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Teachers Recognized for Excellence by Warner School

Teachers Recognized for Excellence by Warner School

More than 60 high school teachers from across Western New York gathered on May 14, 2003 to celebrate their successes at a recognition dinner and ceremony presented by the Warner School of Education and Human Development at the University of Rochester. The teachers from area counties were selected by their schools for exceptional work in 2002-03.

The Warner School Awards for Excellence in High School Teaching are given to teachers whose practices reflect the attributes needed to improve the education system: They are student-centered, use innovative teaching techniques, believe that all children can learn and do learn in unique ways, and are themselves lifelong learners. Their schools, usually through processes that involve students, select awardees.

"Great teaching is so critical for our children, and can have long-lasting effects. Yet, it is not often publicly acknowledged and celebrated," says Raffaella Borasi, dean of the Warner School. "We are glad to have the opportunity to recognize the contributions of dedicated high school educators throughout the region."

The celebration at the Memorial Art Gallery for the awardees, their principals, and guests is made possible by a grant from Marion A. and Leonard S. Simon. Mrs. Simon graduated from the University of Rochester with a doctoral degree in education, has taught school at the secondary level, and held several professional positions in local institutions of higher education. Mr. Simon is the retired vice chairman of Charter One Financial, Inc., the holding company of Charter One Bank.

From among the winners, an awards committee picked four educators for special attention. This year's distinguished teachers are: Theresa Funk, art teacher at Wilson Magnet High School in Rochester; Marleen M. Mark, English and language arts teacher at Wayland-Cohocton High School in Wayland; Marjory "Midge" Marshall, teacher of English and theater at Fairport High School in Fairport; and Ronald K. Miller, teacher and department chair of music at Dundee Junior-Senior High School in Dundee.

Since 1994, Funk has taught art education at Wilson Magnet from summer camp and creative family night to an interdisciplinary curriculum for special education students. Recently, her art courses were opened to International Baccalaureate students with their rigorous curriculum, and Monroe Community College started offering credit to those in her classes. In a recommendation for this award, Funk's work was singled out as "exemplary because she reaches all students."

Marlene Mark's work for 23 years as a counselor and now an English teacher at Wayland-Cohocton has touched faculty and students deeply. She is recognized as a teacher who acts to enrich the classroom experience, even when it takes more work and time. In a personal statement about teaching, she described it as "pure joy . . . the look on a student's face as he or she finally grasps a concept or idea is priceless." Some of Mark's other accomplishments include creating an honors recognition program for top students, and designing a daylong, schoolwide program centered on careers and job skills.

Another distinguished teacher, Marjory "Midge" Marshall of Fairport High School, is praised by her principal for exceptional work with students in her rigorous English, writing, and theater courses, and for her accomplishments as the director of more than 100 plays and musicals. In 26 years at Fairport, Marshall is known for high expectations that produce remarkable results in the lives of her students. She instituted the school speech and debate team, an improvisational comedy team, and invests in her own continuing education by studying abroad and applying for fellowships.

In the rural community of Dundee in the Finger Lakes, Ronald Miller has built a student chorus that is "the heart of Dundee's music program," says Principal Michael Chirco. But that core has been embellished with multiple musical opportunities for students at Dundee Junior-Senior High School for more than 30 years. As a teacher and chair of the music department, Miller travels widely with his student musicians, including those in the notable Symphonic Steel Drum Band.

The list of award winners includes:
Gary J. Simboli - Albion High School
Robert Hollwedel - Alexander Jr/Sr High School
Lori Wun - Allendale Columbia School
Ed Ranalli, Jr - Aquinas Institute of Rochester
Constance Conway - Attica Senior High School
Danielle Edmunds - Avon Jr/Sr High School
Kenneth E. Hay - Batavia High School
Lisa M. Meyering - Bishop Kearney High School
Michael Hart - Bloomfield Middle-High School
Susan V. Gillespie - Brighton High School
Dan Viola - Brockport High School
Marian Gerhardy - Byron-Bergen High School
John Wilbur - Caledonia-Mumford High School
Matthew C. Ward - Canandaigua Academy
Karl Biedlingmaier - Churchville-Chili Senior High School
Lori Nau - Ruben A. Cirillo High School -Gananda
Ruthanne Main - Clyde-Savannah Junior/Senior High School
Paula J. Jones - Dansville Senior High School
Ronald Miller - Dundee Jr/Sr High School
Aileen Lynch - East High School
Mary Eilers-Knapp - East Rochester Jr/Sr High School
Debra Hochmuth - Elba Jr/Sr High School
Midge (Marjory) Marshall - Fairport High School
Donna Smith - Gates-Chili High School
Matthew T. Frahm - Geneseo High School
William Coe - Greece Arcadia High School
Julie Anne Oberholzer - Greece Athena Senior High School
Michael Childs - Hilton Central School District
Tim Williams - Honeoye Central School
Nandy Bonavilla - Irondequoit High School
Terrance James - John Marshall High School
Tige Noni - Kendall Jr/Sr High School
Heather Pero - Keshequa Central School
Barbara Ayers - LeRoy Jr/Sr High School
Jane Eliasz - Letchworth Center High School
Nicki Miller - Livonia Senior High School
Libarid Alexanian - Lyons Jr/Sr High School
Mary Cherniss - Marcus Whitman High School
Brian Murphy, O. Carm. - McQuaid Jesuit High School
Gerard Benedict - Midlakes High School
Michael Salter - Naples Senior High School
Ann Marie Swilley - Nazareth Academy
Robert E. Smith - Notre Dame High School (Elmira)
Art Goldstein - Oakfield-Alabama Senior High
Ralph Brongo - Palmyra-Macedon High School
Douglas Hollinger - Pavilion Central School
Jim Doser - Penfield High School
Kathryn Hubacher - Perry Central School
William S. MacArthur - Red Creek Jr/Sr High School
Laura Tantillo - Red Jacket
Christine Conley - Romulus Central School
Victor Beauseigneur - Rush-Henrietta Senior High School
Gene Hoskins - Sodus Senior High School
Anthony Guzzetta - Spencerport High School
Virginia Shepherd - Victor Senior High School
John Chassin - Warsaw Central School
Marleen Mark - Wayland Cohocton High School
Lisa Klein - Webster Thomas High School
Christopher Peets - Wheatland Chili Jr/Sr High School
Michele Fisler - Williamson Senior High School
Theresa Funk - Wilson Magnet High School
Amy Ivers - York Jr/Sr High School