaureate levels, according to the governor’s office.
All Master Teachers are active beyond their classrooms, serving as curriculum department leaders or on district committees. They are also sponsors of STEM clubs, Science Olympiad competitions and robotics teams, and school community service organizations as well as coaches, school gardeners, and PTA members. The Master Teachers hold leadership roles in New York State STEM professional associations, and many have received awards and public recognition for their teaching from their peers and communities.

Throughout their four-year participation in the Program, Master Teachers:
• Receive a $15,000 stipend from annually from New York State;
• Engage in peer mentoring and intensive content-oriented professional development opportunities throughout the academic year;
• Work closely with pre-service and early career teachers to foster a supportive environment for the next generation of STEM teachers; and
• Attend required regional cohort meetings, participate in and lead several professional development sessions each year.

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