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High School Teacher Nets High Honor

Daniel Bachman of Massapequa High School has been named a “Distinguished Teacher of 2014” by the Harvard Club of Long Island.  

“Our awards recognize teachers who spend unfathomable amounts of time and energy on our Long Island teens, year after year,” explained Dr. Judith Esterquest, Harvard Club of Long Island Treasurer and Chair of the Distinguished Teacher Selection Committee. “Dedicated teachers like Mr. Bachman inspire students to dream, to work to accomplish those dreams, and to think rigorously about what they want their future to be.”

One of a dozen teachers from across Long Island to receive this award — from across the 120 school districts — Bachman will be honored at the Harvard Club of Long Island’s annual University Relations Luncheon on March 29.

Bachman, who teaches Social Studies at Massapequa High School, has taught since 1996, first in New York City and for the past 14 years in Massapequa. His offerings include a wide range of courses, from AP U.S. History and AP Government to SCALE Criminology (a college accredited course), and introductions to various areas of law. Advising the Mock Trial team, which Bachman has done since his first year at Massapequa, has become one of his favorite parts of teaching.

After earning his undergraduate degree from Hofstra, majoring in History and Secondary Education, he was awarded an M.S. from Long Island University in Criminal Justice, where he won awards for academic excellence; he has since done extensive post-graduate work in Political Science. Besides teaching at the high school level, Bachman has served as an adjunct professor at LIU, teaching Criminological Theory, Criminal Justice Themes in Secondary Education, and Class, Race, and Gender Roles in Criminal Justice. Early in his career, Bachman also successfully taught a course in studio art.

Married for seven years to Gail, with a four-year-old son, who occupies the vast majority of his free time, Bachman still volunteers with the Nassau County Police Athletic League where he teaches martial arts and sponsors numerous community events. His lifelong commitment to PAL began as a child when he joined a PAL Karate program, an experience he remembers vividly. As part of the Massapequa, Wantagh and Seaford Units, he uses an integrated model of martial arts as a vehicle to help students overcome ADD, ADHD and other special needs: general education students model proper behavior to coach special needs students. One of his special needs students last year won three gold medals and nearly won the grand champion at the annual tournament.

Having written letters of recommendation every year for 18 years, and recently writing as many as 20 or 30 per year, Bachman has helped hundreds of students gain admission to colleges, summer programs, and scholarships.

Nominated by Lauren N. Reisig, a former Massapequa High School student, nominated Bachman and called him “one of the best teachers I have ever had.”  

“He is passionate about the subjects he teaches and passionate about the students he teaches,” said Reisig. “Pushing his students to constantly work harder and challenge themselves. And he is a resource for not only the students in his class, but any student who is willing to learn. The introduction to law class was not accelerated, so the students ranged from those at the top of the class, to those struggling to pass. Mr. Bachman worked to build the confidence of every student, no matter their strength.”

When Superintendent of Schools Lucille F. Iconis learned of this award, she noted, “Mr Bachman is an integral member of our Social Studies Department,” before adding, “passionate and driven, he teaches an array of our most advanced classes and is well-respected by his colleagues and students of all levels.”

“As our Mock Trial Team advisor,” Iconis continued, “Mr. Bachman guided the team to its first Nassau County Championship title in 2012. We are extremely proud of Mr. Bachman’s contributions to the Massapequa School District and we are delighted that he is being recognized with this well-deserved honor.”