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June 19, 2013

State council honors Oneonta teacher

By Mark Boshnack Staff Writer
The Daily Star

---- — The excellence of an Oneonta High School English teacher was apparent to his colleagues, and now a state professional organization has recognized it.

Michael Morelli will receive the 2013 Educator of Excellence award from the New York State English Council at an October conference in Albany, several people who talked about the award said Tuesday.

It honors teachers who “are leaders in the classroom, collaborators with colleagues, and mentors for teachers new to the profession,” according to the Oneonta City School District website.

Morelli, 37, who has taught at OHS for 12 of his 14 years in the profession was nominated by colleagues from SUNY Oneonta who had seen his work at Oneonta High School.

The nomination required supporting letters from Oneonta High School administrators, teachers, and students.

“It’s nice to be recognized,” for being “a good role model to students” and “mentoring new teachers,” he said. He particularly enjoys working with students, but guiding a student teacher can be very “rewarding,” he said. “It makes you consider the things you do all over again. It’s exciting to work with someone who sees everything fresh.”

State English Council Secondary Vice President Lawrence Butti said Morelli is part of a select group. From all the state high school English teachers who are eligible, only about a dozen will receive the honor this year.

High School Principal Nancy Osborn said the recognition is well deserved. Morelli is “a quality teacher who has been doing a lot of creative things in the classroom,” including service learning and other projects.

Morelli, a Latham native, said he has been to the conference before. “It’s a great forum for teachers to exchange ideas and professional development,” he said.

“Oneonta is a wonderful community where you feel you can really make a difference,” he said.