Skip to main content
Full Menu
Career and Technical Education Awards Ceremony

‘Nothing to prove anymore’

New York Teacher

More than 70 CTE educators — and the success of career and technical education in city public schools — were celebrated at the UFT’s 2019 Career and Technical Education Awards Ceremony on Feb. 8 at UFT headquarters in lower Manhattan.

And while officials recently touted the all-time high graduation rate of 76 percent in New York City public schools in 2018, the graduation rate in city schools running CTE programs was even higher at 83 percent.

“We have nothing to prove to anyone anymore,” UFT President Michael Mulgrew, who taught in a CTE school for 12 years, told the overflow crowd of nearly 600. “We stand here in community together leading New York City with the highest graduation rate of any cohort inside any of our schools.”

Another measure of the program’s success is the educators it attracts, such as Ionia Cisse, one of two winners of the Stanley Schair Award for Excellence and Innovation. Cisse is the work-based learning coordinator at Manhattan’s HS of Fashion Industries, charged with securing internships for students.

“This is my fifth career,” said Cisse. “I modeled, I worked for Essence magazine, I had my own styling company, I was a (college) professor. But there’s nothing like where I am now, and I’m grateful. It’s a privilege.”

The former fashion editor at Essence, Cisse has a master’s degree in publishing. As a stylist or image maker, she traveled the world pulling together clothing and accessories for editorial and celebrity styling. She helped produce fashion shows.

Then she started teaching. Fashion Industries, Cisse says, “is a place where I can share with children all the things I’ve learned in fashion. They are so creative. The ideas they come up with blow me away. I’m the facilitator because it‘s really about them. I’m just supplying them with the tools they need to be their most creative — their best — selves.”

Fashion Industries, Cisse says, offers many ways students can express their love of fashion, including programs in the business of fashion, design, graphic design, visual merchandising and illustration.

Yet another measure of CTE’s success is the caliber of its students. Two years ago, Damiano Mastrandrea was the recipient of the Edwin Espalliat Award as the outstanding graduate of CTE’s Success Via Apprenticeship (SVA) program. At this year’s CTE awards ceremony, he was honored as an Outstanding Educator.

Mastrandrea was part of the design and implementation of the STEAM Center at the Brooklyn Navy Yard, one of the city’s fastest-growing technology and manufacturing hubs. The STEAM Center, located within that business environment, provides students with educational courses, work experience and professional contacts in science, technology, engineering, arts and mathematics.

The school’s founding principal, Kayon Pryce, was the director of the SVA program when Mastrandrea was part of it and Mastrandrea joined him at the center in its second year, winning approval for three CTE programs in record time. While he didn’t work alone on the daunting program approval process, “the overall amalgamation (of information) into one centralized document and being able to defend it during an external review was my responsibility,” the honoree said.

“We have accomplished a lot to move CTE forward,” said UFT Vice President for CTE High Schools Sterling Roberson, the event organizer and master of ceremonies. “But there is still more work to do to continue to expand high-quality learning and career opportunities for our students and to build on the transformational success of CTE.”

CTE Awards Recognition Ceremony 2019

Image
Proud mom Marisol Santiago (right) with her daughter, Denise Montes, the winner

Proud mom Marisol Santiago (right) with her daughter, Denise Montes, the winner of the UFT’s Edwin Espalliat Award as the outstanding graduate of the Success Via Apprenticeship (SVA) program during the 2019 CTE Awards Recognition Ceremony at UFT headquarters in Manhattan on Feb. 8.

Image
Members from the Brooklyn STEAM Center in Brooklyn are as enthusiastic as can be

Members from the Brooklyn STEAM Center in Brooklyn are as enthusiastic as can be as they cheer for an honoree.

Image
Outstanding Educator Award winners from Manhattan are joined by (standing, from

Outstanding Educator Award winners from Manhattan are joined by (standing, from left) Sterling Roberson, the UFT’s vice president for CTE high schools, and UFT Manhattan High Schools District Representative Alice O’Neil.

