2015 Winners

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Dieudonne Egotanda

AP Calculus BC, Geometry, Pre-Calculus, Repeater Algebra

New Utrecht High School

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Fred Galli

AP Calculus BC, Geometry, Integrated Algebra, Math Analysis

Franklin Delano Roosevelt High School

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Gustavo Gonçalves

AP Calculus, Pre-Calculus, Math Foundations, Algebra II/Trigonometry, Geometry, Discrete Math

Eleanor Roosevelt High School

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Joseph Danquah

AP Calculus AB & BC, Integrated Algebra, Pre-Calculus, Geometry

Bard High School Early College, Manhattan

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Patricia Peña Carty

Sophomore Biology, AP Biology, Genetics

University Heights High School

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Patrick Callahan

AP Biology, AP Environmental Science, Science Research, Earth Science

The Bronx Center for Science and Mathematics

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Shanaz Baksh

AP Biology, Freshman Research, Advanced Science Research

Queens High School for the Sciences at York College

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Dieudonne Egotanda

AP Calculus BC, Geometry, Pre-Calculus, Repeater Algebra
New Utrecht High School

Dieudonne Egotanda

Raised in the former Belgian Congo, Dieudonne Egotanda is ever mindful of the privilege of a free, quality education and sees it as his responsibility to make sure that all students receive opportunities to excel academically. When Mr. Egotanda arrived at New Utrecht High School in 2002, AP Calculus AB courses were dormant. Now, New Utrecht offers both AP Calculus AB & BC and Mr. Egotanda's courses boast an average of 4.7 on the AP Calculus exam. With his palpable compassion and care for students, Mr. Egotanda is equally effective with students who may struggle with math. Says one colleague, "The best teachers are the ones who convey deep empathy and make an investment in their students' lives and future. Mr. Egotanda is the shining example for this."

What People Say:

  •  "Successful teachers need to know their subject backwards and forwards. But that is only a small piece of the puzzle. They also need to know how to deliver their subject in surprising and engaging ways. The latter piece is what makes Mr. E a shining role model for all teachers. His classroom is rigorous, but stimulating; he makes teaching look like what it really is: an art form."
  •  "What Mr. E does that I think all effective math teachers should do is he makes math fun for students. It seems simple, but when we as students enjoy the subject, we are much more likely to spend more time with it and be more successful. He took a challenging subject like college-level Calculus and made it the highlight of our day."
  •  "The best teachers are the ones who convey deep empathy and make an investment in their students' lives and future. Mr. Egotanda is the shining example for this. His dedication to his students manifests itself in an electric and engaging classroom where everyone acts as partners in learning."
  •  "Students leave Mr. E's classes with a newfound confidence, intelligence and motivation. I felt ready for whatever college threw at me when I graduated thanks to his genuine compassion and appreciation for us."

Fred Galli

AP Calculus BC, Geometry, Integrated Algebra, Math Analysis
Franklin Delano Roosevelt High School

Fred Galli

With a successful background in engineering and software development, Mr. Galli brings a wealth of mathematical and professional knowledge to his students at Franklin D. Roosevelt High School. Excelling as a teacher of AP Calculus, Mr. Galli also created the school's math team, connecting students with a larger community of mathematics in New York City. In 2010, he expanded this vision by creating the South Brooklyn Invitational Math Competition, which is hosted at FDR and resembles the rigor and format of national competitions. According to a former student, "Mr. Galli's classroom was like a shrine for us. It was a place of serious work and a place where we felt challenged, but it was also a place where we felt like we grew as students and human beings."

 What People Say:

  •  "It is very rare to find a teacher that can light a student's eyes up the way Mr. Galli does. They view Mr. Galli like a treasure…like he is almost too good to be true."
  •  "I would like to say that Mr. Galli goes 'above and beyond,' but I think that doesn't show enough just how much of an impact he has on his students. He's smart, hardworking, talented and always available for us. One thing I can say is working with him, you will learn to love math the way that he does."
  • "It seems like Mr. Galli lives here at FDR. He is working around the clock, always strategizing and planning ways to enhance the educational experience of our students. Every department needs a Mr. Galli."
  • "Mr. Galli's classroom was like a shrine for us. It was a place of serious work and a place where we felt challenged, but it was also a place where we felt like we grew as students and human beings."

