This October, the ICS educators went above and beyond to inspire the students of Integration Charter Schools. This month’s Teachers of the Month and Teacher Assistants set the bar at all time high as they challenged themselves to be better educators and better mentors to the students of Lavelle Preparatory Charter School, New Ventures Charter School and Nicotra Early College Charter Schools.
From Lavelle Prep Elementary, ICS recognizes Alessandra Demeo and Amanda Macintyre for Teacher of the month. Both Demeo and Macintyre put forth exemplary skills as teachers in their elementary classes.
Demeo, the 4th grade ELA teacher was very excited and thrilled to learn about the recognition.
“It’s nice to know that my hard work was noticed and that it is paying off.” Says Demeo. Demeo, who started teaching this September is encouraged to be a better each day from her fellow educators. “We have a really great staff. Everyone is very helpful and very kind. We have the best team.”
Amanda Macintyre, who has been teaching at Lavelle Prep Elementary for the past three years was grateful and humbled to learn that she was selected as the teacher of the month. Her favorite part about working for ICS is the collaborative effort between the teachers and faculty.
“Everyone helps each other out and we are trying to figure out what works best for our students. Everybody chimes in with their own best practices to help out.” Says MacIntyre. She advises to incoming staff, “Come in with an open mind. You have to show the students that you are a lifelong learner. Don’t be afraid to ask for help. Its all about collaboration!”
From Lavelle Prep Elementary, ICS recognizes Allison Mackey and Megan Newman as October’s Teacher Assistants of the month.
“I’m thankful for the recognition and happy to be working with these wonderful kids and great team,” says Mackey, “My favorite part of working as a TA is getting to know the kids and their learning styles, and helping bring the wonderful lessons the teachers make to the kids’ realm of knowledge and practice as best I can. For anyone new to ICS, share your gifts and talents openly because the team will accept and nurture you in your career.”
Newman, who began her teaching career at ICS, says that she feels amazing about receiving this honor. “It blew me away that my colleagues thought that I deserve the recognition.”
Newman, who started out working with the fifth grade but is currently working with the 3rd grade, says that her favorite part of the job is developing and strengthening her bond with her students. “I’m with kids all day and just seeing them from the beginning of the year to the end of the year and seeing their growth, it’s a world of difference. From when they come into when they leave, you see their development change.”
The Lavelle prep teaching staff is an incomparable team of teachers, teaching assistants, and school leaders. From Lavelle Prep Upper, ICS recognizes Kyle Fackrell, Omri Shick and Nichole DiSalvo for October Teachers of the month. Fackrell, Shick, and DiSalvo have shown an exemplary work ethic and dedication over the past few years at Lavelle Prep Upper. Fackrell, who notably inspired his students to perform an original song about gun violence during the National School Walkout, said that he was honored to have received the recognition.
“Lavelle gives me the opportunity to create my own curriculum and teaching strategies,” Says Fackrell, “My favorite part about being a teacher is seeing students make musical discoveries and helping them develop a skill that brings joy to their lives.”
Chemistry teacher, Omri Shick and ELA teacher DiSalvo shared a similar sentiment when they learned that they had been nominated by their peers as Teachers of the Month.
“Education is essential to me. To see the students invested in their education is one of my primary goals as an educator. I give 100% from myself, and I’m very appreciative to see that your college recognizes your hard work,” Shared Shick. Shick has been teaching chemistry at Lavelle for 3 years and believes that witnessing the educational growth from the beginning to the end of the year is the best accomplishment for any educator. For prospective educators, Shick advises, “Challenge yourself the same way you want to challenge your students. Believe in yourself the same way you believe in your students”.
Nichole DiSalvo, Lavelle Prep Upper’s third October Teacher of the Month, has been a vital member of ICS community for more than 6 years. DiSalvo states that she is extremely grateful for her coworkers and the ICS administration.
“I love working for ICS! Especially because of my coworkers and the administration. I don’t feel that another school would be as open or as welcoming to different ideas”, DiSalvo stated. “There’s a lot of opportunity for growth here. You need to be completely open to improving yourself always, listening to new ideas, trying new things, even if you don’t think it’s going to work, you have to be super optimistic!”
