Niagara University's College of Education recognized the contributions of seven educational leaders from the Western New York and Southern Ontario communities during its annual professional recognition ceremony Thursday, Oct. 9.
The event took place at the Niagara Falls Country Club.
Dr. Roger J. Klatt (Educational Leader of the Year) currently serves as superintendent for both the Barker and Royalton-Hartland central school districts. Prior to becoming one of the first "shared superintendents," Klatt spent 17 years in administrative roles at Barker Central School, including middle school principal, director of instructional services, assistant superintendent and superintendent. His 17 years of teaching experience were highlighted by being selected as Albion Central School's Educator of the Year in 1995.
Angela Gauthier (Educational Leader of the Year) was appointed director of education for the Toronto Catholic District School Board in August 2013. A highly respected and experienced educator with an extensive record of achievement, Gauthier previously served as the TCDSB's associate director of academic affairs. She also has experience as superintendent of human resources, and enjoyed a secondment to the Education Quality and Accountability Office.
Tomasina Cook (Counselor of the Year), a 2000 Niagara University graduate, is a licensed mental health counselor with Living Wellness of Niagara. In addition, she is the chair of the criminal justice department at Erie Community College, and an adjunct faculty member at NU and Medaille College. Cook, who previously worked for the Niagara County Sheriff's and Niagara Falls Police departments, is also a certified life coach and certified Christian counselor.
Helene Wiens (Counselor of the Year) earned an M.S. in counseling from Niagara University in 2007. She currently serves as a psychotherapist with the Portage Medical Family Health Team in in Niagara Falls, Ontario. Her dedication and passion for learning and service has led her to become a member of the Kappa Gamma Pi National Catholic Honor Society and the Kappa Delta Pi International Honor Society.
Ronni McGrath (Teacher of the Year), who owns undergraduate and graduate degrees from Niagara, is a STEM coordinator and science teacher for the Niagara Falls City School District. During her career, she has fulfilled a wide range of positions within the district, including middle school science teacher, high school science teacher, and elementary science instructional coach. For the past two years, McGrath also has worked as an adjunct faculty member at NU, educating fellow teachers on best practices for improving and enhancing science instruction. As the STEM coordinator, she has presented with colleagues at the 2014 STEM Summer Institute at Alfred State College of Technology, provided curriculum guidance for the Niagara Falls Housing Authority's summer camp program, and participated in planning for the Niagara Power Vista's exhibit renovation.
Tensy Kalaparambath (Teacher of the Year) is a fourth-grade teacher at St. James Catholic Global Learning Centre in Mississauga, Ontario. Over the past nine years, he has fulfilled a number of teaching positions, including technology, special education and English as a Second Language, to name a few. He presently coordinates the school's IB Middle Years Program. Kalaparambath also has taught in London and acted as an educational consultant for international schools in India.
Gary P. Hall (Community Leadership Award) is president and CEO of Waste Technology Services in Lewiston. Outside of leading WTS, a global provider of sustainable solutions for by-product management, Hall serves the community through several organizations. He is on the board of directors at the Niagara Falls Boys and Girls Club, is co-founder of the HANCI Reading All-Stars program, hosts the annual Lower Niagara Sport Fishing Challenge tournament to benefit the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation, and has helped provide two schools for children in Sierra Leone through EduNations.
In addition, Buffalo Public Schools, International School No. 45, was recognized for the work it does in educating students from more than 70 countries who speak 30 different languages. The school is collaborating with NU's College of Education on a Teacher Leader Quality Partnership Grant funded by the New York State Education Department. The project will train and certify 59 teachers from School No. 45 and Lafayette Middle School in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL).
For more information on Niagara University's College of Education, call 716-286-8560 or visit www.niagara.edu/education.