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Westchester Teachers Receive Pioneer Awards In Briarcliff Ceremony

Antony Stirpe, center, pictured with administrators and other staff from the New Rochelle Schools Photo Credit: Contributed
Representatives of the Tuckahoe School District pictured after receiving the Pioneer Award. Photo Credit: Contributed
Joanne Tonkin, center, surrounding by staff from the North Rockland School District Photo Credit: Contributed

BRIARCLIFF MANOR, N.Y. -- The Lower Hudson Regional Information Center presented its well-respected annual Pioneer Awards to three teachers, a technology director and representatives of a Westchester school district on Friday, May 15.

All of the honorees were awarded for preparing students for success through their innovative use of technology.

The awards ceremony, in its 22nd year, recognized the following:

  • The Tuckahoe School District received the Distinguished Pioneer Award for its “Technology for All” initiative, which facilitated the rollout of more than 1,000 Chromebooks throughout the district and a subsequent successful adoption of the technology that has also been recognized by Google.
  • Anthony Stirpe, a scriptwriting and film literacy teacher in the English language arts department at New Rochelle High School who facilitated the creation of short student films by using iPads, iPhones and iPod Touches.
  • Michael Tromblee, director of technology for the Pelham School District who has facilitated a well-respected professional development model throughout the district as well as rolling out an extensive one-to-one initiative at all district schools.
  • Heidi Bernasconi, a science teacher at North High School in the Clarkstown School District who was recognized for her early adaption of the Google Apps for Education platform.
  • Joanne Tonkin, a second-grade teacher at Thiells Elementary School in the North Rockland School District who has allowed her young students to take learning into their own hands through the use of Chromebooks and Nexus tablets.

The half-day event also included a keynote presentation by  Ramsey Musallam, a chemistry teacher in the San Francisco area. In his talk titled, “Sparking Student Inquiry,” Musallam talked about the importance of incorporating multimedia into classroom lessons in a way that is meaningful to both students and teachers.

Other highlights of the day included a special recognition presentation to SWBOCES Chief Operating Officer/Deputy District Superintendent Sandra A. Simpson for her leadership and vision in helping direct the RIC’s technology efforts.

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