May 16, 2012
Mount Saint Mary College education grads – having logged more
than 100 hours of fieldwork plus months of student teaching -- are
ready to take on their own classrooms.
And one alumna is even poised to become national Top
Danielle Greco (left), a ’98 Mount grad who majored in
English/education, was selected as one of five national finalists
in the Top Teacher Search by the morning television show “Live!
with Kelly.” Greco appeared on the show Monday, May 14, and viewers
will vote for Top Teacher.
Greco, a special education teacher at John F. Kennedy Middle
School in Bethpage, NY, was selected from viewer nominations.
Greco commented: “Mount Saint Mary College was instrumental in
making me the teacher I am today. The Mount gave me the foundation
of my teaching career academically and inspired me to be a teacher
who really cares and takes interest in her students.”
Graduating senior Meghan Stackpole (right) noted that the Mount
taught her skills which “help me feel comfortable and confident
teaching in a classroom.”
Following graduation, Stackpole will be employed as a teaching
assistant in the Pine Bush Central School District in Orange
“I’ll be working in a self-contained special education class
with third, fourth, and fifth graders,” said Stackpole, who majored
in social sciences.
A resident of Pine Bush, NY, Stackpole chose the Mount because
of the “great reputation of its education program.”
While student teaching at Pakanasink Elementary School in
Circleville, NY, Stackpole “learned behavior and time management,
two vitally important skills for a teacher to possess in order to
have a successful learning environment in her own classroom,” she
And completing 120 hours of fieldwork definitely prepared her
well for student teaching, she added.
Mount Saint Mary College’s education program is distinctive in
that fieldwork -- embedded in coursework -- starts in the sophomore
year, said Reva Cowan, chair of education.
“We start earlier than many other colleges getting our students
in actual classrooms while providing a very supportive environment
for our teacher candidates,” said Cowan.
Karen McCaffrey, a mathematics/education major, will pursue
graduate studies in education at the Mount. She will also work on
campus as a graduate assistant for the student affairs office.
“I’ve learned so much at the Mount, both academically and
professionally,” said McCaffrey of New Windsor, NY, adding that she
“flourished” during her four years here, while “falling in love
James Tompkins, a history/education major, is a young man who
will head west to continue his education. The Marlboro, NY
resident, will attend California State University, Long Beach, for
a master’s degree in social and cultural analysis of education.
Student teaching at Newburgh Free Academy in Newburgh, NY,
prompted Tompkins to “become interested in the educational policies
that affect classroom teachers,” he said.
“My long term goal,” noted Tompkins, “is to obtain a doctorate
degree in the social science and comparative education program at
the University of California at Los Angeles.”
And Brittney Botta (middle), an honors mathematics/education
major, was recently selected by the American Educational Research
Association (AERA) to participate in the association’s prestigious
undergraduate research workshop.
A Warwick, NY resident, Botta’s primary research interest is
motivation among adolescent girls to pursue careers in mathematics
The Mount’s education program earns high marks in preparing well
qualified teachers and administrators with the aggregate pass rate
on the content specialty tests required by New York State for
licensure at 98 percent. New York State requires at least an 80
percent pass rate.
Debra Calvino, who graduated from the Mount with a mathematics
degree in 1981 and teaches at Valley Central High School in Orange
County, was named New York State 2010 Teacher of the Year.
Top Teacher nominee Greco, in commenting about the Mount, said
the small class size “helped me thrive, and professors took an
interest in both academic success and the family each student left