Testimonials Here's what professionals in the field have to say about Niagara University teacher candidates. Karen Girardi-Gilbert Niagara Catholic District School Board Comments on Samantha Bisson Samantha had a very successful teaching block in my grade 3/4 classroom. She developed an excellent rapport with all students and staff members and is a very professional individual. Samantha's lessons were always based on sound pedagogy, curriculum expectations and meeting the needs of all students in the classroom. Throughout her teaching block, she used assessment to drive instruction and offered the students a variety of engaging and challenging activities and tasks. Samantha carefully tailored lessons to meet the educational needs of a diverse group of students to ensure that all students’ needs were met. It was a pleasure to have her in my classroom and school community. I am confident that she will be an excellent addition to any school community. Colleen Ketchum Branksome Hall (private all-girls school) Comments on Clark Davis Clark has a confident, professional classroom presence and his enthusiasm for teaching and learning engages the students. Clark has incorporated a variety of teaching strategies into his lesson plans including cooperative learning and student-centered activities. He has sought out many opportunities for learning and professional growth including teaching lessons in Business, Economics and Accounting, volunteering to attend business competitions outside of school, attending faculty meetings and assisting with coaching the hockey team. Clark has adapted quickly to the laptop teaching environment, and navigates Branksome Hall's educational technology system, Blackboard very effectively. It has been a pleasure to work with Clark and I would recommend him without reservation. Annette Beutel North Tonawanda School District Comments on Kelsey Difelice Kelsey has worked hard in her first student teaching placement. From the beginning, she presented herself in a professional manner, being prompt and appropriately dressed. She quickly developed rapport with the children and always took into account their safety and well-being. She planned for and carried out well developed lessons based on the NYS Common Core Curriculum, according to the needs of the learners. She maintained thorough records and always worked individually with students who needed extra support. The children were very comfortable with Kelsey. In addition, she had the opportunity to attend PTA meetings and an evening school function, in which she volunteered her time. She attended all faculty meetings and committee meetings along side of me, including after-hours district meetings. A special project that Kelsey undertook was with the VA Hospital in Buffalo, continuing our collaborative relationship with them. I am confident that Kelsey has the intelligence, skills and heart to become a wonderful teacher. I have recommended to her that she needs to work on her presence in the classroom, using a stronger voice and allowing her personality to shine forth. Linda Reagan Clarence Sschool District Comments on Monica Ecker Monica is a superior student teacher. Her passion and drive for teaching and learning were evident every day. Monica's positive attitude and warm disposition helps her students take academic risks and push themselves; helping them reach greater challenges and deepening their understanding. She is a remarkable teacher and will be an asset in any classroom and/or school. Brenda Smith Niagara Catholic District School Board Comments on Giancarlo Feltrin Giancarlo is a role model for the students. He quickly developed a rapport with the students and staff alike. Giancarlo was very involved in the classroom and in the school. He volunteered his time with our school choir while also spending recess time organizing play groups with the kids. Giancarlo was always prepared and took all needs into consideration when planning. He was always creative with lessons while also remembering the importance of pacing the carpet time to desk time with the students. I was impressed with how quickly Giancarlo was able to develop his questioning with this age group. He will be a definite asset to any staff! We will certainly miss the positive energy that Giancarlo brings to the room. Amy Carrasquillo Lewport Senior High School Comments on Nicole Gaeta It has been a pleasure working with Nicole. Her dedication to her work, and more importantly to her students, is incredible. We need more teachers like Nicole. I wish her all the best in her future endeavors! She will be missed. Patricia Naphin Niagara Catholic District School Board Comments on Patricia Jamieson Patty was such a pleasure to have in the classroom and work with. As a former actor, her wealth of knowledge and strategies to reach students were such a fresh change to the English curriculum. Her lessons were creative, and she has such a way of speaking to students that it is captivating. I thoroughly enjoyed how not only did she sit in on the other two classes, but actively became involved to the point where we team taught, and became a dynamic duo - to be reckoned with. I really believe that Patty will make a wonderful teacher. Moreover, she took such a big role on in the school with directing the play Annie. She came into a great pool of teachers with little teaching experience, dove in, and became an incredibly stealth competitor. Brooke Harris Niagara Wheatfield School District Comments on Kelly Mayer Miss Mayer exceeded my expectations as a student teacher. She arrived early and worked late to prepare engaging lessons based on the CCSS, worked hard to form strong relationships with the students and other teachers and ensured learning by assessing student understanding and re-teaching necessary lessons. She was always willing to learn and improve. She will be an excellent teacher. Sean Grohman Kenmore School District Comments on Melissa Palesh Melissa Palesh began her student teaching placement with me in January of 2015. As a beginning teacher, she was shy and hesitant to get in front of the class to teach a lesson or to do a read aloud. As time went on, she began to blossom, gaining confidence and responsibility. We planned together and went to meetings