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Career and Technical Education Awards Recognition Ceremony

Education reaching new heights — and CTE leads the way

A packed house applauds one of the evening’s speakers. Jonathan Fickies

A packed house applauds one of the evening’s speakers.

Patricia Bertrand of the Brooklyn Academy of Global Finance accepts her award Jonathan Fickes

Patricia Bertrand of the Brooklyn Academy of Global Finance accepts her award from Sterling Roberson, the UFT vice president for CTE high schools, and gets some help carrying the plaques from her 6-year-old daughter, Madison.

Honoree Leyann Vanderharten of Pathways to Graduation in Queens is surrounded by Jonathan Fickes
Honoree Leyann Vanderharten (holding plaques) of Pathways to Graduation in Queens is surrounded by supporters, including Chapter Leader Michael Friedman (standing, left). 

“The career and technical education programs of New York City are driving our education system to new heights,” UFT President Michael Mulgrew told a packed audience at the union’s 2018 CTE Awards Recognition Ceremony on Feb. 15. “And all the proof is there.”

That proof is newly released data on the city’s high school graduation rate — it’s at an all-time high with nearly three-quarters of students, or 74.3 percent, graduating in four years. Career and technical education led the way, with a graduation rate of 83 percent.

“That’s amazing,” Mulgrew told the nearly 500 educators, students, industry partners and UFT and city Department of Education representatives gathered at UFT headquarters in Manhattan. “That’s what happens when people work together to make things better for our students.”

Sterling Roberson, the UFT vice president for CTE high schools and the master of ceremonies, thanked all the educators present. “Although your name may not have been called today, each one of you is an honoree. The work you have done has allowed us to move CTE forward.”

Dozens of names, however, were called, recognizing educators for teaching 21st-century skills and preparing students for college and careers. Their stories shine a light on CTE’s success.

Rachel Monaco of Susan E. Wagner HS on Staten Island, honored as an outstanding educator, is teaching long past the time when she could have retired. “I love going to work,” she said. “After 28 years, this is still the best job ever.”

Monaco’s teaching license is in business and distributive education, with a specialty in stenography and typing. Today, her purview is Virtual Enterprise, a simulated business that is set up and run by students with the guidance of Monaco and a business partner.

“My first year I taught accounting, and then I started teaching computers,” she said. “I was in the classroom in 1995 when the internet came live, so I was able to experience all these changes in technology.”

After all these years, that keeps an enthusiastic Monaco in the classroom.

Nicole Zagada teaches computer repair at Queens Vocational and Technical HS. Just seven years ago, she received the Edwin Espaillet Award as outstanding Success Via Apprenticeship Graduate, an honor that went to Dilangani Dilrukshi this year. SVA is a rigorous teacher-training program in which a small group of CTE graduates attend college classes while simultaneously apprenticing in classrooms and industry.

Zagada returned to the awards ceremony this year “as an actual teacher, and I couldn’t be prouder.” She collected two honors, an outstanding educator award and an award from industry partner Agilant Solutions Inc.

Teaching, she says, “is awesome” and all she hoped it would be. She’s already learned about its rewards: “students who come back after graduation and say that what you taught is what they need to know in the real world; that what you taught them helped.”

Ralph Schmahl, who received an outstanding educator award and an industry award from the Municipal Credit Union, has been a maintenance supervisor with Delta Connection at JFK Airport for 30 years, and he’s been a teacher for 21.

At Aviation HS in Queens, he said, “the hangar is like my toy box. I have 10,000 square feet, that’s my classroom, and eight planes. I love working on airplanes, and I get to give that to the kids. It’s really not a job for me.”

Schmahl says he never tires of teaching about planes because he loves it. He wakes up eager to go to school.

“I tell my kids, do what you enjoy doing and good things are going to happen,” he said. “Because you love what you’re doing, you’re going to be great at it. You’re going to succeed.”

CTE award winners

Outstanding teacher award recipients

  • Beth Colavito. In-Tech Academy
  • Rassaan Parris, School for Tourism and Hospitality
  • Michael Price, HS of Computers and Technology
  • Stacey Thomas, Bronx Design and Construction Academy

Brooklyn

  • Patricia Bertrand, The Brooklyn Academy of Global Finance
  • Jennifer Corbin, Clara Barton HS
  • Sheila Cummings (posthumously), W.H. Maxwell CTE HS
  • Bryan Deo, Transit Tech CTE HS
  • Shirley Kablan, Academy for Health Careers
  • James O’Brien, Williamsburg HS for Architecture and Design
  • Niki Rosenthal, George Westinghouse CTE HS
  • Krystel Theuvenin, Academy of Innovative Technology
  • Dawn Watson, Academy of Hospitality and Tourism
  • Safraz Zainule, Thomas A. Edison CTE HS
  • Jeremy Zamora, William E. Grady CTE HS

