Central New York

Council for the Social Studies

The Central New York Council for the Social Studies is honored to present our 2011 Award Winners for Outstanding Elementary and Secondary Social Studies Educator Awards, Distinguished Educator Award and Distinguished Service Award.

Outstanding Elementary Social Studies Educator Award:
For the first time, the Outstanding Social Studies Educator Award is being awarded to an event, rather than an individual.  The Moses DeWitt Multicultural Night is a free event offered to students and their families to celebrate the school’s cultural diversity.  This event is sponsored by the PTG and is co-chair by a husband and wife team, Chris and Margo Shiomos.  The Awards committee felt that this event was unique in bringing students, parents and the community at large together to “travel the world” through music, dance, food and art.  More importantly, the event has an academic element as well.  Students receive a photo passport and travel to different countries, as they do so they learn key language phrases, geography facts, and complete an ethnic craft.  After students complete their tasks, they receive a flag sticker “stamp” on their passports. In her recommendation letter, Moses DeWitt principal, Dr. Erica Miller stated, “Under their leadership [The Shiomos], our Multicultural Night has become one of the most anticipated events of the year.”  Mary Duffin, who nominated the event, stated, “[Multicultural Night] is a great way to learn and be totally involved.”

Outstanding Secondary Social Studies Educator Award:

This year’s winner of the Outstanding Secondary Social Studies Award is Sarah Schultheis, a 7th and 8th grade teacher a Chittenango Middle School.  Sarah has been teaching at Chittenango since 1995 and is an active member of her school’s learning community.  In addition to serving as Team Planning Coordinator for 7th and 8th grade, she is the Peer Coaching Building Coordinator.  These roles serve to benefit her colleagues, but more importantly, they serve the students of Chittenango Middle School.  Sarah is tireless in creating engaging, cross curricular lessons that include “Catch the Fever” Day based on Laurie Halse Anderson’s historical fiction novel, Fever 1793.  In her letter of recommendation, Marilyn Natke, Chittenango Library Media Specialist stated, “Historical fiction…is a genre that Sarah find very effective for teaching social studies…Sarah designed a project “Linking Literature to Social Studies” in which students independently read a novel that focuses on the time period that she is concurrently teaching in social studies.”  In an age where literacy is focused on and tested, Sarah is an excellent role model for her colleagues to incorporate literacy across the curriculum.  Thomas Piatti, Chittenango Middle School Principal stated, “Sarah Schultheis is a model educator.  Her passion, enthusiasm and conviction to strive for excellence in her craft and create an environment to maximize student learning make Sarah an exceptional educator and an ideal candidate for this award.”  We couldn’t agree more!

Distinguished Educator Award:
This year, The Central New York Council for the Social Studies is proud to announce that Dr. John Langdon is our 2011 Distinguished Educator Award Winner.  Dr. Langdon’s service to education at and for all levels is second to none. In addition to being a long-standing member of our Board of Directors, over 23 years and counting, he continues to serve as model educator.  He is a professor at Le Moyne College and has quite a following amongst the students and alumni.  His unique ability to relate to his audience and deliver high quality, dynamic, engaging instruction with insight and analysis make him an asset to Le Moyne College.  He is what, in the committee’s opinion, embodies educational excellence.  In her letter of recommendation, Dr. Linda LeMura, Le Moyne’s Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs stated, “He is in the top three of the very best faculty members at the College.  John is a dynamic and engaging classroom teacher and…prolific author and scholar.  He is highly regarded by his peers outside of Le Moyne College, and is often recruited to give talks on the lecture circuit.”  In addition to his faculty position at Le Moyne College, he serves the local community through the Oasis Program that offers workshops in the Syracuse area to adult seniors.  When Oasis, a national organization, offers a Professor Langdon workshop, they have to offer multiple sessions in order to meet the demand. Lauren Feiglin, Oasis Executive Director stated, “John Langdon exemplifies all that Oasis strives to provide.  Through his limitless knowledge, striking ability to present volumes of material…John captures the attention of sold out lecture halls filled with eager lifelong learners.  John promotes the Social Studies to thousands of Oasis learners, inspiring them to want more information.”  Finally, Dr. Langdon is the Council’s “go to guy” when we are looking to understand what is going on in the world both past and present.  John’s service on our Professional Development Committee has been invaluable and his sessions provide context, identify the key players and provide an analysis that our Annual Conference attendees can bring back to their classrooms. Finally, in his nomination letter, Doug Pelton writes, “John Langdon is an inspiration to all educators.  His love of history and the enthusiasm…makes everyone, colleague or student, be just like him.  John educates and supports teachers, teachers in training and future historians…He is the quintessential educational leader, mentor and motivator.”  

Distinguished Service Award:
This year’s 2011 Distinguished Service Award is being awarded to Doug Pelton of De Ruyter High School.  Doug has served the Central New York Council for the Social Studies for 23 years.  His outstanding service as our Treasurer has kept this organization in excellent fiscal health.  Doug also serves CNYCSS as a Board Member providing the Board with invaluable institutional memory and a pragmatic voice on a myriad of issues.  The Awards Committee can not remember a time without Doug’s presence or as a steadfast, consistent contributor to the benefit and success our organization.  In addition to his service to CNYCSS, Doug is a Holocaust Scholar. Doug was a United States Holocaust Memorial Museum Teacher Fellow in 1997 and United States Holocaust Memorial Museum Regional Educator in 2005.  Doug’s academic credentials are superb and just as important; he is loved by his students at De Ruyter High School.   The Awards Committee felt that Doug’s retirement from his role as Treasurer needed to be recognized and we are grateful for his service in that role.  We are also fortunate that Doug will continue to serve as a CNYCSS Board Member.  

The Awards Committee is extremely pleased at the caliber of the nominations submitted this year and look forward to receiving many more nominees next year’s 2012 Outstanding Educator Awards.  The Central New York Council for the Social Studies believes that it is essential that outstanding educators be celebrated and recognized.  

Tina Winkler
President, CNYCSS
Awards Chair

CNYCSS is a 501(c)6 non-profit organization. New York. 2657 East Fayette Street, Syracuse, NY 13224.

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