together. She took part in all aspects of a regular education teacher's responsibilities. Melissa was professional in every aspect. She was early every day and stayed late in order to plan and prepare. She even went through extreme measures in getting to school on an austere winter's day which earned her commendation from our administrator. She was dressed professionally and associated with fellow teachers, looking them in the eye and shaking their hands. It was conveyed to me by my counterparts that Melissa seemed to be part of Edison's culture and would fit in as a regular teacher. Melissa had the responsibilities of a classroom teacher to include planning, preparing, assessing, as well as classroom management. She became well versed in the Common Core expectations and the Expeditionary Learning ELA Modules for third grade (1 and 2a). It would be my pleasure to not only recommend Miss Palesh as a classroom teacher, but to have her teaching along side of me on my grade level. Laura Szatkowski Williamsville School District Comments on Klansee Reynolds Klansee is ambitious, organized, and compassionate and has done an outstanding job the past seven weeks. In her placement here at Dodge, she was challenged with an energetic group of students with a wide range of abilities. Included in our class are both students who struggle with various aspects of the curriculum as well as those who require enrichment. Miss Reynolds did an incredible job meeting all of their individual needs. In her short time with us, she guided each student in reaching his or her fullest potential academically, socially, and emotionally. She has high expectations for every student and provided our class with a structured, yet nurturing, child-centered environment. She encouraged respect, hard work, and kindness from all students. She is an inspiring teacher who stimulates a love of learning in her students. She is professional in every sense of the word and an absolute pleasure to work with each day. I can say without hesitation that Klansee possesses the qualities and passion for teaching that will make her an invaluable addition to any school. Christopher Robins Niagara Falls Central School District Comments on Kaitlin Slowe I was very impressed with Ms.Slowe's work ethic! She was highly professional and always well prepared. Her ability to interact with others was also outstanding. She developed a wonderful rapport with my very diverse group of 6th graders. This rapport was built on mutual respect. Her instructional planning directly connected to the district curriculum and the common core, and her delivery methods were creative and engaging for the students. She did many great lessons using the NY State Module 2A. She effectively integrated a variety of technologies in presenting her Social Studies units of Ancient Greece and Ancient Rome. She implemented a school wide fund raiser to benefit the local hospital's heart center. I thoroughly enjoyed working with Kaitlin and offer her my highest recommendation to go onto her next placement. Kaitlin will be a great teacher. Michelle Willis District School Board of Niagara Comments on Samantha Stazer During Samantha's time at Dalewood French Immersion School, she has developed and grown as a professional, showing maturity, initiative, and enthusiasm during her interactions with students and staff. Samantha has an outstanding ability to develop, facilitate and execute lessons and units, as well as managing classroom behaviors with an outstanding ability. I was impressed with Samantha's eagerness to get to know each student by learning their names, backgrounds and their learning style to best approach and prepare to interact with them within the first couple of days of her placement. Samantha accepts and meets challenges with enthusiasm and shares this enthusiasm and her joy of learning, especially the French language with her students. Samantha also accepts feedback openly and professionally. She reflects professionally and honestly and acts on the advice and feedback she gets from those she communicates and works with. Not only does Samantha accept feedback, but she solicits it on a regular basis. She seeks advice on both positive aspects of her lessons, as well as areas of opportunity she can work towards in her following lessons. She has shown and demonstrated that she can use school based resources to develop her lessons, and can now begin to explore other areas to supplement various subject areas (i.e. technology, SMARTBOARD, IPADS, Google Drive, Vlogs, Blogs, and using manipulatives, etc). In Samantha's unit on French Literacy and culture, she sought appropriate materials and resources to help support her lessons which proved to be highly engaging and very interesting for the students. It was quite evident the learning involved with the letters that students produced for their final summative task. Samantha has undoubtedly shown herself to be highly adept and capable during her placement. Her learning plan would be to continue developing her own sense of classroom management and finding methods of outlining expectations which are consistent and continue addressing the class as a whole where applicable. Her personal management style is outstanding and has continued to go above and beyond. There is no doubt that she will continue to show tremendous growth wherever she teaches. It is important to continue reflecting on the time management of lessons and ensuring that lessons are taught relatively close together in order for student understanding and deep conceptual understanding to happen and so that the learning process is on a continuum. Samantha is definitely well prepared to teach core French, French Immersion but mostly importantly is highly recommended in these programs along with teaching at a Francophone/French-language School setting. She is confident and enthusiastic about the language and the culture and this is what kids need to keep the French language vibrant and alive. Samantha would highly benefit from any professional development and or workshops focusing more on special education, "Tribes" in French and involving herself more in collaborating with grade teaching partners to develop and plan lessons as a divisional team in order to be on the same continuum.