Celebrating Our Teachers of the Year

Birchwood students, along with Birchwood Principal Anthony Ciccarelli, Board of Education President Nick Ciappetta, BOE Vice President Laura Carey, Superintendent Dr. Dave Bennardo, NY Legislature Steve Stern, and South Huntington Teachers Union President Dennis Callahan congratulate the district-wide teacher of the year, Mr. Stephen Corbellini.
Birchwood students, along with Birchwood Principal Anthony Ciccarelli, Board of Education President Nick Ciappetta, BOE Vice President Laura Carey, Superintendent Dr. Dave Bennardo, NY Legislature Steve Stern, and South Huntington Teachers Union President Dennis Callahan congratulate the district-wide teacher of the year, Mr. Stephen Corbellini.
Maplewood Intermediate School’s Teacher of the Year Adam Winters shown being congratulated by Principal Vito D’Elia, Board members, administrators and honored guests as a critical faculty member within the special education department. Mr. Winters has provided his students with individualized programs that have not only challenged them academically, but have helped them improve their abilities to socialize among their peers
Maplewood Intermediate School’s Teacher of the Year Adam Winters shown being congratulated by Principal Vito D’Elia, Board members, administrators and honored guests as a critical faculty member within the special education department. Mr. Winters has provided his students with individualized programs that have not only challenged them academically, but have helped them improve their abilities to socialize among their peers
Ms. Levey began her career working with students with Autism at the Developmental Disabilities Institute where she was trained in Applied Behavior Analysis. Crystal has been teaching at Oakwood for 10 years and is shown here being congratulated by Principal Eileen Kerrigan, Board members, administrators and honored guests.
Ms. Levey began her career working with students with Autism at the Developmental Disabilities Institute where she was trained in Applied Behavior Analysis. Crystal has been teaching at Oakwood for 10 years and is shown here being congratulated by Principal Eileen Kerrigan, Board members, administrators and honored guests.
Countrywood Teacher of the Year Patti Burr started her career at South Huntington in 1999 and has been teaching 2nd grade since 2006. Ms. Burr is shown being congratulated by Principal Mitch Levy, Board members, administrators and honored guests.
Countrywood Teacher of the Year Patti Burr started her career at South Huntington in 1999 and has been teaching 2nd grade since 2006. Ms. Burr is shown being congratulated by Principal Mitch Levy, Board members, administrators and honored guests.
Six-grade teacher Kristin Bernard shown being congratulated by her students, Silaswood Principal Steve Toto, Board members, administrators and honored guests for her compassionate leadership and dedication to her students.
Six-grade teacher Kristin Bernard shown being congratulated by her students, Silaswood Principal Steve Toto, Board members, administrators and honored guests for her compassionate leadership and dedication to her students.
Stimson Middle School’s technology teacher Bob Ford shown being congratulated by Principal Edwin Smith, Board members, administrators, honored guests, and Stimson student Emma Kowalczyk who wrote a wonderful speech that described Mr. Ford as a motivating educator with many valuable life lessons to share.
Stimson Middle School’s technology teacher Bob Ford shown being congratulated by Principal Edwin Smith, Board members, administrators, honored guests, and Stimson student Emma Kowalczyk who wrote a wonderful speech that described Mr. Ford as a motivating educator with many valuable life lessons to share.
Walt Whitman High School’s Elizabeth Leogrande shown being recognized as Teacher of the Year in her 35th year teaching by Principal John Murphy, BOE Present Nick Ciappetta and Vice President Laura Carry, administrators and honored guests.
Walt Whitman High School’s Elizabeth Leogrande shown being recognized as Teacher of the Year in her 35th year teaching by Principal John Murphy, BOE Present Nick Ciappetta and Vice President Laura Carry, administrators and honored guests.
Celebrating his 50 years in education Bob Cangero has created a legacy as a master teacher here in South Huntington and Board President Nicholas Ciappetta and Vice President Laura Carey thank Bob for is dedication.
Celebrating his 50 years in education Bob Cangero has created a legacy as a master teacher here in South Huntington and Board President Nicholas Ciappetta and Vice President Laura Carey thank Bob for is dedication.
Last year‘s district-wide teacher of the year Annmarie Bunce made it all the way through the state qualifiers narrowly missing the first-place vote. Board President Nicholas Ciappetta and Vice President Laura Carey thank Ms. Bunce for all she does and awarded her an official key to the South Huntington school district.
Last year‘s district-wide teacher of the year Annmarie Bunce made it all the way through the state qualifiers narrowly missing the first-place vote. Board President Nicholas Ciappetta and Vice President Laura Carey thank Ms. Bunce for all she does and awarded her an official key to the South Huntington school district.
Kate Jenkins played an original song on the guitar as one of the evening’s musical presentations.
Kate Jenkins played an original song on the guitar as one of the evening’s musical presentations.
The Tri-M Choir put on a special musical presentation for the evening’s festivities.
The Tri-M Choir put on a special musical presentation for the evening’s festivities.

