2014 Winners

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ARISTIDES JULMARX GALDONES UY

Algebra, Pre-Calculus, Geometry

International Community High School

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JENNIFER CORDI, PhD

College-Level Biology, Living Environment, Chemistry, Writing and Thinking Workshops, Evolutionary Biology, Race in Science and Society, Botany

Bard High School Early College Manhattan

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KERRI J. NAPLES

Algebra II/Trigonometry

The Scholars' Academy

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LAUREN BRADY

Integrated Algebra, AIS Instruction for Integrated Algebra, College Statistics

Park East High School

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MALCOLM HILL

IB Biology Higher Level, IB Biology Higher Level Lab

The Brooklyn Latin School

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MEGAN DRISCOLL BERDUGO

Algebra, Geometry, College-Level Calculus

Brooklyn International High School

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THERESA DUNLAP KUTZA

Anatomy & Physiology, Neuroscience, Living Environment, Medical Issues

New Dorp High School

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ARISTIDES JULMARX GALDONES UY

Algebra, Pre-Calculus, Geometry
International Community High School

A brilliant mathematician, originally from the Philippines, Aristides Uy could have taught at a specialized school. Wanting to have the greatest impact, however, he chose the International Community High School (ICHS) in the South Bronx, where all the students are recent immigrants. Compassionate and patient, Mr. Uy combines a highly structured, but participatory, classroom approach with innovative, hands-on projects. He built a unit on the "Jeepney" commuter system in the Philippines; another had students design and construct, with goggles and blowtorches, a plumbing system. A former student, now in college, says, "He lives his job and lives for his students, and because of that, he became the role model I needed. I owe him everything."

JENNIFER CORDI, PhD

College-Level Biology, Living Environment, Chemistry, Writing and Thinking Workshops, Evolutionary Biology, Race in Science and Society, Botany
Bard High School Early College Manhattan

In her classes, Jennifer Cordi fosters scientific thinking and the scientific method by creating sustained and structured field projects. For example, her students study the East River ecosystem—collecting plants and insects to understand their evolutionary and ecological relationships. Students catalogue samples, perform DNA analysis, record observations and measurements, and create hypotheses to be tested. One student said, "Biology was the hardest class I took; but by being immersed in scientific thinking, it was the most enjoyable." Principal Michael Lerner observes, "Jennifer is deeply engaged with her students and her discipline. She knows what it means to be working in science and she produces scientists."

KERRI J. NAPLES

Algebra II/Trigonometry
The Scholars' Academy

"You don't know what you are missing if you don't have a teacher like Kerri Naples," says Brian O'Connell, Principal of the Scholars' Academy in the Rockaways. Ms. Naples'130 Algebra II and Trigonometry students cite her creative assignments, the value she places on their feedback and the personalized attention they receive as keys to their success. When Hurricane Sandy struck, many students lost their homes and the school was relocated to East New York. Despite these challenges, Ms. Naples gets accolades for her leadership and producing some of the highest Regents scores in the school's history. Says a former student, now a math major in college, "Ms. Naples not only came through for me, but she taught me how to come through for myself."

LAUREN BRADY

Integrated Algebra, AIS Instruction for Integrated Algebra, College Statistics
Park East High School

When Lauren Brady arrived at Park East High School in 2005, the school was on a "watch" list because of low passing rates on required Regents Exams, including math. Ms. Brady's approach to teaching helped transform the school. In her first year, the passing rate on the Algebra Regents doubled; last year, 98 percent of freshman passed. This achievement allows students to take advanced classes such as AP Calculus or College Statistics, a course designed by Ms. Brady. Says an assistant principal, "Ms. Brady is by far the strongest, most effective teacher in terms of relationships and student outcomes I have ever seen." Adds a student, "Ms. Brady helped me realize I didn't just like Math; I love it and want to make it my career."

MALCOLM HILL

IB Biology Higher Level, IB Biology Higher Level Lab
The Brooklyn Latin School

As the first teacher of Biology at Brooklyn Latin, founded in 2006 as a specialized high school, it fell to Malcolm Hill to develop a two-year Biology curriculum that met the high standards of the International Baccalaureate degree. The curriculum he developed is exquisitely structured and coherent, with each concept and lab building on the one before. By senior year, students design and implement sophisticated experiments with almost complete independence. Mr. Hill and his colleagues have expanded his approach to create a four-year lab sequence. Says a fellow teacher, "Every lab is interactive, experimental and investigatory. With his rigor and seemingly endless patience, Malcolm creates not just strong science students, but scientists."

MEGAN DRISCOLL BERDUGO

Algebra, Geometry, College-Level Calculus
Brooklyn International High School

Brooklyn International is home to students from around the world, whose educational backgrounds vary greatly and who speak 35 languages. Ms. Berdugo excels at creating unique lessons for each student, ensuring they all master the concepts and learn presentation and writing skills. According to a colleague, "Magic happens in Megan's class. Students do their own personalized lessons and yet they develop mathematical strengths simultaneously." Ms. Berdugo supports her students beyond high school. When a former student had difficulty with Calculus in college, Ms. Berdugo began teaching a Calculus course for college credit on her own time. Says one student, "Nothing seems frightening in the classroom or in our lives because she supports us."

THERESA DUNLAP KUTZA

Anatomy & Physiology, Neuroscience, Living Environment, Medical Issues
New Dorp High School

"On a scale of 1-10, with 10 being the highest, I give her teaching a 12," says a colleague at New Dorp High School in Staten Island. Theresa Kutza is a beloved teacher among the school's 2,600 students, renowned for her passion for science and exciting projects. Students are monitoring their own cluster of oysters in Great Kills Harbor, have witnessed a live thoracic surgery and have studied colony collapse disorder in honey bee hives. Her expertise and commitment have helped students secure research fellowships and win prestigious science contests, leading to their pursuing of careers in science or medicine. Says Principal Deirdre DeAngelis, "If you want to see what innovation in a classroom looks like, hers is the class to visit."

 
 

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