Manhattan

  • Christopher Burgos, Food and Finance HS
  • Adrian Carranza, The HS of Fashion Industries
  • Tyshawn Davis, The Maxine Greene HS for Imaginative Inquiry
  • Clarke Dennis, Urban Assembly New York Harbor School
  • Leonela Garcia, Union Square Academy for Health Sciences
  • Hanan Harchol, Art and Design HS
  • Kilsi Rodriguez, Business of Sports School
  • Aaron Samaroo, Benjamin Franklin HS for Finance Information Technology
  • Jo-Ann Villa, HS for Law and Public Service
  • Ryan Walsh, Stephen T. Mather Building Arts and Craftsmanship HS
  • Jennifer Ward, Urban Assembly Maker Academy

Queens

  • Stephanie Fox, Bayside HS
  • Jill Hart, Robert H. Goddard HS of Communication Arts and Technology
  • Andrew Lassman, Academy for Careers in Television and Film
  • Laura Parker Molite, Long Island City HS
  • Janina Morones, Academy of Finance and Enterprise
  • Piotr Nieznalski, The School of Cooperative Technical Education
  • Russell Nitchman, John Bowne HS
  • Ralph Schmahl, Aviation CTE HS
  • Leyann Vanderharten, Pathways to Graduation
  • Keith Williams, HS for Construction Trades, Engineering and Architecture
  • Nicole Zagada, Queens Vocational and Technical HS

Staten Island

  • Joseph Caputo, Tottenville HS
  • Michael DiMartino, Ralph R. McKee CTE HS
  • John McLaughlin, New Dorp HS
  • Rachael Monaco, Susan E. Wagner HS
  • Michael Whalen, Staten Island Technical HS

Special presentations

  • Stanley Schair CTE Teacher for Excellence & Innovation Award:
  • Madelyn Gonzalez, Newtown HS
  • Edwin Espalliat Award:
  • Dilangani Dilrukshi, Success via Apprenticeship (SVA) Program

 

Special Recognition Awards:

  • Corey Fernandes, vice president for business development, Municipal Credit Union
  • Debra Lesser, executive director, Justice Resource Center NYC DOE
  • Robert Reilly, administrator, Success via Apprenticeship Program, NYC DOE

C-Tech Business and Education Partnership Awards:

  • Alejandro Jhonson, The School of Cooperative Technical Education
  • David Abreu, Queens Vocational and Technical HS
  • Richard Poganik, Newtown HS

The National Academy Foundation Awards:

  • Sanford Hirsch, The HS for Enterprise, Business and Technology
  • Gisele Auguste-Washington, Long Island City HS
  • Yolonda Pough, Academy of Finance and Enterprise
  • Leticia Milan, Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis HS

Greater New York Automobile Dealers Association Awards:

  • Carlos Caraballo, The School of Cooperative Technical Education
  • David Sarno, Ralph R. McKee CTE HS
  • Donald Morisette, Thomas A. Edison CTE HS

Securities Industry and Financial Markets Association Foundation Awards:

  • Amy Bacchus, The Brooklyn Academy of Global Finance
  • Christine Marra, Curtis HS

Virtual Enterprises International Awards:

  • Barry O’Brien, Port Richmond HS
  • Janina Morones, Academy of Finance and Enterprise
  • Donna Thomas, HS of Economics and Finance

Municipal Credit Union Awards:

  • Ralph Schmahl, Aviation CTE HS
  • Christopher Burgos, Food and Finance HS

Transportation Diversity Council Awards:

  • Scott Pagan, Bronx Design and Construction Academy
  • Tanya Wardally, Boys and Girls HS
  • Stacey Thomas, Bronx Design and Construction Academy

CTE Technical Assistance Center of New York State Awards:

  • IsaiSerrano, Ralph R. McKee CTE HS
  • Sanford Hirsch, The HS for Enterprise, Business and Technology
  • Tristan DeSimone, Long Island City HS

WebGuyz Awards:

  • Karen Mason, Brooklyn Studio Secondary School
  • Jorge Reynoso, The S.T.E.A.M. Center at The Brooklyn Navy Yard

Agilant Solutions Inc. Awards:

  • Alexander Bell, Thomas A. Edison CTE HS
  • Jorge Reynoso, The S.T.E.A.M. Center at The Brooklyn Navy Yard
  • Nicole Zagada, Queens Vocational and Technical HS

 

 

 

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