Commissioner of Education Vito A. Gagliardi, Sr. today presented the 2000-01 Dodge Fellows to the State Board of Education. The board recognized the 25 outstanding first-year teachers who were hired under the states alternate route to teacher licensing.
"I congratulate you for your outstanding performance in your first year of teaching," Commissioner Gagliardi said. "Your credentials and your accomplishments are impressive, and we are privileged to welcome you as new members of an honored profession.
"We are working hard to ensure that we continue our tradition of attracting and retaining a pool of talented educators to serve the needs of our students," the Commissioner said. "I wish you all many years of rewarding experiences in and out of the classroom."
This years recipients were selected from a highly competitive pool of nearly 300 applications from alternate route teachers hired between October 1999 and September 2000. From this group, the Department of Education identified a smaller pool of candidates. Those applications were evaluated by an independent panel consisting of teachers, principals, superintendents, and former Dodge Fellows.
Commissioner Gagliardi presented each Dodge Fellow with a $2,100 Dodge Teaching Fellowship. The awards, funded by the Dodge Foundation, are used to help pay for the costs associated with school-based support and formal instruction required of alternate route teachers.
Gagliardi thanked the Dodge Foundation and its executive director, David Grant, for its support alternative route licensing. Through this route, college graduates who did not major in education can become licensed teachers if they successfully complete a program combining training with on-the-job teaching experience.
"For 16 years, the Dodge Foundation has provided extensive encouragement and recognition to outstanding teachers entering the profession through the alternate route," Gagliardi said. "With continuing generosity, the Dodge Foundation has endowed fellowship grants to more than 300 of these teachers to fund the cost of professional training and formal instruction required as part of the program.
Ellen Schechter, assistant commissioner for the departments Division of Academic and Career Standards, presented an individual profile of each Dodge Fellow.
Members of the statewide selection panel are: