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Editorial: Collaborative Excellence

In the inaugural year of its “master teachers” program, New York State, in partnership with SUNY schools, has honored a total of 319 science, math and technology teachers—including 42 on Long Island—with the Master Teacher designation. Hearty congratulations to all who successfully applied. They have a combined 2,700 years of full-time teaching experience.

To further the development of teachers in the fashionable STEM fields, these star educators will become peer mentors, sharing their techniques through seminars, workshops and one-on-ones with other teachers—especially the newest ones. At the same time, they are committed to furthering their own development, and the program focuses on three areas of knowledge. Master Teachers show excellence not only in subject matter and teaching, but also by cultivating thorough understanding of the students—their neighborhoods, cultures and values—which enables these teachers to involve family and community in supporting STEM studies.

Because it is so new, many people may not be aware of this program and its $60,000 four-year fellowship. Citizens can nominate a teacher for the spring cohort (and teachers can sign up for email notification when applications open) at www.suny.edu/masterteacher/. We have no doubt that in coming years we will see more of Nassau County’s outstanding teachers earn the title.