Susan Dowd Honored by Harvard Club

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Congratulations to Syosset High School math teacher Susan Dowd, who was named one of only a dozen recipients of the Harvard Club of Long Island’s Distinguished Teacher 2016 award.    

Dowd began her career at Syosset High School in 1988 teaching Sequential I mathematics. Over the past 25 years, she has taught every mathematics course at the school, and through her mentoring of independent study students, has taught second- and third-year college calculus courses. In 2009, she was voted Math Teacher of the Year by the Nassau County Mathematics Teachers Association.

“Sue Dowd is an exemplary teacher who epitomizes all that is good about education,” said Principal Dr. Giovanni Durante. “She is respected and admired by her peers and students alike. Her mastery of all levels of mathematics makes her one of the most sought-after mentors in our building. As a teacher in the classroom, her knowledge is only matched by her compassion for the students and an understanding of the many learning styles that are necessary to properly convey the material. Our school is a better place because of all that Sue Dowd does both inside and outside of the classroom.”

Each year, the HCLI interviews hundreds of applicants and hears about many wonderful teachers. In seeking to honor these educators, they ask current Harvard undergraduates to nominate the grade 7-12 teachers who have made the greatest difference in their lives. Dowd was recognized for being “a prominent influence,” and one who often arrived at school early to provide extra help to her students. She was also described as “an exceptional mentor” who encouraged students to challenge themselves and be resilient.

Karishma Shah, a former Syosset High School student who will graduate from Harvard College in 2017, nominated Dowd, describing her as “a prominent influence in my life.” “Without her encouraging me to take challenging classes and inspiring me to be more resilient, I would not have pursued or been able to survive some of Harvard’s most challenging classes.”
Shah added, “I now tutor calcuus and find myself explaining the concepts in the way Ms. Dowd taught me. As a result of Ms. Dowd’s influence and my subsequent work with my tutees, my tutees have not only improved their grades but also their attitudes toward challenges.”
“Ms. Dowd’s enthusiasm for teaching is outstanding,” said Syosset High School Mathematics Chairperson Angela Kozlowski. “Her passion for her profession drives her ability to connect with and motivate all students.  Since she is exceptional in delivering instruction that transitions from concrete to abstract, it is easy to forget that you are learning ‘the summation of a harmonic series’ in her BC Calculus class. She is not only an exceptional teacher of students; she is a brilliant teacher of teachers and a remarkable asset to the entire faculty and administration at Syosset High School. Ms. Dowd is a true leader in the mathematics department.”