Suffolk Legislature Honors Three Amityville Teachers

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Three teachers in the district were honored by Suffolk County Legislature Presiding Officer DuWayne Gregory with the Outstanding Teacher Recognition Award.

The honorees were Northwest Elementary School reading teacher Jennifer Bianco, Park Avenue Memorial Elementary School special education teacher Marisa Krepil and Edmund W. Miles Middle School English language arts teacher John Katsigiorgis. 

Ms. Bianco just completed her fifth year as Northwest, where she provides reading support services to students in first, second and third grades. She sets high expectations for her students and models positive behaviors that help them reach their goals. Additionally, she strives to grow as an educator by attending professional development workshops and also facilitates model lessons for her colleagues. At the most recent Superintendent Conference Day, Ms. Bianco planned and delivered a staff development workshop for teachers utilizing the Leveled Literacy Intervention reading program.

“Ms. Bianco is a gifted and caring instructor who has tremendous initiative and a desire to continue to learn,” said Principal Kathleen Hyland. “Her approach is one where students feel nurtured, supported and free to take risks. She fosters a love of learning and encourages students to take responsibility for their own learning while providing them with guidance and mentoring.”

Ms. Krepil has worked in the district for more than 10 years and is a resource room teacher for students in fourth through sixth grades, using student data to provide personalized instruction. She also serves as a special education coordinator in which she organizes and facilitates various meetings, and provides professional development to her colleagues on creating action plans to increase academic, social and emotional support for students. Among her accomplishments were organizing fall and winter celebrations for students with autism, which provided them with opportunities for language development. 

“Ms. Krepil is a dedicated educator who is a true asset to our school,” said Principal Robyn Santiago. “She regularly goes above and beyond to support students, and is a true leader in the building by sharing her teaching expertise with her colleagues.  

Mr. Katsigiorgis has worked in the district for 15 years and currently teaches seventh grade. He was nominated by Principal Edward Plaia and the middle school’s leadership team. 

“I was honored and very excited that I was nominated and received this award,” Mr. Katsigiorgis said. “The one thing that helps me as a teacher is the fact I am willing to look at myself honestly and objectively. I am willing to acknowledge when something is not working and then try to rectify it by asking for help or researching a better way to make it work.”

Mr. Plaia noted that Mr. Katsigiorgis came to the United States when he was in high school as an English language learner.

“Now he is an English teacher, and motivates all of his students each day with his passion for learning,” Mr. Plaia said. “He embraces new methods of instruction, new ideas, and all things which help his students. He’s the type of teacher that students and colleagues will remember forever.”