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Four ICSD Educators Named NYS Master Teachers

Four Ithaca City School District educators were recently selected to join the New York State Master Teacher Program, bringing the total number of NYS Master Teachers from the district to 24.

Sara Arnold of Lehman Alternative Community School, Paula Kilts of Northeast Elementary School, and Michael Cecere and Jennifer Emerson of Caroline Elementary School were among 228 educators from across the state who were selected to join the program this year.

The Master Teacher Program began in 2013 as a partnership between Governor Andrew Cuomo, the State University of New York (SUNY), and Math for America. The program supports outstanding public school professionals who teach in the fields of science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM).

Master Teachers are experienced educators -- this year's cohort has an average of 15 years of teaching experience -- and also hold leadership roles, participate in professional associations, and advise STEM-related clubs and extracurricular activities.

Through their four-year participation in the program, Master Teachers receive a $15,000 annual stipend, engage in professional development opportunities, and work closely with pre-service and early career teachers to foster a supportive environment for the next generation of STEM educators.

Kilts looks forward to working with others to build confidence and passion for STEM in girls in elementary school, and Arnold said she’s also looking forward to opportunities to collaborate. “I am particularly interested in interdisciplinary project-based learning and issues of social justice as they relate to mathematics and hope to connect with other Master Teachers that have similar interests,” Arnold said.

For more information about the New York State Master Teacher Program, visit