The South Huntington Teacher of the Year Awards were held on Wednesday, January 30th at Walt Whitman’s Performing Arts Center. Family, friends and the community joined in acknowledging this year’s outstanding teachers. “There are 1,000 reasons to be proud tonight. Within that are 500 really special reasons that make up our faculty and I am thrilled that they let me stand shoulder to shoulder with them,” said Superintendent Dr. Dave Bennardo as he expressed his appreciation for this recognized group of teachers.

Emceed by South Huntington’s Personnel Administrator Mr. Frank Fallon, the evening began by acknowledging Walt Whitman teacher Annemarie Bunce. As last year’s district-wide teacher of the year, Annmarie made it all the way through the state qualifiers, narrowly missing the first-place vote. Board President Nicholas Ciappetta and Vice President Laura Carey thanked Ms. Bunce for all she does and awarded her an official key to the South Huntington school district. Next up was a special honor to Bob Cangero. Celebrating his 50 years in education, Bob has created a legacy as a master teacher here in South Huntington and Board President Nicholas Ciappetta and Vice President Laura Carey thanked Bob for his dedication. This was a much-anticipated evening as the South Huntington Board of Education and the district’s administrators gave well-deserved recognition and praise to their top teachers. Board President Nick Ciappetta acknowledged that “Behind every great student accomplishment is the guiding hand and encouragement of a devoted teacher.”

Congratulations to:

Stephen Corbellini – Birchwood Intermediate School’s and South Huntington’s District-wide Teacher of the Year – “Steve’s high expectations come from the belief that all students can learn. He refuses to let any child give up on themselves, and has his students believing in themselves and expecting that they can succeed. Steve has a passion for teaching that makes him special. Steve is a master teacher whose knowledge about his craft is infinite. He knows his student audience all learn in different ways and need lessons that are differentiated to meet their needs. His lessons focus on making sure he gets the most out of his students and they get the most out of him. Steve’s lessons are performed with an effervescent style that only belongs to Mr. Corbellini. His dynamic and energetic approach to teaching is second to none. Steve’s humor and lighthearted approach allows his students to smile and laugh throughout the day. As an administrator, I know I can count on Steve to lead by example inside and outside the class. He is a true professional!” – Principal Anthony Ciccarelli

In receiving this honor, Mr. Stephen Corbellini shared that “To say that I am honored by this recognition is an understatement. Like so many others, I’ve tried to make it my mission to guide my students along the path of not only becoming life long learners, full of wonder, observation and reflection but also to become kind, considerate and empathetic human beings.”

Adam Winters - Maplewood Intermediate School – “One of the critical cornerstones of any faculty continues to be the special education department.  Mr. Adam Winters has always distinguished himself as intelligent, persevering, and dependable in every way.  Not only is he respected by his students and administrators, but his fellow teachers have come to regard him as a colleague whose opinions are valued and whose character is most admired.  One of Adam’s colleagues who wrote on his behalf had this to say about him: ‘Mr. Winters has provided his students with individualized programs that have not only challenged them academically, but have helped them improve their abilities to socialize among their peers.  His quiet demeanor and soft nature can be seen in the way he speaks to his student during lessons, while walking in the hallway and while prompting them during assemblies.  He is extremely professional and plans diligently for his daily practice.  He listens carefully and formulates the most courteous responses.’”- Principal Vito D’Elia

