South Huntington Celebrates Their Best of the Best

BOE members, School Administrators, family members and students congratulate Birchwood Special Education teacher Ms. KimMarie Schiermbock (center holding flowers) on her district-wide Teacher of the Year Award.
BOE members, School Administrators, family members and students congratulate Birchwood Special Education teacher Ms. KimMarie Schiermbock (center holding flowers) on her district-wide Teacher of the Year Award.
Countrywood Teacher of the Year Ms. Sandra Layer is congratulated by Principal Barbara Kenney, BOE members, School Administrators, and her family.
Countrywood Teacher of the Year Ms. Sandra Layer is congratulated by Principal Barbara Kenney, BOE members, School Administrators, and her family.
Oakwood Teacher of the Year Ms. Elisabete Sousa is congratulated by Principal Eileen Kerrigan, BOE members, School Administrators, and the newest member of the Sousa family.
Oakwood Teacher of the Year Ms. Elisabete Sousa is congratulated by Principal Eileen Kerrigan, BOE members, School Administrators, and the newest member of the Sousa family.
Maplewood Teacher of the Year Dr. Kristine Duffy is congratulated by Principal Dr. Vito D’Elia, BOE members, School Administrators, and her family.
Maplewood Teacher of the Year Dr. Kristine Duffy is congratulated by Principal Dr. Vito D’Elia, BOE members, School Administrators, and her family.
Silas Wood Teacher of the Year Dr. Gay Bullock is congratulated by Principal Steve Toto, BOE members, School Administrators and family.
Silas Wood Teacher of the Year Dr. Gay Bullock is congratulated by Principal Steve Toto, BOE members, School Administrators and family.
Stimson Teacher of the Year Ms. Kelly Poller is congratulated by Principal Edwin Smith, BOE members, School Administrators and her family.
Stimson Teacher of the Year Ms. Kelly Poller is congratulated by Principal Edwin Smith, BOE members, School Administrators and her family.
Walt Whitman Teacher of the Year Mr. Allan Deitz, with his wife Carol, is congratulated by Principal John Murphy, BOE members, and School Administrators.
Walt Whitman Teacher of the Year Mr. Allan Deitz, with his wife Carol, is congratulated by Principal John Murphy, BOE members, and School Administrators.
Mr. Dennis Callahan, SHTA President, has known all of these fine teachers for many years and shares some wonderful insights with the audience.
Mr. Dennis Callahan, SHTA President, has known all of these fine teachers for many years and shares some wonderful insights with the audience.
Dr. Joseph T. Centamore, South Huntington Assistant Superintendent for Personnel and District Services directed the evening’s presentations.
Dr. Joseph T. Centamore, South Huntington Assistant Superintendent for Personnel and District Services directed the evening’s presentations.

The Teacher of The Year Awards ceremony is always a highly anticipated event. The South Huntington Board of Education, the district’s administrators, and the South Huntington learning community were out in full force Wednesday evening, February 10th, to give well-deserved recognition and praise to their top teachers during this annual celebration.

South Huntington’s district-wide teacher of the year is Birchwood Special Education teacher Ms. KimMarie Schiermbock.  Kim is a master at teaching students to advocate for themselves by teaching them to be self-sufficient, self-confident, self-aware and proud of each of their accomplishments no matter how big or small.  Kim had always had high expectations for her students. Before it was popular to believe that special educations should be held to high expectations, Kim was demanding that of her students. She taught her students that having a disability was never an excuse for not working hard and that each of them could be successful.

Congratulations to all of these fine teachers who make a difference and truly love what they do.

Countrywood's Teacher of the Year is Sandra Layer.  Sandra’s commitment to the success of the Dual Language Program is clearly evident in everything she does both professionally and personally. She continues to inspire learning in all of her students with her enthusiasm and love and passion for teaching.  As a bilingual/bicultural professional and a native speaker of Spanish, Ms. Layer not only values the wide variety of Hispanic culture representative of our LEP/ELL population but also values and is sensitive to the linguistic and cultural diversity of all of her students. 

Oakwood's Teacher of the Year is Elisabete Sousa. As an English as a New Language (ENL) teacher, Elisabete is an expert at incorporating new ideas and strategies to stimulate and excite students to learn to read and write in English. She helps them make sense of their learning and build their self-confidence and their self-esteem. She meets with parents at any hour of the day to help them meet the challenges presented to parents who do not speak English. As Calvin Coolidge said, “No person was ever honored for what she received. She was honored for what she gave.” This is Liz Sousa.

Maplewood’s Teacher of the Year is Dr. Kristine Duffy. The role of school psychologist is unique among all other building positions in that so many individuals depend upon the accurate assessment of data and behavior analysis that lead to the good decision making that is made on behalf of children. Dr. Duffy provides insight and guidance, enabling us to better serve our students.  She has an excellent work ethic and conducts herself in a manner that clearly demonstrates that the welfare of students is of primary importance.  Dr. Duffy offers strength in leadership and a compassionate mindset. She brings wisdom, professionalism and a tireless work ethic to Maplewood Intermediate School.

Silas Wood's Teacher of the Year is Dr. Gay Bullock.  Dr. Bullock is a well-rounded, self-driven, positive role model to all students that cross her path.  She holds her students to high expectations, encourages them to work to their fullest potential, and inspires them to be the best that they can be.  Dr. Bullock commits herself to making a difference in the lives of all of her students by providing a supportive and enriching classroom environment. For many years, Dr. Bullock not only coached her students academically in her classroom but also served as a lacrosse, track, and volleyball coach for Stimson Middle School.

Stimson Middle School's Teacher of the Year is Ms. Kelly Poller. On the day it was announced that Kelly had been selected, Principal Smith entered her classroom and one of her student’s said, “I knew she was the Teacher of the Year before you announced it!”  You see Kelly has that “it.” She possesses the ability to connect with her students, make them feel loved, supported, and cared for.  In her classroom there is balance of hard work, high expectations, and laughter.  The mutual trust she has forged encourages her students to take risks and believe in their own capacity to learn. Kelly’s classroom reminds us that there are some educators whose qualities can never be quantified.

Walt Whitman High School's Teacher of the Year is Mr. Allan Deitz. There is not a day that goes by that I [Principal Murphy] don’t see students clamoring to get into his class during their off periods or staying after school to practice, or to interact with such a wonderful human being. The testimonies from so many on how Mr. Dietz has affected their lives are a true testament to the devotion he has for the children of South Huntington. Whether he is on the field at 8pm for marching band practice, working diligently with the jazz band, or at a marching band competition in another state, Mr. Deitz cares for every student who walks into his classroom and wants them to have a love for music that will carry on for the rest of their lives.