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State Education Commissioner Elia Visits the Southern Adirondack Education Center

Friday, January 19, 2018

NYS Regent Oderkirk and Commissioner of Education MaryEllen Elia with SkillsUSA students

District Superintendent James Dexter, Regent Beverly Ouderkirk, and Commissioner of Education MaryEllen Elia with SkillsUSA students

On January 17 New York State Education Commissioner MaryEllen Elia visited the Southern Adirondack Education Center (SAEC), to meet with superintendents, principals and union leaders from three participating school districts - Hudson Falls Central School District, Cambridge Central School District and WSWHE BOCES - to discuss the progress of a new teacher residency pilot program. Higher education partner SUNY Plattsburgh representatives also participated in the meeting.

In 2017, the National Education Association (NEA) Great Public Schools grant program awarded a grant to pilot the Classroom Academy: A Residency Model for Teacher Preparation. The model provides a stipend and allows successful teacher preparation candidates to work in a local school district for two years, replacing the traditional field experience and student-teacher placements. The residents get training experience similar to that of medical students, enabling them to work side by side with accomplished educators. The focus of the program is on the science of teaching while observing and engaging the art of teaching during the residency.

"The Classroom Academy residency pilot, is a teacher-led initiative that puts the success of P-20 partnerships on display as it honors the complexity of teaching and the value of the practitioner's voice in preparing our next generation of professionals,” says NEA Grant Coordinator Colleen McDonald.

“We are excited to be working with SUNY Plattsburgh and the branch campus at Queensbury on this innovative model."

The Classroom Academy is the first 2-year Master of Science for Teachers level residency model in the state.

The Commissioner said she was committed to providing the next generation of educators with preparation that includes deep, rich, extended clinical experiences and this is one model to reach that goal. 

“This gives student teachers an opportunity to grow. The experiences they have through this program will set them up to be more successful,” Elia said. “This is going to be one of the models … as we take a look at how to improve the student teaching experience and make it more meaningful.”

The Commissioner had an opportunity to meet with Resident Teacher Bailey Carlin, who was working Environmental Conservation and Forestry students during the visit. Carlin says the program has been an amazing experience. “I’ve learned so much.”

The Commissioner saw first-hand how the “attending” ELA Instructor Karen Monastero integrates the subject with each specific Career and Technical Education programs. The Commissioner also had a chance to speak with students and was particularly interested in their future plans.

During the visit at SAEC, SkillsUSA students assisted the Commissioner and guests. Culinary Arts students prepared and served lunch. Following the meeting at SAEC the Commissioner visited Hudson Falls High School and Elementary School which are also part of the program.

Read more from NYSUT and the Post Star.

Teacher talking with commissioner

ELA Instructor Karen Monastero tells the Commissioner how ELA is integrated into the Environmental Conservation and Forestry program.

Resident teacher talking with visitor

Resident Teacher Bailey Carlin tells visitor about his experience in the program.