Patti Burr - Countrywood Primary School – “Ms. Patti Burr is an example of someone who is truly vested in the South Huntington Spirit.  She herself was a graduate of Walt Whitman High School. One former student, Isabella, still fondly remembers being pushed to be her best because as she said, ‘Ms. Burr knew our capabilities, even when we didn’t.’  Ms. Burr’s former parents also pointed to her love of learning and dedication.  They shared her tremendous work ethic, her love for her students and her nurturing way; well balanced with a firmness that pushes each child reach his/her true potential. As you can see Ms. Burr is the consummate professional with a variety of qualities that make her an outstanding choice for Countrywood’s Teacher of the Year.  She is dedicated to not only the academic success of her students but their social and emotional needs and making them into lifelong learners who challenge themselves to be their best throughout life.” – Principal Mitch Levy

Crystal Levey – Oakwood Primary Center – “Crystal Levey, the Oakwood Primary Center Teacher of the Year, has been teaching there for over 10 years. As a special education teacher, she was an expert at classroom management and differentiating instruction to meet the academic and behavioral needs of all of her students. Her classroom was always inviting with a nurturing environment where students felt safe, happy and ready to learn.  In the integrated setting, she was a collaborative partner who was able to modify lessons for all children to feel successful in the general education setting. Her caring personality was always shining! Now in her role as the Behavior Specialist Crystal helps teachers in managing challenging behaviors in their classrooms. She observes students with behavior needs and consults with teachers to help create behavior charts and Behavior Intervention Plans. This past year, Crystal is focused on Mindfulness. She loves the message it brings to children and staff. Crystal’s natural enthusiasm always conveys the right message! As Lady Bird Johnson once said, ‘Children are likely to live up to what you believe of them.’ Crystal is at the very heart of supporting children in finding their true strengths.” – Principal Eileen Kerrigan

Kristin Bernard - Silas Wood Sixth Grade Center – “Mrs. Bernard is a leader who inspires, motivates, excites, and understands her students.  She is caring, sensitive, thoughtful, compassionate and always prepared. She cheers her students on and greets them with motivating words at her door each period, and gets her students to entertain possibilities that stretch the limits of their beliefs. Her lessons are created with care and creativity and she has the capacity to reach learners at all levels and with varied strengths and learning styles. Mrs. Bernard is the ultimate team player for Silas Wood and the South Huntington Community. She has been the Common Core Math Coach and is consistently dedicated to our school and students. Kristin is an exceptional teacher, colleague, mother, and friend who is always willing to take on any ‘Wonderful Opportunity’ that comes her way with great initiative and a positive attitude!” – Principal Steve Toto

Robert Ford – Stimson Middle School - “Very few teachers are ‘that teacher’ - the teacher that consistently makes a student’s day, always shows maximum effort, and never appears to be having an ‘off’ day. Mr. Ford is ‘that teacher’. Teaching is an art that some have been gifted with. Mr. Ford embraces his gift and shares it with his students on a daily basis. Every day Mr. Ford comes to class prepared and ready to entertain and educate. He is an organized teacher who sets clear expectations and procedures for his students. No student is left behind as he engages everyone in the lesson on a daily basis. This helps to create a highly motivating classroom. Beyond the technical skills that Mr. Ford teaches us, he also teaches those valuable life lessons that we often hear about, such as teamwork, respect, and how to properly use a bandsaw so you leave class with all your fingers intact. I truly will be sad to leave Mr. Ford’s class in just a few more weeks and say goodbye to him in June when I leave for Whitman.  However, I leave with the knowledge that I am a better student, and person, for having known Mr. Ford and for having had the privilege of being on the receiving end of his gift of teaching.” - from Stimson student Emma Kowalczyk as introduced by Principal Edwin Smith

Elizabeth Leogrande – Walt Whitman High School – “While we at South Huntington have an exemplary teaching staff, there are those that transcend above all others who devote their lives entirely to the success of our students. I believe that Ms. Elizabeth Leogrande embodies these qualities, showing the dedication and empathy necessary to make all within her classroom successful.  She truly is a force within the high school that students come to not only respect but love.  She is an example of what teachers do make a difference in their students’ lives and those interactions can have a lasting effect, shaping their future for the better. Throughout her 35-year career, Ms. Leogrande has been a model teacher, inspiring a love for mathematics and learning within all her students.  Ms. Leogrande prides herself on continually improving her instructional practices to instill that same love she has for not only math but learning. The energy she commits every day to her students is not only inspiring but infectious.  She is always the first one to help a student or faculty member in need and can be seen late into the evening with students, inspiring the same love and dedication she has for Whitman. What makes Ms. Leogrande so great?  Ask anyone, and the answer is simple.  It is because she cares about her students and community.” – Principal John Murphy