New York State Education Department_ Knowledge_ Skill_ Opportunity
News and Notes
Dear Colleagues,

I hope your school year is off to a wonderful start. In this edition of News and Notes, I would like to introduce the 2020 New York State Teacher of the Year, Rachel Murat. Ms. Murat, a high school social studies and technology integration teacher at Maine-Endwell High School in Endwell, NY, has devoted herself to improving the lives of her students and making a difference in the community. She embodies the qualities of a true leader, and I'm proud to honor her as our Teacher of the Year. Congratulations, Ms. Murat!

In this edition of News and Notes, I will also provide information about the following:
3Maine-Endwell High School Teacher Named 2020 Teacher of the Year

Rachel Murat_ 2020 Teacher of the Year
Congratulations to Rachel Murat of Maine-Endwell High School in Endwell, NY, the 2020 New York State Teacher of the Year.

Last week, Regents Chancellor Betty A. Rosa and Interim State Education Commissioner Beth Berlin presented Murat, a high school social studies and technology integration teacher at Maine-Endwell High School, with a certificate of recognition. Murat, who was also a finalist for 2019 New York State Teacher of the Year award, was presented with the Thomas Sobol Award and the David Johnson Award, both created as annual gifts for recipients of the Teacher of the Year award.

Murat exceeds her teaching duties to engage students outside the classroom, helping to meet the needs of local community members. Through her work founding a nonprofit pantry system, she provides resources that feed more than 100 families in her community.

Murat, the 50th New York State Teacher of the Year, has been teaching for 24 years. Throughout her tenure, she has instructed countless courses including Global and U.S. History, AP Government and Politics, Digital Citizenship, Entrepreneurship, and Economics. She earned her bachelor's degree at Ohio University and her master's degree at Binghamton University, SUNY.

In the coming year, Murat will serve as an ambassador for teachers throughout the state and will be the New York State nominee for National Teacher of the Year.

Finalists for 2020 New York State Teacher of the Year are as follows:
  • Mary Howard, a 6th grade teacher from the Veronica E. Connor Middle School, Grand Island Central School District;
  • John Braun, a science teacher at East Northport Middle School, Northport-East Northport School District;
  • Jeanne Lance, a 4th grade teacher at Watervliet Elementary School, Watervliet City School District; and
  • Laura Macy, a Culinary Arts teacher at Steinmetz Career and Leadership Academy, Schenectady City Schools.
4Western Michigan University Student Recipient of 2019 Marge A. Tierney Memorial Scholarship

The Board of Regents awarded the 2019 Marge A. Tierney Memorial Scholarship to Robert E. Parsons, of Manhattan, NY. Parsons is a graduate student in the Rehabilitation Counseling Masters program at Western Michigan University. He plans to pursue a PhD in Rehabilitation Counseling and direct a vocational resource center for people with blindness and low vision.
Parsons decided to devote his career to vocational rehabilitation counseling after losing his sight during a home invasion. At Western Michigan University, he has maintained a 3.9 GPA while being involved as a teaching assistant on campus and serving as the President of the Kalamazoo Chapter of the National Federation of the Blind of Michigan and as a Board Member of the Michigan Association of Blind Students. 
5Guidance to Support Safety and Equal Access to New York Schools

NYSED and Attorney General Letitia James recently issued two guidance letters to school officials outlining the state's priority of providing safe, fair, and supportive learning environments for all students throughout the state.

The first letter clarifies the role of school resource officers (SROs) in safeguarding the rights of all students, including undocumented students, to receive a public education without fear of intervention by Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agents.

The second letter clarifies the obligation of all school districts to administer their student discipline policies and practices in a way that ensures every student has access to a safe and supportive learning environment, free from harassment, bias, and discrimination.
2Professional Learning Opportunities from the Office of Early Learning

teacher in library with young children
The Office of Early Learning is pleased to announce these upcoming professional learning opportunities. The following programs will be available:
  • Train the Trainer: Preschool Pyramid Model for District Administrators
    October 22-24, Albany, NY
  • Early Childhood Environmental Rating Scale (ECERS) Professional Learning Opportunity
    October 2 in Buffalo, NY
    October 8 in Plattsburgh, NY
  • Webinar Series with Kristie Mraz
    October 29 and December 9 online
  • Professional Learning Seminar for Kindergarten and First Grade Teachers and Administrators
    November 5 and December 5, both in Albany, NY
For more information and to register for any of the training sessions, visit the Office of Early Learning website, email, or call (518) 474-5807.
1Resources for Parents: Video Series on Strengthening the Connection Between Home and School
mother and daughter working at a table at home

Public television station WNET has produced a series of videos to help strengthen the connection between home and school. The videos, available in English and Spanish, provide strategies to help families set their children up for success in and out of the classroom.

For example, routines can reduce stress around transitions from one activity to the next. Following a routine at home is great practice for following a routine at school. Regular family routines also help ensure that children will arrive at school on time, well-rested, and ready to learn. Readiness Check is a free interactive tool to help parents understand their children's strengths and to identify what support they may need with grade-level skills. Watch the video, then visit Become a Learning Hero for the Readiness Check in both English and Spanish.
6State Museum Exhibits Papa Burger Statue, Hoffman's Playland Ticket Booth

Reconstructed Papa Burger Statue
Visitors to the New York State Museum will see some new objects on exhibit now - including a 1960s A&W Restaurant "Papa Burger" statue, an original Hoffman's Playland ticket booth, and models of Coney Island attractions.
On exhibit near the Carousel, these new artifacts create a nostalgic area for visitors of all ages to enjoy and learn from while visiting the State Museum.
Over the past few years, staff restored Papa Burger to his original colors and details. The restoration project included removing layers of paint to reach the statue's original coat and researching paints to match Papa Burger's original colors. Many repairs were made as well, including reconstruction of an internal support system to allow him to stand up.
7State Archives Partnership Trust Receives $100,000 Grant from the Robert D.L. Gardiner Foundation to Expand State Archives Educator Resources

Consider the Source Online
The New York State Archives Partnership Trust (APT) has   received a $100,000 grant from the Robert David Lion Gardiner Foundation for the "Consider the Source Online" project. The project will create an online platform that enables local, regional and statewide collaborations among teachers, cultural organizations and content specialists.
Work is expected to begin on the project this month with an anticipated completion in August 2021.
In addition, the National Council for History Education designated the APT to head a new council for New York State to promote collaborations between educators and cultural organizations and provide professional development opportunities.