SCSD Teachers and Staff Honored with Awards

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SCSD Adult Education Teacher Named a 2015 Teacher of the Year
Adult and Continuing Education teacher Katia Dickson has been named one of eleven New York Association for Continuing/Community Education (NYACCE) “Outstanding Teachers of 2015.”
Ms. Dickson has taught in the SCSD for thirteen years, starting as an instructor of Office Technology and later transitioning into Adult Literacy, where she is currently an Adult Basic Education & High School Equivalency teacher.
Nominated by Adult and Continuing Education Coordinator Kathryn Lent, Ms. Dickson is known for creating a supportive classroom environment and for providing investing in her students even beyond the classroom. Her attitude is what has made her a favorite among students and colleagues alike, Lent says. “Katia encourages her students to not let the circumstances of life define or limit them. They are also encouraged to not let their circumstances be an excuse, but to let them be motivation to do, and be, their best.”
The “Teacher of the Year” recognition also brought Ms. Dickson to an Award Celebration Luncheon in Albany, as part of the 64th Annual NYACCE Conference. Congratulations to Ms. Dickson on this honor, and thank you for your committed service to the adult learners in the Syracuse City School District!
Dr. King, Porter Elementary School Teachers Honored
Dr. King and Porter Elementary Schools are pleased to report that several staff members have received recognition for their commitment to the school.
Dr. King Elementary Social Worker Toni Singleton and Porter Elementary Social Worker Joy Yoffa each received a McMahon/Ryan Children’s Guardian Award. This award is given to three people each year who are examples of those who go above and beyond to help children, who continuously do more than is required, and who inspire others to do more. Toni and Joy were both recognized at a McMahon/Ryan Child Advocacy Center reception at the United Way of CNY.
Also at Dr. King Elementary, second grade teacher Julia Yeatts has won a scholarship to an Audubon Society Workshop this summer. Held at an Audubon Camp in Maine, the “Sharing Nature: An Educators’ Week” workshop is intended to help educations learn how to generate exciting ideas for incorporating environmental education into their classrooms. Ms. Yeatts hopes to learn how to help engage her students with nature. “I always try to make connections with the second grade curriculum,” Ms. Yeatts explained. “We talk about birds, life cycles and adaptation. I try to bring in abandoned nests and things so the children can understand what things are like in nature. I thought that if I could increase my knowledge base I could help my students have further access to these things!”
Congratulations to all three teachers on these wonderful accomplishments.
SCSD Staff Honored with YWCA Diversity Achievers Award
Refugee Assistance Program Job Developer Jasenko Mondom, iZone Executive Director Dr. Zheadric Barbra and SU OnCampus Teacher Dr. Yusuf Soule have been recognized as part of the YWCA Academy of Diversity Achievers!
For 15 years, Jasenko has worked at the Refugee Assistance Program as part of the Syracuse City School District’s Adult Education program. A refugee from Bosnia himself, in this role, Jasenko has helped refugees from more than 50 countries find jobs and start new lives in the Syracuse area.
“As happy as I am to receive this award, I also feel that it will make me work even harder to eliminate racism and to promote diversity in our community.” Jasenko said.
Zheadric, the Executive Director of the SCSD Innovation Zone schools, expressed that part of his role as an educational leader is to encourage others to celebrate diversity. “I’m very appreciative to be acknowledged,” he said. “As adults, we need to step up and act in a way that sends a powerful message to children: it’s okay that people are different. We need to celebrate those differences! Let’s move from tolerating to celebrating one another.”
Yousef serves as the SU OnCampus teacher for the Syracuse City School District, where he helps students with developmental and learning disabilities become independent young adults through inclusive college experiences. He also serves as the Volunteer Executive Director at Northside Learning Center, where he aids those new to our country through literacy and community activity.
The Academy of Diversity Achievers award is intended to recognize those who are helping to eliminate racism and promote diversity. Thank you, Jasenko, Zheadric and Yusuf for your dedication and commitment to the Syracuse community!