of the Month
PS 87, Queens
Arlyn Brody, Principal
Joseph Quinn, Superintendent
Verlinda McGough’s main focus throughout her career in education
has been Bilingual and Special Education. Verlinda and her marvelous
team, which consists of other teachers who cooperated to form
a Bilingual/Monolingual co-teaching partnership in Kindergarten,
have proven that with a strong educational background, and with
tremendous love and motivation, all students can learn.
At PS 87 in Queens, Ms. McGough has been the school’s main cheerleader
for Dr. Mel Levine’s “Schools Attuned Program,” Dr. Gardner’s
“Multiple Intelligence Approach” and Lucy Calkins’ Reading and
Writing Workshops. Her expertise is eagerly shared among other
staff members, and her energy level is always at its peak.
This summer Verlinda joined a team from PS 87 in Washington, DC,
to accept a CVS Foundation Grant in an effort to continue spreading
Bilingual/Monolingual co-teaching partnership to the other grades.
As a charismatic leader in education, she is often called upon
at her school to play host to the many visitors to PS 87 each
month. In addition, Ms. McGough is an enthusiastic supporter of
brain research, inclusion and quality instruction.
Canarsie High School, Brooklyn
Joel Shapiro, Ed.D., Principal
Charles Majors, Superintendent
Adele Leibowitz is a nursing teacher par excellence. She has created
the type of learning environment often only available at private
and specialized schools. Ms. Leibowitz has created a comprehensive
career education program that enables high school students to
gain “hands-on, minds-on” education in the nursing sciences, which
gives them a chance to do nursing at a local residence for senior
Ms. Leibowitz does not confine herself to a regular workday; her
day is as long as it takes for her students to achieve success.
Her devotion of time is also reflected in her unique ability to
form relationships with her students and know them personally.
She is actively involved in the upgrading of curriculum and recruitment
of youngsters into this most worthwhile area of learning.
Edward R. Murrow High School, Brooklyn
Saul Bruckner, Principal
Charles Majors, Superintendent
Marie Croce (left) is a highly respected language teacher at one
of Brooklyn’s premier high schools. Her success lies with her
ability to focus on student empowerment through independent learning.
As a teacher genuinely concerned about students’ needs, she makes
herself available as a tutor outside of the classroom and extends
herself both before and after the school day. For example, she
provides afternoon and morning sessions for students who wish
to take the National Italian Examination and to those who participate
in national language contests. Her compensation for all her hard
work comes from the high praises of her students.
Ms. Croce demonstrates sensitivity toward all students and meets
all challenges with eagerness and enthusiasm. It is not uncommon
to find Mrs. Croce actively involved with students, engaging their
minds with cultural and current event issues. She respects students
and validates their opinions. She is the moderator for the Italian
Culture Club, which promotes cultural unity and has raised hundreds
of dollars for charities including the September 11th fund.
Martin Van Buren High School, Queens
Marilyn Shevell, Principal
Norman Strauss, Ph.D, AP, Soc.Studies
John Lee, Superintendent
David Johnson is on a mission. His mission is to educate all
children. A man of immense dedication, Social Studies teacher
David Johnson is both a scholar and a gentleman. Just as an actor
needs a stage to be truly appreciated, Mr. Johnson needs a classroom
full of students to sparkle.
David Johnson teaches a heavily subscribed class in African-American
History, and acts as faculty advisor to the numerous in-schools
clubs including the Filippino Club, the Pakistan Club and the
African-American Club. As a scholar, he has been awarded numerous
N.E.H. and Fulbright Grants for study both in the U.S. and abroad.
He has also been selected to participate n a number of Gilder-Lehrman
History Institute Programs during the summer. In each instance,
his students become the benefactors of his scholarship.
Mr. Johnson also believes in making outside connections for his
students inside Martin Van Buren High. He invites guest speakers,
and through his involvement with the China Institute, the Japan
Society and the Korea Society, he has helped to open the minds
and eyes of our students.
As a reward for his greatness as a teacher he was recently selected
as Social Studies High School teacher of the year by the A.T.S.S.
Audrey Murphy, Principal
Joseph Quinn, Superintendent
Ms. Bond joined forces with the Board of Education in 1996. It
was a lucky year for Community School District 24. Ellen has worked
her way into her position of an excellent early childhood teacher—she
began as a paraprofessional in the city’s schools—and now ranks,
in the opinion of her Principal, as one of the top kindergarten
teachers in Queens, if not the entire city. The mother of two
young girls, she is now in her second year of teaching.
Ellen Bond is a woman of an unassuming nature and ability to consistently
examine and question teaching practices. She is so conscientious,
she often asks herself: “Am I doing the best possible job I can
do for these children?” Despite having only one and a half year’s
experience, her development in such a short time is extraordinary.
Recently, she has volunteered her time to attend extensive math
training in Math Their Way and to serve as model classroom in
Reader’s and Writer’s Workshop for America’s Choice.
I.S. 72, Staten Island
Peter Macellari, Principal
Christy Cugini, Superintendent
Lillian has been a teacher for over 30 years and she still
loves teaching. When asked when she’s retiring, she smiles and
says, “I’ll miss it so much.”
Lillian teaches math. Despite her years of experience, she is
always looking for new, innovative methods that will help her
to get through to her students. She sacrifices her lunch period
to offer tutoring to those students who need extra help. She has
served as a team leader for her eighth grade classes, organizing
team brunches, parent meeting and trips for the students. She
is constantly volunteering on different committees to help her
students and the school community. Even in what may be her final
year of teaching, she has volunteered to be the Penny Harvest
chairperson for her academy and is encouraging students to donate
money to different charities.
Not too long ago, Lillian was thrilled to receive a letter from
the publication, Who’s Who in Teaching. A former student
had recommended her. Lillian had obviously made a lasting impression
on that student, as she has done with so many of her students.
Lillian Hopkins is truly a special person, teacher and colleague.
She goes far beyond the call of duty for her beloved students
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