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Reporter's Notebook

May 3, 2014

Teacher's efforts earn him title of Master Teacher

Sidney Central School District science teacher Richard Townsend has been selected as part of the state’s Master Teacher Program.

The 215 selected to the program help bring the total number participating to 319.

“I am very excited to be part of the New York State Master Teacher Program,” Townsend said. “This will provide me the opportunity to grow as an educator and to bring valuable information and strategies back to share with my fellow teachers. I’m looking forward to my involvement over the next four years.”

The newly named Master Teachers have more than 2,700 years of combined full-time teaching. Subjects of expertise include calculus, algebra, physics, earth science, chemistry, engineering design and development, and genetics.

“This is a great acknowledgement for his work,” Sidney Superintendent Bill Christensen said.

“It’s also good for the district as we have a huge focus on STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) all the way down to the elementary school.”

“This fits in well with what we already do,” he continued. “It goes well with our rigor and relevant curriculum. It’s good to have an in-house resource.”

Supported by SUNY campus partners, Townsend was one of 23 teachers selected in the Southern Tier region, which partners with Binghamton University. The state is broken into 10 regions.

Masters Teachers earn a $15,000 stipend per year over four years for participation in the program, for a total compensation of $60,000 per teacher.


Cooperstown Central School recently announced in a media release that its Technology Education department has been awarded a grant of $9,600.00 from the Cooperstown Foundation for Excellence in Education. It will enable the department to purchase advanced equipment to expose the students to the world of robotics and 3D computer modeling utilizing a 3D printer and software.

Technology Education teacher, Brad Smith, wrote the grant with the intention of using the LEGO Mindstorm EV3 Robotics Kits at the junior and senior high school to generate excitement about technical career fields. This includes those being developed as part of the nanoscale movement. Student instruction will be STEM centered, allowing them the opportunity to see how different academic disciplines are interconnected in today’s “high tech” workforce. The expansion of STEM related course work is an ongoing district goal that coincides with portions of the recently passed building project. One of the major components of that is the renovation of the current shop area into a STEM classroom and laboratory.

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