By Kristin Schultz
It may not involve integers and imaginary numbers, but Niskayuna High School math teachers Daniel Mattoon and Angela Netoskie have found a formula for success and have been named New York State Master Teachers.
The Master Teacher program began in 2013 and is administered through SUNY. It recognizes teachers “who have demonstrated deep understanding of their content area and pedagogy and a commitment to advancing STEM education.”
As Master Teachers, Mattoon and Netoskie join more than 900 other educators across the state, including three previous designees from Niskayuna — Mary Hunchar, Meagan Hughes and Christopher Jennings — and will spend 50 hours in professional development, furthering their skills and knowledge, as well as mentoring new teachers.
They can also collaborate with local teachers on a regular basis for discussion, join professional learning teams and access mini-workshops.
To be named a Master Teacher, a candidate must meet a list of educational requirements as well as receive high marks on annual reviews. They also must submit letters of recommendation. Applications are reviewed, then the designations are awarded.
Mattoon was thrilled to learn he had been selected.
“I was very excited not only that I was accepted, but that my colleague Angie was as well,” Mattoon said.
The students, after all, are the reason great teachers show up every day.
“I hope my students take away an appreciation for the beauty of mathematics and computer science,” Mattoon said. “I hope that I can brighten students’ day. My favorite is when a struggling student gets a difficult math concept or when they find a connection between concepts ‘cool.’ I hope that my students take away that math can be fun and, although we all struggle sometimes, we can work together and persevere.”