Two New Master Teachers

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Two Syosset High School teachers recently joined an elite program designed to bring some of the greatest minds in education together to share their expertise for the benefit of students in the school community.

Carisa Steinberg and John Chae entered the New York State Master Teacher Program with an eye toward further enhancing the district’s already strong science, technology, engineering and math program.

Responding to the call to strengthen the nation’s K-12 STEM education, Gov. Andrew Cuomo launched the NYSMTP in partnership with the State University of New York and Math for America. The NYSMTP recognizes highest-performing STEM teachers by establishing an expert community dedicated to developing areas of content and pedagogy to impact students and their communities.

Through this four-year program, motivated teachers such as Steinberg and Chae are introduced to like-minded professionals and participate in high-quality growth experiences to encourage them to remain in the classroom and continue to influence their students in positive ways. They join fellow Syosset High School Master Teacher Richard Slesinski, a 26-year veteran of the classroom currently teaching Advanced Placement Physics. While there are many New York State teachers enrolled in the program, it is rare to have three Master Teachers from one school at the same time.

Chae and Steinberg received multiple supervisor recommendations and were required to take intensive content area exams and write essays, among other criteria for acceptance.

“The best motivation for entering the program is what you can take away from other teachers in your field,” said Chae, who has taught all levels of math, math research, robotics, computer science and other related disciplines over the course of 14 years, currently advising the Robotics Club, Girls Who Code and BASIC, among other clubs. “The professional decorum and collaboration with other teachers in this program is special and the impact you can have on your students is incredible.”

“As much as I love teaching my students, I have always wanted to collaborate with other educators to enhance my pedagogical strategies and techniques, and mentor new teachers in the field,” said Steinberg, who has taught her entire 18-year career at Syosset High School, covering every level of biology and science research, while also advising the Interact Club.  “There are many burgeoning opportunities in STEM for students to explore; it is vital that we teach them how to hypothesize, research, and critically analyze data, to give them every opportunity to succeed in college and beyond.”

“While we often take time to acknowledge the student accolades that help to define our district, we should also commend teachers such as Ms. Steinberg and Mr. Chae, who have joined Mr. Slesinski as recognized New York State Master Teachers,” said Superintendent of Schools Dr. Thomas Rogers. “Their acceptance and participation in the NYSMTP illustrates the hard work and high standards of the people who make our students’ successes possible.”

“On behalf of the Syosset High School administration, I congratulate Ms. Steinberg, Mr. Chae and Mr. Slesinski,” said Syosset High School Principal Dr. Giovanni Durante. “Their inclusion in such a prestigious program further emphasizes what we have known for a long time: These teachers are masters at their craft and we thank them for their incredible dedication and support of our students and the entire school program.”