By state Sen. Patricia Ritchie
If you’re like me, you’ve had a teacher in your life who has made a significant, lasting impression on you.
Whether he or she taught you your ABCs or impressed upon you some of life’s bigger lessons, like being kind to others, many of us have teachers to thank for the people we have become.
In an effort to recognize teachers who go above and beyond to help their students succeed, I will once again be honoring educators with my “Golden Apple” Award for Teaching Excellence.
Last year, I was able to honor more than 40 educators from Oswego, Jefferson and St. Lawrence Counties with this special program. This year, I am excited to recognize a new group of teachers for their dedication and commitment to helping others learn.
Teachers residing in the area I represent — Oswego, Jefferson and part of St. Lawrence County — are eligible for this award. Nomination forms can be found on my website, www.ritchie.nysenate.gov, or you can request that one be mailed to you by calling 782-3418.
All nominations must be received by May 9. All nominees will be recognized at a special ceremony taking place on May 30.
I know how important a quality education is, and I know how hard our educators work to ensure every student succeeds. That’s why I’ve been working hard to support our region’s schools as well as our teachers.
Recently, the newly-enacted state budget provided $20 million in new funding for schools in the region I represent. This is the largest hike in five years, and nearly three times the increase proposed in January by the governor for Northern and Central New York schools.
It was once said, that a great teacher takes a hand, opens a mind and touches a heart. I’ve met many of those teachers through my “Golden Apple” award program, and know there are countless others out there.
If you know a teacher who is impacting young lives by enabling students to achieve success, I encourage you to nominate him or her for this special honor.