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Chant Of Ballston Spa To Receive Clarkson University Teaching Award
Clarkson University senior Daniel Morrill of Scotia, N.Y., credits much of his academic success to Scotia-Glenville High School English/Advanced Placement English teacher Nancy Chant of Ballston Spa, N.Y. Morrill nominated Chant for Clarkson's Inspirational High School Teaching Award, which she will receive during Clarkson's upcoming Commencement Weekend Activities, May 16-17.
“Ms. Chant seems to be a veritable well of creativity in the unique ways she retains students’ interest,” said Morrill. “Her methods include ‘Friday Follies’ near the ‘Ides’ of each month in which students may usurp the class for an activity of their own devising (once our class dressed up and recreated a party scene from Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby), bringing in a batch of furmety in a crock pot as we studied Hardy’s The Mayor of Casterbridge, and even handing out jars of Marshmallow Fluff to students whose writing was, well, fluff, to encourage their best effort.
“She takes an interest in all her students, which has earned her the nickname ‘Mom Chant.’ She taught me more than just how to speak intelligently of pathetic fallacy, filial piety, the hallmarks of tragedy, and other literary conventions. She also taught me the subtle art of thinking comprehensively to identify the kernel of an idea. At Clarkson, this has served me well not only in liberal arts courses, but also in science and technical courses.”
For the tenth year in a row, Clarkson University will recognize some of the exceptional teachers who have influenced the lives of Clarkson students. Five people who taught members of Clarkson's class of 1998 will receive the Inspirational High School Teaching Award.
In the early spring, Clarkson seniors are asked to nominate the high school teacher that they feel most influenced their lives and helped shape their education and career choices. Five educators were then chosen from the nominations to receive this award.
The selections for the award are based on information and insights provided by the students on the nomination form. The information includes the reasons for choosing this particular teacher, how the teacher influenced the student, and an actual situation in which the teacher demonstrated characteristics of an outstanding educator.
The five recipients of this year's award are: Chant; Paulette Fry, mathematics teacher at Cincinnatus Central School in Cincinnatus, N.Y.; Gary Jones, English teacher at Burnt Hills-Ballston Lake High School in Burnt Hills, NY; Robert Lavoie, social studies/economics/government teacher at St. Regis Falls Central School in St. Regis Falls, NY; and David Taylor, natural science teacher at Triton Regional High School in Byfield, Mass.