Gustavo Gonçalves

AP Calculus, Pre-Calculus, Math Foundations, Algebra II/Trigonometry, Geometry, Discrete Math
Eleanor Roosevelt High School

Gustavo Goncalves

Gustavo Gonçalves strives to share his love for the beauty of mathematics in his classroom. Through his distinct passion for the subject and his democratic approach to teaching that emphasizes the centrality of the student, Mr. Gonçalves has garnered an impressive 4.75 average on the AP Calculus AB exam. To ensure that all students enter 10th grade with a proper background in Integrated Algebra, he created a Math Foundations course to allow for cohesive learning for freshman arriving from different middle schools. Says one colleague, who has taught mathematics for 32 years, "I have learned more about teaching from working with him and observing his teaching than I have from any other teacher in my career."

What People Say:

  •  "His warm classroom presence promotes student inquisitiveness, questioning and active involvement. Gustavo Gonçalves embodies everything that a teacher should be-- from his generosity, his empowering of students, his adventurous and open mindedness for incorporating new ideas into his practice and his approachable and supportive personality."
  •  "In his classes, you don't just come to love math.  You also gain skills like time management, how to search for resources and how to become an independent learner.  His classes have served me well for college."
  •  "Gustavo does an amazing job at making the classroom an interactive and accessible place to learn.  His use of technology is impressive, and students leave Eleanor Roosevelt feeling that they are prepared for college, their careers and beyond."
  •  "Every class I've taken in college, I think back to Mr. G.  His personal care and respect for us as students made my final year at Eleanor Roosevelt the most meaningful of my life."
  •  "Students are constantly filling his classroom because they respond to Gus's kindness and want to do everything they can to impress him academically.  I don't think I've seen another teacher who students love that much."

 

Joseph Danquah

AP Calculus AB & BC, Integrated Algebra, Pre-Calculus, Geometry
Bard High School Early College, Manhattan

Joseph Danquah

Joseph Danquah's main goal is to encourage students to think about math in ways that are not only relevant to their daily lives, but as a conceptual framework built off critical thinking and logic. The rigor of his classroom, and his renowned tutoring and summer "boot camp" sessions, allowed his former students at DeWitt Clinton High School to excel on the AP Calculus exam and pursue careers in math and science after graduation. Now teaching at Bard High School Early College, Mr. Danquah is already having a profound effect on students. Says Principal Michael Lerner, "Joseph is a mathematics instructor that is almost too good to be true. He mixes his generosity and willingness to work with students at any time with a remarkable mathematical skill and unparalleled work ethic."

What People Say:

  •  "Joseph is a mathematics instructor that is almost too good to be true. He mixes his generosity and willingness to work with students at any time with a remarkable mathematical skill and unparalleled work ethic. He's a role model for his students and years from now, they will see the sort of long-term effect his teaching will have on their professional lives."
  •  "In my experience, there are three kinds of teachers: a presenter, a lecturer, and an educator. While the presenter and lecturer rely on simply relaying information to a student and hoping that they retain it, the educator gives the students the tools they need to conceptually grasp and solve a given problem. Mr. Danquah is the embodiment of the ideal educator."
  •  "Of the upwards of 80 teachers we have had come through the MTTI program at Lehman, Joseph is quite possibly the most mathematically gifted of them all. But what makes him truly special is that he matches that brilliance with an excitement about that subject that is infectious for his students."
  • "Mr. Danquah is much more than a teacher. He is a friend, a mentor and an encyclopedia for anything math or education related. He has the respect of every student and all who went through his class left with confidence in succeeding in higher-level math in college."

