They earned an “A” for excellence. Twenty five teachers from 21 public schools in southern Brooklyn were saluted by State Sen. Marty Golden at the lawmaker’s 17th annual Teacher of the Year awards ceremony held on Thursday, June 22 in Bay Ridge.
Arlene Rutuelo, executive assistant to Golden, hosted the event. Laurie Windsor was the M.C. Windsor served on the District 20 Education Council for 12 years, including nine years as president.
Windsor called this one of the most meaningful events of the year honoring teachers from Districts 20, 21 and 22. “You, the teachers, inspire and mold students and we are eternally grateful for the work you do every day,” Windsor said.
District 20 Community Superintendent Karina Costantino was on hand to congratulate the winners at the ceremony, along with Dr. Joseph O’Brien, principal lead facilitator for District 20, and Flora Iannarelli representing District 21. The ceremony took place in the auditorium of Fort Hamilton High School, 8301 Shore Road.
At least one teacher from each school in Golden’s Senate district was honored. Teachers were nominated by their principals or by their peers for the award. Golden represents a large section of southern Brooklyn, including Bay Ridge, Dyker Heights, and parts of Bensonhurst, Gravesend, Gerritsen Beach, Manhattan Beach and Marine Park.
Among the honorees were Fort Hamilton High School’s Ruth McKenzie, I.S. 187 – Christa McAuliffe’s Brianne Gasser, P.S. 185’s Janet Russo and P.S. 127’s Maria Trocciola.
In his remarks, Golden said that he likes to pay tribute to teachers each year because of their importance in the development of children.
“The greatest service that anyone can ever do is to shape our students and lead them to find jobs in this great city and all across the world,” Golden said. “So, today we thank you for your commitment to our great community. We know that what you do is not easy.
“We are the top district in the city,” Golden added. “You can tell that by the children, by the scores, by the work that you do each and every day.”
He stressed the need for new schools and his efforts on behalf of the “No Student Goes Hungry” program which provides students of all ages, regardless of their financial situation, with a healthy meal every day.
Golden also vowed to continue fighting for additional funding for the schools in his district, which he called the most overcrowded school district in the world.
He also promised to continue advocating for more new schools to alleviate the rampant overcrowding. “We are going to see more money coming in, and more and more construction going on,” Golden said.
“Let us remember, as it’s been said, one book, one pen, one child, one teacher can change the world,” he added. “Each and every one of you can change the world.”