Galef Celebrates Ossining High School’s National Recognition as 2012 Intel Star Innovator Award Winner
Assemblywoman Invites School District to Be Honored on Floor by Entire Assembly
Assemblywoman Sandy Galef invited Ossining High School administrators, teachers and students, and District representatives to the floor of the State Assembly yesterday on the opening day of its legislative session. The reason? So that the school and the district could be applauded by Galef’s colleagues for bringing pride to the state and the region, having won the coveted 2012 Intel Star Innovator Award for STEM (Science Technology Engineering and Math) education as well as being recognized as having the best high school for science in the nation.
“This was such incredible recognition for the Ossining Schools and all they have done to promote project-based hands on science education. We are still celebrating in Ossining, and I wanted to make sure all of my colleagues were aware of this prestigious honor because it is a national award, and Ossining was up against some of the best programs in the country,” said Galef. “We all know how important it is for our students to be educated to compete in the 21st century. Ossining places great importance on the skills that it will take to get there and we know science and technology are right up there.”
Ossining’s Science Research Program, which began in 1998 and almost was not able to stay in place because of lack of initial interest, has since taken off. Since 2001, the district has had more Intel semi-finalists in their annual Science Talent Search national competition than over 35 individual states. Ossining’s Science Research program does not have minimum requirements or prerequisites, but instead values inquiry-based education and hard work and encourages those who are interested in a rigorous, self-driven learning opportunity to apply. It has also been the catalyst for other science opportunities now offered in the school. Just last year the engineering and robotics team received awards for their accomplishments and they are already in the midst of designing a robot for this year’s FIRST competition.
Intel noted in its awards book that its inclusivity was one of the key characteristics why Ossining had been chosen as a winner.
Assemblywoman Galef raised her family in Ossining. Now her grandchildren attend the public schools in Ossining, and her son serves the district as a volunteer trustee on the Board of Education. While the district has had its share of struggles with changing enrollments and a harsh economy, it has continued to rise to the occasion to address all students’ needs and promote equitable outcomes for all. The science program is just one of many that have been honored in recent years.
Outgoing Schools’ Superintendent Dr. Phyllis Glassman, who Galef also honored with the presentation of a proclamation on the occasion of the superintendent’s retirement from the district yesterday, was so pleased to go out on a high note after her 20 years of dedication to the school district and to eradicating the achievement gap. “This was certainly a great honor to be recognized by the state. I am so, so proud of our students and educators in Ossining. We work so hard to make sure we continue to raise the bar for all of our students, and having been recognized by Intel and by the New York State Assembly is confirmation that we are indeed on the right path,” said Glassman. “I know I will continue to see and hear great things about Ossining Schools.”
“This national honor conferred on Ossining High School and the public school district really makes our state look good. They are a shining example of all that public education has to offer,” concluded Galef.