Weber Middle School teacher Susinno named ‘Distinguished Teacher of 2019’ by Harvard Club of Long Island

The Island Now
Weber Middle School's Stacey Sussino is to be recognized as a 'Distinguished Teacher of 2019' by the Harvard Club of Long Island. (Photo courtesy of the Harvard Club of Long Island)

Stacey Susinno of Weber Middle School has been named a “Distinguished Teacher of 2019” by the Harvard Club of Long Island.

“This award honors teachers who transform lives,” explained Judith Esterquest, the chair of the Distinguished Teacher Selection Committee. “Devoted teachers like Ms. Susinno offer Long Island students deep expertise, extraordinary talents, and countless hours of attention. By capturing the minds and imaginations of our children and preparing them for challenges that were unknown even a few decades ago, these teachers shape the future of our country.”

Susinno will be honored at the Harvard Club of Long Island’s annual University Relations Luncheon on March 30, along with 11 other teachers from across Long Island.

Harvard professor Matthew Baum will speak on “The Fourth Estate and the Current Political Climate,” exploring how the media performed in their role as watchdog of democracy, with a focus on the period leading up to and since the 2016 presidential election.

Susinno, who has taught in the Port Washington School District for nine years, currently teaches Regents Earth Science and Science 8 and volunteers as a mentor in the College Pioneer Program at Weber Middle School. She is also the director of Extreme STEAM Science Kids at Parkshore Day Camp.

She holds a bachelor’s degree in earth science for secondary education with middle school extension and a master’s degree in educational technology, both from LIU Post. She is now working on certification in special education from Brooklyn College.

The mother of three children, Susinno likes to run, cook, crochet, and knit in her spare time. She has donated hats and toys to cancer patients and newborns in local area hospitals.

Susinno “challenged us to be our best and would not accept anything less than that,” said Christian Athanasian, a former Weber Middle School student who is expected to graduate from Harvard College in 2020. “Regents earth science was the first ‘advanced’ class my friends and I took, and she taught us how to succeed when we were really challenged for the first time in our lives.”

“She was also an incredible mentor and friend,” added Athanasian. “Her true desire to get to know her students and make a positive impact on each and every one of them was what set her apart from other teachers.”

Susinno is one of two teachers, including David O’Connor, from the Port Washington School District to win a 2019 Distinguished Teacher Award.

When Superintendent of Schools Kathleen Mooney learned of this award, she said, “It is a privilege to have Ms. Susinno and Dr. O’Connor teach in our district. Their creative and engaging approaches have had a tremendously positive influence on the students of Port Washington.”

At the ceremony on March 30, the Harvard Club of Long Island will announce the Distinguished Teacher of 2019 who will also receive a scholarship for a “Harvard experience” at the Harvard University campus in Cambridge, MA. Past winners of the scholarships have enhanced their teaching by sampling the resources available to Harvard students: meeting with faculty; visiting research laboratories, rare book archives, and specialty museums; and enjoying visual and performance art. The scholarships are funded by contributions from Harvard alumni living on Long Island.

This year’s dozen Distinguished Teacher Award winners were nominated by current Harvard undergraduates and then selected by Harvard Club of Long Island board members.

They teach biology, chemistry, earth science, English, history, government, Italian, Music, 7th-Grade Science, and coach cross country. The winners teach in Baldwin, Brentwood, Commack, East Hampton, Garden City, Huntington, Jericho, Manhasset, Port Washington, and Syosset in grades seven to twelve.

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