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05-04-2000

Five To Receive Clarkson University Inspirational High School Teaching Award

Lauded for their influence on five graduating seniors

The best teachers are the ones who give encouragement when needed, scold when necessary, but teach always.  The five teachers who were named this year’s recipients of the Clarkson University Inspirational High School Inspirational Teaching Award are examples of what teaching is all about.  Each one played an important role in helping a Clarkson University senior get to where they are today, providing invaluable lessons that have been applied throughout their lives.

For the eleventh consecutive year, Clarkson University will recognize some of the exceptional teachers who have influenced the lives of Clarkson students. In 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.

Award selections 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 awards will be presented during commencement weekend, May 13-14.

Floyd Bilow of Malone, N.Y. is a chemistry and physics teacher at Brushton-Moira Central School in Brushton, N.Y.  One of his former students, LeeAnn Fefee, nominated him for the award.

“Mr. Bilow is extremely intelligent and able to explain course material in several different ways, so that everyone can understand,” says Fefee, an industrial hygiene and chemistry major from Brushton.  “He taught me to be inquisitive and creative in my thought processes by challenging me with difficult experiments and class problems.”

Brenda M. Brownell, a civil engineering major from Inlet, N.Y., nominated her mathematics teacher, Loretta Kaye, of Otter Lake, N.Y.

“One of the reasons Mrs. Kaye is an exceptional teacher is because there is always order in her classroom,” says Brownell of Kaye, who teaches at Town of Webb High School in Old Forge, N.Y. “She has specific rules and students know they cannot get away with anything they are not supposed to be doing.  In teaching math, she makes everything clear and easy to understand.

“I did well at calculus because Mrs. Kaye had done such an excellent job teaching me and because she gave me a sense of respect for college.  She cares about her students and is interested in making their lives better.”

David Madge of Orchard Park, N.Y., an American history teacher at West Seneca High School in West Seneca, N.Y., was nominated by former student Beth A. Gattie.

“Mr. Madge is a mentor and a voice of support and encouragement,” says Gattie, a chemical engineering major from Rockvale, Tenn. “He is an outstanding teacher with an outgoing presentation style. His enthusiasm for his subject is contagious.  He fostered and encouraged academic focus and dedication.”

Chemical Engineering major Candice M. Bell of Colchester, Vt., nominated fellow Colchester resident Steffen C. Parker, her instrumental music teacher at Colchester High School.

Says Bell: “Mr. Parker isn’t just the man who teaches the band.  He is someone who truly cares about each one of his students.  In band he got us involved in community service projects, like playing Christmas carols for the Salvation Army, and helped us learn how to run the band and raise money for different activities.”  Parker, she says, “taught me not only how to become a decent musician, but how to become a good citizen.  I gained confidence and learned to become a good leader.”

In the central New York town of Whitney Point, Walter Peck teaches physics at Whitney Point Central School.  Gregory M. Dilmore, a chemical engineering major and one of his former students, says the Brooktondale resident taught his students to think outside of the box.

“Mr. Peck encouraged students to think for themselves and to do their best; not just in physics, but in everything they did,” says Dilmore.  “He made sure students understood what was going on and were able to solve problems in different ways.  Lab was where Mr. Peck had the most influence on me in engineering education.  He would state the objective for the day, and then make us think how to solve the problem.  He made learning inside and outside of the classroom fun.”

[News directors and editors: For more information, contact Michael P. Griffin, director of News & Digital Content Services, at 315-268-6716 or mgriffin@clarkson.edu.]

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