Image
Staten Island’s Outstanding Educators take the stage with (from left) UFT Vice P

Staten Island’s Outstanding Educators take the stage with (from left) UFT Vice President for CTE High Schools Sterling Roberson, UFT Staten Island Borough Representative Analia Gerard and Special Representative Donna Coppola.

Image
Posing with the Outstanding Educator honorees from Brooklyn are (standing, from

Posing with the Outstanding Educator honorees from Brooklyn are (standing, from left) UFT Vice President for CTE High Schools Sterling Roberson and UFT Brooklyn High Schools District Representative James Duncan.

Image
Shanker Hall is overflowing with honorees, supporters and business partners.

Shanker Hall is overflowing with honorees, supporters and business partners.

Image
The Outstanding Educator honorees from Queens are flanked by UFT Queens High Sch

The Outstanding Educator honorees from Queens are flanked by UFT Queens High Schools District Representative James Vasquez (standing, right) and Special Representative Washington Sanchez.

Image
The jazz band from Edward R. Murrow HS in Brooklyn, under the direction of Tom T

The jazz band from Edward R. Murrow HS in Brooklyn, under the direction of Tom Toriello, the assistant principal of the school’s music department, entertains the full house.

Image
The Outstanding Educator Award winners from the Bronx show off their plaques, jo

The Outstanding Educator Award winners from the Bronx show off their plaques, joined by (standing, from left) UFT Vice President for CTE High Schools Sterling Roberson and Special Representative John Monteforte.

Previous
Next
Image
Proud mom Marisol Santiago (right) with her daughter, Denise Montes, the winner

Proud mom Marisol Santiago (right) with her daughter, Denise Montes, the winner of the UFT’s Edwin Espalliat Award as the outstanding graduate of the Success Via Apprenticeship (SVA) program during the 2019 CTE Awards Recognition Ceremony at UFT headquarters in Manhattan on Feb. 8.

Image
Members from the Brooklyn STEAM Center in Brooklyn are as enthusiastic as can be

Members from the Brooklyn STEAM Center in Brooklyn are as enthusiastic as can be as they cheer for an honoree.

Image
Outstanding Educator Award winners from Manhattan are joined by (standing, from

Outstanding Educator Award winners from Manhattan are joined by (standing, from left) Sterling Roberson, the UFT’s vice president for CTE high schools, and UFT Manhattan High Schools District Representative Alice O’Neil.

Image
Staten Island’s Outstanding Educators take the stage with (from left) UFT Vice P

Staten Island’s Outstanding Educators take the stage with (from left) UFT Vice President for CTE High Schools Sterling Roberson, UFT Staten Island Borough Representative Analia Gerard and Special Representative Donna Coppola.

Image
Posing with the Outstanding Educator honorees from Brooklyn are (standing, from

Posing with the Outstanding Educator honorees from Brooklyn are (standing, from left) UFT Vice President for CTE High Schools Sterling Roberson and UFT Brooklyn High Schools District Representative James Duncan.

Image
Shanker Hall is overflowing with honorees, supporters and business partners.

Shanker Hall is overflowing with honorees, supporters and business partners.

Image
The Outstanding Educator honorees from Queens are flanked by UFT Queens High Sch

The Outstanding Educator honorees from Queens are flanked by UFT Queens High Schools District Representative James Vasquez (standing, right) and Special Representative Washington Sanchez.

Image
The jazz band from Edward R. Murrow HS in Brooklyn, under the direction of Tom T

The jazz band from Edward R. Murrow HS in Brooklyn, under the direction of Tom Toriello, the assistant principal of the school’s music department, entertains the full house.

Image
The Outstanding Educator Award winners from the Bronx show off their plaques, jo

The Outstanding Educator Award winners from the Bronx show off their plaques, joined by (standing, from left) UFT Vice President for CTE High Schools Sterling Roberson and Special Representative John Monteforte.

Related Topics: Awards & Honors