Teachers Honored at Superintendent’s Conference Day

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Superintendent of Schools Richard Rozakis got the new school year off to a positive start by honoring 18 of the district’s longest-tenured employees at Superintendent’s Conference Day on Sept. 4 at Babylon High School’s Rowe Hall.
    
Frank Suriano and Nelson Torres were honored for their 30 years of service to the Babylon schools. Marion Augello-Talbot, Rosanne Corso, Lois Feinstein, Suzanne Murphy, Joseph Rossi, Hans Wiederkehr and Vince Whitnum received a warm round of applause for serving the district for 25 years, and Gerard Grant, Jane Herbst, Jeff Kenney, Stephanie Lowe, Eric Reisert, Kathy Reynolds, Corinne Samon, Valerie Schultheis and Jeff Wood were recognized for 20 years of service.
    
Rozakis told the staff on hand that he spent much of the summer learning the norms and culture of the district and meeting with the people he’ll be working with this year. “[I’ve been] working hard to prepare for you to come back, so that you have all the support that you need and get going from day one,” he said. “I have given a great deal of thought to what our collective mission should be. Here in 2012 we can safely say goodbye to the 20th century. We are well into the 21st. In the next 88 years, these are the decades in which our current schoolchildren are going to spend their lives and leave their marks. They are only beginning the early part of the 21st century. They will be the adults and leaders of the 21st century.”
    
The new superintendent provided a glimpse into the future, noting that a kindergarten student in September 2012 will graduate high school in June 2025 and will enter the workplace between 2025 and 2030. “The kindergarten children of today will be competing for high-paying, rewarding jobs and will need to process enormous amounts of information quickly and efficiently,” he said. “They will seek careers that differ greatly from those of today’s adults. They will not use paper, printers, laptops, cell phones, DVDs, CDs and other obsolete technology, but will become adept at using technology that doesn’t even exist today. They will look back at 2012 as the ‘old days.’ That is something to really consider.”
    
In other matters, Assistant Superintendent for Curriculum and Instruction Daniel D'Amico provided an overview of the new Annual Professional Performance Reviews that all New York state teachers and principals face this year. The new APPRs will ensure that there is an effective teacher in every classroom and an effective leader in every school. According to the EngageNY.org website for New York state APPRs, the evaluation system will also foster a culture of continuous professional growth for educators to grow and improve their instructional practices.