From Lavelle Prep Upper, ICS also recognizes Alisa Booth, Margarita Cortes and Chanel Reyes at October’s Teacher Assistants of the Month. Booth, Cortes, and Reyes have put forth insurmountable effort in and out of the classroom to support their students.
“I’m here for the students,” shares Booth. “The students make my day! I love being able to make a difference in their lives, not just in academics but in the whole being.” Booth believes that working at ICS has strengthened her skills as an educator, “My patience and dedication has only gotten stronger since I began working at ICS. It’s a good place to be if you have a passion to teach. The support from the staff is always there.”
Fellow honorees Margarita Cortes and Chanel Reyes shared that they were beyond humbled to learn that they were recognized as Teacher Assistants of the month. Cortes, who began her ICS career 3 years ago says that the most important thing she learned is confidence.
“I’ve learned to be more confident and more assertive in my goals in life; not just professionally but personally as well. I feel just by me being exposed to ICS, there are more possibilities out there for me.” shared Cortes.
Reyes, who joined as a teaching assistant 3 years ago, believes that the best of ICS is the support and comradely of the faculty and staff.
“I’m really spoiled,” shares Reyes, “I love the people I’m working with. They are so helpful and friendly. I never felt like an outsider for a second. I always knew that if I ever need support or help then you can just ask anybody and they will help you.”.
Since its inception, the New Ventures teaching staff have gone above and beyond to serve its students. This October, ICS recognizes Stephanie Colello for Teacher of the Month and Charles Mosner as Teacher Assistant of the Month. Colello and Mosner have served the students of New Ventures with the utmost compassion and dedication.
Colello was shocked and honored to learn that she was October’s Teacher of The Month. She believes that having a strong rapport between herself and her students have helped her become a better educator and mentor to students. She encourages future members of the ICS family to build positive relationships with both co-workers and students in order to have a meaningful and fulfilling career as an educator.
Mosner, New Venture’s October Teacher Assistant of the Month always feared to have a “normal” job with a monotonous schedule. As a teaching assistant at New Ventures, Mosner looks forward to the daily challenges of an eager and enthusiastic classroom.
“I’ve never had a boring day,” says Mosner, “Our student’s specific needs constantly demand creativity and resourcefulness from their teachers and I thrive on that.” New Ventures Charter School has been able to meet the demands of all students served because of the tireless efforts of educators such as Colello and Mosner. According to Mosner, “Incoming teachers should know that this is not a traditional school atmosphere. Our school’s culture came to be what it is specifically because of our students and their needs. New Teachers should prepare to have their adaptability and flexibility with their knowledge and procedures tested every day.”
Our final honorees hail from ICS’s newest school, The Lois and Richard Nicotra Early College Charter School. From the Nicotra Charter school, ICS recognizes Stephanie Ciccone for October Teacher of the Month and Stephanie Khalifa for October Teacher Assistant of the Month. Ciccone and Khalifa have been vital to the growth and development of not just their students- but of their school as well.
Ciccone, who began her career at ICS 6 years ago, was honored to be recognized by her fellow talented coworker. She is grateful to be working alongside dedicated teachers such as herself.
“I love coming to work at ICS every day,” Ciccone shares, “The support and commodore amongst all the staff is incredible. It truly is a family.” Ciccone enjoys watching her students grow in her class, both academically and socially. She advises new teachers, “Its okay to not be perfect, and that as teachers, we need to continue to better ourselves and our craft.”
Stephanie Khalifa, this October’s Teacher Assistant of the month also felt deeply honored when she came to learn of the recognition. Khalifa, who is currently on route to finishing her bachelor’s degree has always had a keen passion for teaching.
“My favorite part is that I’m able to show these kids that the impossible is possible.” Shares Khalifa. Khalifa overcame her own struggles in high schools wants to help her students overcome and thrive just like her. She notes that the biggest lesson she has learned since she began her teaching career is that patience is key and that having a positive mindset can make all the differences in overcoming our challenges.
On behalf of the entire Integration Charter School family and community, we are grateful for these talented educators and the incredible work they have done in molding the minds of the next generation of dreamers, thinkers, and educators.