Ryan Lerner, a graduate of Washingtonville High School, will be attending SUNY Cortland and is planning on majoring in Spanish Education. Ryan was motivated to become fluent in Spanish when he worked as a swim instructor of emerging English speakers. Last summer, he translated Social-Emotional Learning books into Spanish for a local K-5 school district’s “Newcomer” program. He then recorded them, using a green screen and iMovie to export for teachers (including bilingual and ELL support teachers) to use with their students and post in Google classrooms. This volunteer experience showed him how creative teachers can be to find solutions to problems and inspired him to enter the dynamic field of education. His future goal is to make sure that no kid ever feels “alone” among a crowd because of a language barrier.
Mallory Conklin, a graduate of Port Jervis High School, will be attending Mount St. Mary College and is planning on majoring in Elementary/Special Education. Mallory’s decision to be a teacher was developed by the important, dynamic, super teachers she has had during her school years. She is also the daughter of a fantastic, influential teacher who she hopes to be like in her own career. Mallory believes that being a teacher is a calling and she wants to give back to her neighborhood community where she grew up.
Sean Zupko, a graduate of Valley Central High School, will be attending SUNY Cortland and is planning on majoring in Chemistry/Physics Education. As an Eagle Scout, Sean excelled at enabling the younger scouts to develop their confidence, improve their skills and help them achieve their goals. This experience inspired his choice of a future career in Education. Sean attributes his love of physics and chemistry to his inspiring science teachers who developed his love of physics and chemistry and motivated his desire to become a high school science teacher. He also hopes to become a swim coach, and run the Science Olympiad.
Tom Magee, a graduate of Warwick Valley High School, will be attending Ithaca College and is planning on majoring in Math Education, pursuing an integrative curriculum to be able to teach Science, Technology, Engineering, Art and Math (STEAM). He hopes to incorporate robotics, music and engineering into his lessons. Tom wants to encourage his students to be lifelong learners because of their own curiosity, not because of a grade. He is interested in giving kids a chance to love to learn, not just after school but every day in a classroom—a place where they are comfortable and not afraid to make mistakes. Tom’s mother has been his inspiration!