Patricia Peña Carty

Sophomore Biology, AP Biology, Genetics
University Heights High School

Particia Peña Carty

For Patricia Peña Carty, exposing students to professional-level science research opportunities while fostering an understanding in students of how science can be used as vehicle for social change is paramount. Her biology students have conducted original research on air quality concerns in the South Bronx and have presented their research to professional scientists and local lawmakers, while also researching wildlife forensics at the Museum of Natural History. Ms. Peña Carty has also created a Genetics course at University Heights High School, with students designing and conducting their own genetic research projects to be presented at the Urban Barcode Project. Says one colleague, "Students feel like scholars in her class. Their mastery of difficult scientific content is exceptional."

What People Say:

  •  "Patricia has a very clear vision of what it looks like to be college and career ready. More importantly, students respond to her passion for science, are self-disciplined and trust her deeply. I wish that all science classrooms in New York City would operate like hers."
  •  "I would describe her Biology classroom as the perfect class. It is productive, engaging, alive and precise in its lessons and goals. All of these things, matched with her helpful and kind personality helped me to be a more outgoing and confident person."
  • "Her presence is subtle, but powerful. Students never feel intimidated in her class, but always feel her guiding hand in helping them to be successful students and proactive and critically-engaged individuals in their outside lives."
  •  "Most everyone who has gone through her classes view Ms. Peña Carty as a mentor and inspirational figure. She knows how to balance being an exciting teacher with being a resource for kids to go to for personal and school issues alike.  I am hoping to have a career as a cardiologist, and Ms. Peña Carty has done everything in her power to give me the tools to reach that dream."

Patrick Callahan

AP Biology, AP Environmental Science, Science Research, Earth Science
The Bronx Center for Science and Mathematics

Patrick Callahan

When Patrick Callahan arrived at The Bronx Center for Science and Mathematics in 2012, the only science course the school offered not tied to a Regents Exam was AP Biology. Upon arrival, Mr. Callahan created a Science Research course in which students independently design their own scientific research project and present their research at science fairs and competitions across the city. This past year, Mr. Callahan also advocated for, designed and is teaching the school's first AP Environmental Science course. Says Principal Edward Tom, "He is a superstar as a teacher and scientific role model for our students. His work ethic is unparalleled and he is always working to level the playing field for students in the South Bronx.

 What People Say:

  •  "He is a superstar as a teacher and scientific role model for our students. His work ethic is unparalleled and he is always working to level the playing field for students in the south Bronx."
  •  "There is something magnetic about the way he teaches. He draws you in with his kindness and passion for science. I hope to mirror that kind of passion as a grow into a professional scientist."
  • "Patrick fosters a sense of wonder and curiosity about the world in his classes. He not only pushes his students to see science as a discipline, but he also knows how to help students gain the tools to be successful college students and professionals as they venture out into their careers."
  •  "Mr. Callahan is the go-to person at the Bronx Center if you are ready to challenge yourself and take on some amazing opportunities. He's seen me grow as a person and as a student and I know that I am not alone in feeling that he played a big part in my growth."

Shanaz Baksh

AP Biology, Freshman Research, Advanced Science Research
Queens High School for the Sciences at York College

Shanaz Baksh

Shanaz Baksh is not simply a teacher of science; her purpose is to convert students whose goal is to get a high score on AP exams into students who love biology and are thoroughly at home in scientific research. She instills in her students an excitement about learning, an understanding of what it means to be model scientists and how to work out complex assignments in teams. Through her Science Research course, students are paired with scientists and professors across the city who guide students in crafting original scientific research projects. Says one such professor "Her students do serious investigative science. They show respect to processes, ask penetrating questions, are inspired by the possibilities of scientific research and their focus is intense."

 What People Say:

  •  "Shanaz has a passion for students and subject matter. She makes her classes engaging, and offers her students opportunity to experiment and grow. "
  •  "When I see her students in the lab, I can tell that Shanaz teaches them respect, trains them to ask penetrating questions, and inspires them about the possibilities of scientific research."
  •  "Ms. Baksh taught me the characteristics of a good teacher: dedication, good listener, patience, endurance, and leadership."
  •  "She gave me confidence, and encouraged me to go on to more complex labs. Because of her I'm planning to be pre-med at Barnard or the honors college at CUNY."
  •  "She has great rapport, inside and outside the classroom. She's nurturing. And she's extremely successful in recruiting and mentoring scientists."
 
 

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