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This year seven  teachers are being honored with the Sloan Award for Excellence in Mathematics or Science Teaching.  The Sloan Award recognizes creative science and math teachers in NYC’s public high schools. The award celebrates teachers who use creativity and innovation to inspire a love for these subjects in the classroom. Each teacher who wins the award gets a prize of $5,000. Each school receives $2,500 for their science and mathematics department.
This month TNO would like to spotlight one of these well-deserving winners.  Malcolm Hill is a Biology teacher at the Brooklyn Latin School.  Hill designed the school’s biology curriculum to meet the requirements of the International Baccalaureate degree program. By the time students are seniors, they independently create and run their own experiments.
TNO congratulates Malcolm for all that you continue to do serving urban youth. Kudos!



Amy Hobson photoMeet AMY HOBSON. After graduating from St. Edward’s University in Austin, Texas, with a BA in Photocommunications, Amy worked for the Texas Education Agency doing photography and graphic design work.  After 4 years with TEA, she returned to school and earned a Texas Teaching Certificate (Pre-K-6).  After 6 years in the classroom, she then took a job as an assistant language teacher in Sasebo, Japan.  After a year in Japan, Amy moved to Brooklyn, NY, and started teaching 3rd grade. Since 2003, she has been a technology educator to grades K-8 within NYC public/charter schools. Her responsibilities have included not only being a tech instructor, but working to create strong interdisciplinary curricula  with the aid of technology. Thus, her role has grown to include training teachers through sharing current web resources and other aids to improve their teaching practices. In addition to being a teacher herself, Amy has two other passions: baking and traveling.  So far, she has traveled to over 11 countries with Bali, Indonesia being her favorite.

TNO thanks you Amy for all that you continue to do serving urban youth. Kudos.




Meet HEATHER MARSHALL: A 15- year Social Studies educator, current high school dean, educational blogger and public speaker. Heather, born and raised in Alabama, earned a Bachelor’s degree in International Relations from Samford University and a Master of Education degree from Jacksonville State University in Secondary History. She is a seasoned Model UN coordinator with several student wins over 10+ years under her tutelage. Her extensive travels to several nations  & genuine passion for global issues draws her students keenly to her. Her educational blog EyeCan is dedicated to providing information & resources to support individuals who have a form of vision impairment. That is because Heather herself has lived with Stargardt’s Disease since her teenage years and have shared with hundreds through presentations and talks nationwide,  insights on living with and teaching and attending to students, patients etc. She continues to collaborate with and provide her services to hospitals and other medical support organizations. However, her greatest joy is teaching. It brings her immense joy making History come alive for her students.

Thank you for all that you do for NYC students Ms. Marshall! Cheers!



Cris-Mercado-Scholars-Roundtable-Homeless-Youths-Bronx-New-York-City-MediumMeet CRIS MERCADO.  His students have earned over $1 million in grants and scholarships from organizations such as the Hispanic Scholarship Fund and the National Science Foundation. In 2011, he was named Director of All About Business, a youth financial literacy initiative. Cris is also featured on the cover of the New York City Housing Authority 2011 Annual Report in recognition of his work under the Broadband Technology Opportunities Program (BTOP).

In July 2013, Cris formed GrantAnswers LLC, an educational service/technology start-up specializing in grants, scholarships and admissions. Based at the Zahn Center for Social Innovation at CUNY City College of New York, GrantAnswers operates primarily through partnerships with schools and the NYCDOE, community organizations and corporations. It provides workshops and consultations for educators and administrators on incorporating college readiness and admissions/funding opportunities into the classroom. For administrators, GrantAnswers consultations center on cost analysis, recruitment & retention, process & performance evaluation and data collection.

“For 8 years in a row, at least one student I have served has earned a 4-year, full-tuition scholarship. Most of my work is with students from underrepresented backgrounds and underserved communities.” 
Cris – thank you for all that you continue to do for the youth of NYC! For more information on GrantAnswers, please visitwww.grantanswers.com.


BYG_9513JOSE LUIS VILSON is a middle school math educator based in the Inwood / Washington Heights neighborhood of New York City. He holds a Bachelor’s degree in Computer Science from Syracuse University & a Master’s degree in Mathematics Education from the City College of New York. He’s also a committed writer, activist, web designer, and father. He co-authored the book Teaching 2030: What We Must Do For Our Students and Public Schools … Now and In The Future with Dr. Barnett Berry and 11 other accomplished teachers. He also recently published his first book This is Not a Test: A New Narrative on Race, Class & Education.  He currently serves as the president emeritus of the Latino Alumni Network of Syracuse University, as a board member on the Board of Directors for the Center for Teaching Quality, and has been a part of the Acentos Foundation, LATinos In Social Media (LATISM), the Capicu Poetry Group, BlogCritics, and the AfroSpear.

