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‘A showcase of what could happen across the country’

Miller Photography

The awardees and their colleagues.
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Miller Photography

UFT Vice President for CTE High Schools Sterling Roberson shows off a City Council proclamation recognizing all those who made the event a success.


Outstanding Teacher Award recipients

Raydee Faulhaber, Aviation HS, Queens
Lee Lobenhofer, Fiorello LaGuardia HS of Music & Art and the Performing Arts, Manhattan
Gregory Beckos, Clara Barton HS, Brooklyn
Clarence Tennell, Business of Sports School, Manhattan
Leonela Garcia, Union Square Academy for Health Sciences, Manhattan
Anthony Whittlesey, HS of Computers and Technology, the Bronx
Vivian Young, Jane Addams HS, the Bronx
Santiago Ruiz, Crotona International HS, the Bronx
David Sarno, Ralph R. McKee HS, Staten Island
Ariff Hajee, Pathways to Graduation program
Edwin Serna, School of Cooperative Technical Education, Manhattan
Elizabeth Torres, HS of Graphic Communication Arts, Manhattan
Evelyn Loveras, Thomas A. Edison HS, Queens
Kenny Tamassar, Automotive HS, Brooklyn
Anthony Dubato, William E. Grady HS, Brooklyn
Elvira LaRocca-Vonroth, Tottenville HS, Staten Island
Michael Williams, George Westinghouse HS, Brooklyn
Diana Ramos, Grace Dodge HS, the Bronx
Jaclyn Roberts, HS of Art & Design, Manhattan
Angel Texidor, HS for Construction Trades, Engineering and Architecture, Queens
Adrienne Terzuoli, Food and Finance HS, Manhattan
Manuel Santana, Academy of Innovative Technology, Brooklyn
Tanya Spence, Pathways in Technology Early College HS, Brooklyn
Axel Natal, East New York HS of Transit Technology, Brooklyn
Talim Johnson, HS of Fashion Industries, Manhattan
James Ceribello, William H. Maxwell HS, Brooklyn
Lillian Mitchell, Queens Vocational & Technical HS
Kayon K. Pryce, Urban Assembly Gateway School for Technology, Manhattan
Liv Dillon, Urban Assembly New York Harbor School, Governors Island
Ricardo Thompson, Academy for Careers in Television and Film, Queens
Belkis Marrero, In-Tech Academy, the Bronx
Luis Castillo, Bronx Design & Construction Academy
Alrick Crowe, HS for Energy and Technology, the Bronx

Special presentations

Edwin Espalliat Award: Navindra Haripersaud, 2013 Outstanding Success Via Apprenticeship Program Graduate
Special Recognition Awards: David Gasek, account manager, Adobe; Steve Adler, senior solutions consultant, Adobe
Stanley Schair CTE Teacher for Excellence & Innovation Award and Municipal Credit Union Teacher of the Year Award: Clarence Tennell, Business of Sports School, Manhattan; Michael Williams, George Westinghouse CTE HS, Brooklyn
LearnKey Awards: Emma Mendez, UFT liaison to the Division of Students with Disabilities and English Language Learners; Alexander Bell, Thomas A. Edison HS, Queens
Adobe Awards: Leo Gordon, Ralph R. McKee HS, Staten Island; Evelyn Loveras, Thomas A. Edison HS, Queens
2013 Big Apple Classic Awards: Alexander Bell and Thomas A. Edison HS, Queens; Robert Martinez and East New York HS of Transit Technology, Brooklyn; Diane Shoemaker and Business of Sports School, Manhattan; Ajay Dookie and Aviation HS, Queens

“We’re second to none in CTE,” UFT Vice President for Career and Technical Education High Schools Sterling Roberson said of New York City. “We’re a showcase of what could happen across the country.”

CTE teachers are at the heart of that success, Roberson said, as he kicked off this year’s CTE Awards Recognition Ceremony on Feb. 6 at the UFT’s Shanker Hall.

More than 35 educators, chosen by students and colleagues, were honored by the union and its industry partners at the event.

UFT President Michael Mulgrew, a past vice president for CTE high schools, extolled the night’s awardees for their ability to inspire their students.

“When you see students engaged in a whole different setting, a student who all of a sudden lights up, that’s what CTE is all about,” Mulgrew told the more than 400 educators, students, friends and family in attendance.

Business of Sports School entrepreneurship teacher Clarence Tennell took home both a UFT 2014 Outstanding CTE Teacher award and one of two Teacher of the Year Awards given out by the Municipal Credit Union.

“At the Business of Sports School, we try to teach kids the other side of sports besides being on the field,” Tennell said. “We teach them to understand the nuances of finances, hiring and firing employees, and economics.”

Tennell’s students, who compete in both in-school and regional business-plan competitions, have taken those lessons to heart. One student with a disability organized a series of athletic events for disabled children and adults, attracting a Nike-sponsored team from Texas to one event, Tennell said.

Tennell’s sister, who presented him with his award, spoke of his devotion. “Whenever I ask, ‘Where are you? What are you doing?’ he’s with his students,” she said.

Diane Shoemaker, the Business of Sports School’s founding business teacher, also took home an award, for her work supporting and involving her students in the 2013 Big Apple Classic basketball game and leadership summit. Shoemaker’s students participated in the summit at The New York Times building and shadowed organizers of the college fair held at the Barclays Center.

“It felt great to be recognized,” she said.

Another honoree, UFT delegate and Thomas A. Edison HS computer repair teacher Alex Bell, said that the “spark” he gets from his students in class every day is “award enough,” but that he was flattered to have his hard work acknowledged by his union and colleagues. Bell took home both a 2013 Big Apple Classic Award and a LearnKey Award for his work with industry partners in his field.

“Kids need to be empowered. You can’t tell them to sit in class and do textbook work every day,” Bell said. “You need to be creative.”

Ariff Hajee, who teaches science, construction trades and carpentry in the DOE’s Pathways to Graduation GED program, was also among the award winners. He described the delight it brings him when his CTE classes attract the intense interest of his overage and under-credited students. He said that while his ultimate goal is for his students to receive their GEDs, hands-on classes play a big role in helping them get there.

“CTE is really the applied portion of science,” Hajee explained. “With science I can talk about it but I can’t do experiments with everything, whereas CTE is one big experiment.”

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