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Learning about sacrifice and compromise

Learning about ‘sacrifice and compromise’

Kids are kids, whether the calendar says 1890, 1910 or 2019.

Signs of respect

‘Signs’ of respect

When Rita Fattorusso invites one of her prekindergarten students to the front of the class to lead morning exercises, the other students pay strict attention. If they don’t, they’ll miss their classmate’s instructions: He uses American Sign Language to tell them to do eight jumping jacks, mimicking the action and counting out the number eight on his fingers.

Harlem tradition

Harlem tradition still going strong

Harlem Week is special for Charity Phalo-Davis. A teacher at the Bronx School for Law, Government and Justice in Morrisania, she strolled through the yard at PS 175 in Harlem with her husband, Quincy, and their 2-year-old son during the event’s Children’s Festival on Aug. 18.

Elise Murphy makes a point during a recent meeting.

UFT helps parents advocate for special-needs kids

Elise Murphy, a Staten Island parent of children with disabilities, has heard so many “shocking and devastating stories” from other parents, she says they don’t surprise her anymore.

Paraprofessional Johanna Pontillo (second from left) retires

Giving it the max

When Johanna Pontillo makes her once-a-month trips to Atlantic City, she always “bets the max” on the casino poker machines.

Art teacher Amie Robinson admires a student’s work

Your art journey begins here

"Your art journey begins here.”

That message from Amie Robinson to her students is posted on her classroom door. And for many of those students, that journey has taken their artwork from the classroom at PS 77, a District 75 school in Park Slope, Brooklyn, to the walls of the Metropolitan Museum of Art and the Museum of Modern Art in Manhattan, the Brooklyn Museum and the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C.

Betances (right) was on hand to congratulate Hans at the award presentation.

‘I wanted to be like her’

Yadira Hans is a 4th-grade teacher at PS 249 in Flatbush, Brooklyn, and one of this year's Big Apple Award winners. PS 131 teacher Anita Betances, who taught Hans third grade, set her on her path.

Jo Ann Westhall inspires her students at PS 31, Queens, to think big. “If you ca

Starting young

For Jo Ann Westhall, an elementary school education includes reading, writing, arithmetic — and computer science. Westhall, a computer science teacher and the chapter leader at PS 31 in Bayside, Queens, brought a subject reserved for middle and high school students to children as young as 4 years old.

Classroom teacher Allison Scarpa admires her 3rd-graders’ work.

Building bridges

When Aaron Eng-Achson, an English as a New Language teacher at PS 84 in Astoria, Queens, decided to launch an intensive study of bridges with his 3rd- and 5th-grade students, he knew exactly who to turn to in his school for expertise: custodial engineer Rogelio Dakanay.

A student shows off the eyeglasses she received thanks to the efforts of West Pr

A visionary

Nicole Feliciano, a teacher and chapter leader at West Preparatory Academy on Manhattan’s Upper West Side, 
is the recipient of a 2019 Big Apple Award for helping students get much-needed eye exams and prescription eyeglasses.