Heather Wheeler, a chemistry teacher at FDR High School, has been named a New York State Master Teacher.
She was among 215 STEM educators chosen from all 10 regions of the state to expand the cohort of new Master Teachers in New York to 319. The program began last year.
“I am honored to be selected as a Master Teacher and excited to be a part of a network of teachers that focus on STEM education. I look forward to participating in professional development activities that will both expand my repertoire as a teacher and allow me to share my practice with others,” Wheeler told the Observer.
“I’m also a teacher consultant with the Hudson Valley Writing Project and have been involved in exploring reading, writing and literacy in the classroom over the past four years. I hope to integrate this work with my new efforts as a part of the Master Teacher program,” she added.
In an announcement last week of the new selections, Gov. Andrew Cuomo said in a news release, “The Master Teacher Program creates a community of teacher experts dedicated to providing a first-rate learning experience for students across New York, and contributes to our efforts to attract and retain the best and the brightest in our STEM classrooms.”
He added, “Investing in our teachers is investing in our students, and I am pleased to welcome and congratulate 215 additional outstanding teachers to this program, who have already proven to be some of the highest-performing professionals in their field.”
The Master Teachers already fulfill various leadership roles within their school districts—such as department chairs, curriculum development leaders, and STEM club sponsors—and contribute to their communities as active members of professional associations, technology innovators, and athletics coaches.
A third application cycle for the Master Teacher Program will take place this year. STEM teachers are encouraged to visit www.suny.edu/masterteacher for more information and to register to be notified when the online application is open.