Vilson writes for Edutopia, GOOD, and TransformED / Future of Teaching, and has written for CNN.com, Education Week, Huffington Post, and El Diario / La Prensa NY. He has also spoken at TEDxNYED and the Save Our Schools March.  

Cheers to all that you do to make a difference within education Mr. Vilson.



ImageProxyServletMICHAEL MACCARONE is a science curriculum specialist and an Upper School science teacher at the Avenues School. Since 2005, he has taught physics, chemistry, mathematics & engineering  courses. He received a B.S. in physics, with minors in mathematics and business, from Penn State University.

Recently, Maccarone received some exciting news and will boldly go where few teachers have gone before! The Brooklyn resident will join engineers and scientists onboard NASA’s Stratospheric Observatory for Infrared Astronomy or SOFIA – a retrofitted Boeing aircraft that can fly up to 45,000 feet in the air – a few thousand feet higher than typical commercial airliners fly. Maccarone was one of 24 teachers nationwide (and one of 2 New Yorkers) chosen to participate in the research program. “As a science teacher, it’s incredibly interesting and fascinating to do anything with NASA. It’s a privilege and an honor.” 

Maccarone will take two 10- to 12-hour flights onboard the jumbo jet – which is equipped with an 8.2-foot-in-diameter telescope – once it launches on May 15 and May 16 from Ames. He will have in-depth conversations with scientists onboard the flight about any new observations they make about the planets in our Solar System. Maccarone plans on developing iBooks for kindergarten through high school students relating to his findings.

His passion for science and math stems from his love of music, and he can be found listening to, writing and performing music for fun in venues throughout NYC. His goal as a teacher is for every student to leave the classroom charged with an appreciation of and curiosity about how the universe works and equipped with the skills to ask questions about the many ideas and experiences they have yet to explore.

Congratulations Mr. Maccarone! 



SphotoHANI PEREZ developed a love for the Arts during her time attending Fiorello H.  LaGuardia High School of Music & Art and Performing Arts. Her passion for  sharing the Arts led her to continue her education and attain an AAS in Fashion  Design from Fashion Institute of Technology, a BS in Art Education, and an MS in  Special Education acquired from SUNY New Paltz. Currently, Shani steers a Visual Arts program at her public elementary school. There, she has developed the Arts curriculum  for the last 5 years and serves as the Arts Liaison and United Federation of  Teachers (UFT) Chapter Leader. She also serves on several educational and  community based arts planning teams developing arts curricula citywide.
Her other teaching proficiencies include visual arts education; visual  literacy;  facilitating arts for family workshops; and professional development for  teachers. Shani was recently awarded the Inspiration in Education Award by The Center for Arts Education for her efforts to help children empower  themselves through education and the arts.
Given the constant struggle to maintain arts programs within urban schools,  the work of educators like Shani Perez is critical in our collective efforts to educate our students and provide them opportunities for success in schools.



Umansky_color_1-300x200Educated right here in her home state at SUNY Binghamton, Sarah Lawrence College & CUNY Hunter College, LEAH UMANSKY is not your average NYC English teacher. Her students at describe her as effervescent, inspiring, & genuine; and she works fervently to instill within them a love for writing and poetry. She is also the mastermind behind her school’s newspaper The Paw and its literary magazine called Genesis.

In addition to teaching both middle and high school English for the past 8 years, Leah is a published poet and travels extensively across the country to share her work. Her first book of poems, Domestic Uncertainties, was published in 2013 and her second, a Mad-Men inspired chapbook, Don Dreams and I Dream has been published already this year.  She has been a contributing writer for BOMB Magazine’s BOMBLOG and Tin House,  a poetry reviewer for The Rumpus and a live twitterer for the Best American Poetry Blog. She also hosts and curates the COUPLET Reading Series. Her poems have appeared or are forthcoming in POETRY, Thrush Poetry Journal, Poetry Review, Barrow Street, and The Brooklyn RailFlavorwire named her #7 of 23 People Who Will Make You Care About Poetry in 2013

Leah masterfully personifies what it means to be an educator who is passionate about her craft and is fearlessly making her mark both in the classroom and in the literary world. Learn more about this wonderful educator at: http://iammyownheroine.com


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Any questions or comments, feel free to email us at: teachersnightoutnyc@gmail.com