National award to Mount's education honor society

December 19, 2011

Newburgh, NY -

Left: Mount Sigma Tau former officers (from left) Traci Sick, vice president, and Jennifer Mojica, president, during Adopt-a-Family wrapping night, with Dr. Irene Nunnari, Mount Saint Mary College professor emerita of English and communication arts.
Right: (Left to right:) Dr. Nathan Bond, president of Kappa Delta Pi; Jessica Wood, secretary; Jane Farino, membership chair; Dr. Ludmilla Smirnova, Sigma Tau Chapter advisor; Jennifer Hanning, web master; Nicole Setter, treasurer, Amy Wilson, historian; Danielle Zizzo, 2009-2010 historian; and Faye Snodgress, KDP executive director.

Mount Saint Mary College's Sigma Tau chapter of Kappa Delta Pi, the international honor society in education, was presented this fall with an Achieving Chapter Excellence Award for outstanding programming in support of the society’s mission and strategic goals.

Kappa Delta Pi (KDP), established in 1911, enhances the professional growth and teaching practices of its member educators throughout all levels of their teaching careers.

With guidance from advisors Ludmila Smirnova and Patricia Ruff of the Mount’s education department, the chapter sponsors numerous events throughout the year such as food and book drives, fundraisers and Adopt-a-Family, which includes collecting presents in the education department for an underprivileged family recommended by the Newburgh Head Start program.

The chapter’s Literacy Alive program attracts some 100 children and their families to literacy events. Children illustrate poems, create books, decorate posters and receive free books and certificates of literacy to mark their achievements.

A regional leadership conference, with seven colleges and universities attending, was hosted recently by Sigma Tau and provided workshops on innovative teaching and leadership conducted by Mount Saint Mary College and visiting professors. The EXCITE conference was the chapter’s initiative, approved and supported by Kappa Delta Pi, to run a regional conference for the northeast KDP chapters.

Myriad opportunities for professional development for teacher candidates are provided, such as SMART board workshops, principal and teacher panels, mock job interviews, resume workshops and guest speakers.

Mount Saint Mary College’s education program is distinctive in that “fieldwork -- embedded in coursework -- starts in the sophomore year,” said Dr. Reva Cowan, chair.

The Mount provides a very supportive environment with students, professors and peers in the classroom together, building a learning community.

Statistics show that the Mount’s education program is earning high marks in preparing well qualified teachers and administrators.

“The aggregate pass rate on the content specialty tests required by New York State for licensure is 98 percent for our students,” noted Cowan. The 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.

In 2012, Sigma Tau will celebrate its 20th anniversary.

Mount Saint Mary College is accredited by the Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools, plus specialized accrediting commissions such as the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE).

Mount students who served in the community this fall through student teaching include:

Nashon Anderson, Beacon, NY, English; Christine Caban, Garden City South, NY, history; Christina Campisi, Howard Beach, NY, English; Danielle Camporese, Hopewell Junction, NY, mathematics; Laura Condon, Syracuse, NY, history; Brittany Craven, Vernon, N.J., English; Kelly Donohue, Walker Valley, NY, history; Guliano Franzini, Walden, NY, history; Danielle Freeman, Schenectady, NY, history; Amanda Fenn, Staten Island, NY, history; Cassandra Gucciardo, Levittown, NY, mathematics; Alex Gutierrez, Elmont, NY, history; Kaitlyn Iaquinta, New Hyde Park, NY, history; Adam Kean, Port Jervis, NY, history; Kathleen Nagengast, Monroe, NY, history; Kaitlyn O’Malley, Wallkill, NY, mathematics; Brandi Ripa, Fort Montgomery, NY, mathematics; Amanda Schreiber, Milton, NY, history; Lori Sommer, Highland Mills, NY, history; Phillip Stewart, Monticello, NY, English; Kimberly Stewart, Franklin Square, NY, history; James Tompkins, Marlboro, NY, history; Gregory Tyler, Clinton Corners, NY, mathematics; Kristin Zaleskie, Glen Head, NY, history; Valley Stream residents Amanda Vagnone, mathematics; Michelle Anander, information technology; Warwick residents Michael Conklin, history; Pasquale Alfarone, biology; Larrisa Gluszak, mathematics; Alexis Russell, history; Washingtonville residents Stephanie Conte, history; Gregory Dowling, mathematics; Nicholas Iacobelli, science; Diana Menchini, history; Jennifer Schrader, mathematics; Goshen residents Erica Doherty, history; Autumn Saleski, English; Newburgh residents Patrick Dougherty, history; Ashley Baginski, English; Constance Burgos, English; Samantha Conklin, history; Ashley Cortes, history; Pine Bush residents Kimberly Driscoll, early childhood/special education; Victoria Guido, English; Highland residents Meghan Finley, information technology; Jennifer Andersen, English; Middletown residents Juan Genovez, mathematics; Aileen Colarietti, English; Amanda Price, history; Charlotte Terry, Spanish; Poughkeepsie residents Edward Gordineer, history; Jaime Cocco, mathematics; Ashley Hastings, mathematics; Richard Jeffrey Scalzo,, history; Lagrangeville residents Krista Mora, history; Theresa Borst, information technology; Fishkill residents Pamela Preiato-Ciotoli, early childhood/special education; Danielle Russo, history; New Windsor residents Steven Resler, mathematics; Monique Santoro, history; Melanie Scheetz, mathematics; Wappinger’s Falls residents Chelsea Veach, mathematics; Teresa Wisniewski, English; Elizabeth Trachta, early childhood/special education; Nicole Treco, history; Giuseppina Spatola, history; Katie Menton, history; Brian, early childhood education; Bridget Costello, mathematics; and Mario Centuori, III, history.