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BCMS teacher receives Empire State Excellence in Teaching Award

Filed in Archive, District, District News by on May 8, 2018

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Congratulations to Bethlehem Central Middle School Spanish teacher Shannon Lundgren who has received a 2018 Empire State Excellence in Teaching Award. The prestigious award honors innovative educators who excel in the classroom and have demonstrated a commitment to sharing their experience and know-how with their colleagues.

Lundgren, a longtime teacher at the middle school, also coordinates the district’s Teacher Mentor program which pairs veteran educators with new teachers providing them ongoing support, encouragement and understanding in a collaborative effort to ensure success in the classroom.

The award was presented on Monday, May 7 to a surprised Lundgren, who learned she had been selected for the award as one of New York’s top teacher leaders in front of a packed room at a regularly scheduled faculty meeting at the school. Lundgren received a standing ovation from her colleagues, both faculty and staff, and also had surprise visit from her husband, David.

Daniel Fuller, assistant secretary for education under Governor Andrew M. Cuomo, presented the award to Lundgren.

“Teachers of excellence hold high expectations for every student and provide access to higher levels of learning for all,” said Assistant Secretary Fuller. “We want to acknowledge these teachers, we want to thank them, give them a prize and have them tell their stories so others can be inspired by them.

“And now it’s happening at Bethlehem Middle School,” said Fuller.

Along with the citation, Lundgren was presented with $5,000 to be used for her own professional development. The cash award came as an oversized cardboard check presented to Lundgren by Fuller and the Governor’s Capital Region representative Jeff Quain.

While Monday’s award presentation was a surprise for Lundgren, school leaders — including BCMS principal Mike Klugman — learned the good news last week, but had been asked to keep it under wraps until the formal presentation.

Shannon is extraordinarily deserving,” said Principal Klugman. “While her work in her classroom continues to be exemplary as is her work with our new teachers, she also remains passionate about her own learning. Her learning curve is phenomenal because she is immune to complacency.”

More about Excellence in Teaching Program

Governor Andrew Cuomo created the Empire State Excellence in Teaching Program in 2016 to support exemplary teachers across New York State who foster creativity, instill a love of learning, motivate students to maintain high expectations and academic goals, and make a difference in the lives of students. This program recognizes a select group of teachers from each region of New York who work tirelessly every day to prepare a new generation of learners for the future.