April 13, 2009

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Mount to host conference for future teachers

NEWBURGH – More than 250 high school sophomores and juniors from Orange, Dutchess, Sullivan and Ulster counties will gather for a conference on becoming teachers Wednesday, April 29 at Mount Saint Mary College.

“Teaching – It’s a Class Act!” will provide students with opportunities to learn about the academic areas, such as mathematics and science, that need teachers, and the options and resources available to them to pursue teaching careers.

“We want to entice students to discover the impact teachers can have on the next generation of students,” said Carolyn Brauer, Mount director of student teaching and coordinator of the conference. “We’re trying to plant seeds to develop the teachers that our school districts will soon need as many baby boomer teachers retire.”

The keynote speaker will be Peggy Stewart, the 2008 New Jersey Teacher of the Year. Stewart is a National Board Certified Teacher - a highly accomplished teacher who meets high and rigorous standards. She teaches social studies at Vernon Township High School and has conducted study tours in China, Pakistan and Kazakhstan. She chairs the New Jersey Professional Development Standards Board and serves on the Board of the New Jersey Center for Teaching and Learning.

The conference will include 11 information sessions with 50 presenters. Topics include teaching mathematics, science, technology, foreign language and special education. Other sessions will include presentations on student teaching, teacher center initiatives, two-year college programs and Higher Education Opportunity Programs. Another session will be “Today’s Students, Tomorrow’s Teachers,” a partnership of school districts, businesses, foundations, communities and colleges that provides internships and financial support, based in Westchester and presented by its founder Bettye Perkins, Ph.D.

Students will come from more than a dozen high schools including: Arlington, Cornwall, Eldred, Fallsburg, Florida, Liberty, Livingston Manor, Minisink Valley, Newburgh, Roscoe, Spackenkill, Sullivan West, the Ulster BOCES Career and Technology High School and Wappingers Falls. 

The conference represents the collaboration of Mount Saint Mary College, SUNY New Paltz, Marist College and the Lower Hudson Network of Teacher Centers. The New York State Education Department representatives will attend to observe the cooperative effort.

The teacher centers include the Hudson River Teacher Center, the Middletown Teacher Center, the Mid-Hudson Teacher Center, the New Rochelle Staff Resource Center, the Newburgh Teacher Center, the Rockland Teacher Center Institute, the Scarsdale Teachers’ Institute, the Sullivan County Teacher Center, the Teacher Center of Central Westchester and the Washingtonville Teacher Center.

“It’s been a pleasure working with my counterparts in higher education, as well as the Teacher Center representative and school district superintendents, to bring this conference to fruition,” Brauer said. 

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