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Annual Education Celebration Recognizes Graduating Seniors, Alumni


Annual Education Celebration Recognizes Graduating Seniors, Alumni

On Friday, May 2, the St. John Fisher College Ralph C. Wilson, Jr. School of Education held an “Education Celebration” to recognize and celebrate the College’s support for education, educators, and community leadership. Graduating seniors, graduate candidates, and alumni were honored during the event.

Alumni who were recognized exemplify the School of Education’s highest values of diversity, achievement, compassion, knowledge, and service.

The Distinguished Teaching Award honors an alumnus or alumna who exemplifies the highest standards of teaching. This year’s recipient is Allison Rioux ’03, who began her career as a special education teacher at School No. 3 in the Rochester City School District after graduating from Fisher. She did return to the School of Education to pursue a Master of Science degree in Literacy Education, and then started to work as a literacy coach at School No. 3, where she stayed for 10 years. Recently, Rioux completed her administrative certification, and is currently working to earn a doctorate in teaching and curriculum. Today, she is a literacy coach in the Brighton Central School District at French Road Elementary School and she has been an adjunct faculty member in the School of Education Literacy Program for seven years.

Allison Rioux and her husband Chad.

The Distinguished Educational Leadership Award honors an alumnus or alumna of the Educational Leadership Program who has a distinguished career in leading schools toward excellence. The recipient was Marlene Blocker ’01. The Greece native worked in the Rochester City School District for 25 years. After earning her master’s degree in Education Administration, she became Assistant Principal at John Walton Spencer School No. 16, before being named Principal at Francis Parker School No. 23. Today, Blocker is the founding Principal of the Rochester Early College International High School. The innovative school guides urban youth to college readiness, with scholars earning at least 24 college credits before graduation. The pioneer class will graduate this June.

Dr. Diane Reed, Associate Professor and M.S. Educational Leadership Program Director, presents Marlene Blocker with her award.

And the Arthur L. Walton, Jr. Award for Executive Leadership honors an alumnus or alumna of the Doctor of Education in Executive Leadership Program who has gained distinction in his/her career for extraordinarily effective leadership through applied scholarship in professions including health, criminal justice, education, government, and community service. This year, the award was presented to Dr. Deborah Stamps ’10, Vice President and Chief Nursing Officer for Newark-Wayne Community Hospital. Stamps initially earned licensure as a practical nurse and went on to earn an associate’s degree from Monroe Community College, a baccalaureate degree from Nazareth College, and a Doctorate in Education, Executive Leadership from Fisher. Stamps has led the health ministry at Genesee Baptist Church, and she serves the boards of the March of Dimes, the Finger Lakes Organization of Nurse Executives, the Chi Eta Phi Sorority, and Beta Chi Chi, Inc. In addition, she co-leads the New York State Coalition Future for Nursing Campaign for Action. She has published work in the American Association of Critical Care Nurses Procedure Manual, the MedSurg Nursing Journal and the Critical Care Journal. Stamps was also recently honored as the Volunteer of the Year by the New York State Chapter of the March of Dimes.

Dr. Michael Wischnowski, Dean of the School of Education; Dr. Stamps; and Dr. Reed.

Nine members of the Class of 2014 were also honored with awards.

The Excellence in Literacy Education Capstone Award recognizes exceptional action research projects that address a significant issue in literacy. Meghan Gibbons received this year’s award.

The Excellence in Literacy Education Award is given to a student with significant contributions in the Literacy Graduate program who also exemplifies the attributes and values of a highly effective literacy professional. This year’s recipient was Caroline Polino.

The Outstanding Childhood Education Student Teacher Award is given to a candidate who demonstrated that he/she will lead a distinguished career and be a leader in a diverse, rapidly changing, and increasingly technological society through his/her coursework and fieldwork. The recipient also utilized exemplary knowledge, skills, and dispositions to have a great impact on student learning during student teaching. Abigail Busch and Cynthia Wilson, both Childhood Special Education majors, were this year’s recipients.

The Excellence in Preparation to Teach English Award honors a candidate for his/her outstanding coursework, capstone project, and student teaching in English. Katherine Edwards, an Adolescent Education major, received the award.

The Excellence in Preparation to Teach Social Studies Award is given to a candidate who has displayed outstanding coursework, capstone project, and student teaching in social studies. John LaDelfa, an Adolescence Education major, received the honor.

The Excellence in Capstone Research Award is given to a candidate who has written a high quality literature review, developed a creative and/or innovative action research project, and completed action research that will help expand the field of special education. The 2014 recipient was Miranda Golish, a Special Education major.

The Dr. Ronald Edmonds Award is given to a graduating candidate who has demonstrated significant progress in meeting the goals and standards of the Master of Science in Educational Leadership program, and who exemplifies the characteristics of leaders in effective schools. Rebecca Smith from the Educational Leadership program received this year’s award.

The last award presented was the Distinguished Leadership Award, which recognizes candidates who have distinguished themselves through significant contributions to class discussions and group projects, and exemplify the attributes and values of effective leadership. The award was given to Stephanie Maturo from the Educational Leadership Program.

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