Fifteen Bronx Educators Honored with NYC Excellence Awards


High-performing Success Academy Charter Schools network recognizes 15 educators
from seven Bronx schools with city-wide awards

New York — If you’re looking for Jose Rosario on one of his few breaks from teaching a second grade special education class, don’t try the break room. Instead, poke your head into a kindergarten classroom, where he might be giving teachers feedback on how to refocus a student’s attention, or a first grade room, where he’s likely offering tips on reading comprehension tactics. Or maybe it’s the lunch hall, where every single student at Success Academy Bronx 3 Lower doesn’t just know Mr. Rosario’s name, but has learned something from him.

“Jose is not a classroom teacher but a school teacher,” said Dan Rojas, the school’s principal. “He is a leader among his peers and makes this school stronger every day.”

That’s why it’s no surprise that Mr. Rosario was recently named a Success Academy Excellence Award winner, along with 14 other educators at Success Academy schools in the Bronx. They, like Mr. Rosario, have all gone above and beyond the call of duty to ensure that their students are receiving some of the best instruction in New York State.

The eclectic mix of winners include two chess teachers, two school psychologists, a music teacher, and others. The annual award from the city’s largest public charter school network recognizes a select group of educators out of the nearly two thousand staff members at Success Academy’s 41 schools. This year, 102 educators received the distinction across New York City.

The Bronx has an outstanding fleet of educators at its seven Success Academy schools, with 15 Excellence Award winners in total. Success Academy Bronx schools are some of the strongest in all of New York. For instance, SA Bronx 1 is one of the top five schools in math in the state (along with four other SA schools) and all Success Academy schools offer innovative chess, computer science, and athletic programs.

As a result, the high-performing charter network is very popular among Bronx families, with 13 applications for every open seat and more than 6,400 applications in total for the borough last year. Admission, which is free and open to all New York City residents, is determined by random lottery and applications can be completed online until April 1.

Still, Success Academy teachers in the Bronx are always looking for new ways to improve public schools.

“Achieving excellence in education means knowing that these scholars count on us on a daily basis to help them reach their potential,” Mr. Rosario said. “As educators, it is our duty to provide them with a world class education.”

At Success Academy schools, all staff members take on the responsibility of being educators.

“Excellence is learning from new situations every day and applying those learned lessons in your ‘best practices’ toolkit,” said Stefanie Persichilli, a school psychologist at SA Bronx 1 Middle School. “Being authentic with students and learning to meet students where their skills are in relation to where they need to be is incredibly important.”

Success Academy recognizes educators in three different categories:

The Academic Achievement Award, which honors the teachers who inspired their scholars to perform at the highest academic level across all 41 Success Academy schools.

The Teacher Growth Award, which is given to the teachers who have exhibited the most significant progress in achieving classroom-wide excellence since the start of the school year.

The ETHOS Award, which recognizes school staff who best demonstrate the Success community’s values: Excellence, Teamwork, Humor, Ownership, and Students.

The winners, by school are:

Success Academy Bronx 1:
Mahelia Mighty, Community Relations Manager, ETHOS
Diana Rawson, School Psychologist, ETHOS

Success Academy Bronx 1 Middle School:
DaShawn White, Dance Teacher, ETHOS
Stefanie Persichilli, School Psychologist, ETHOS
Emily Mulkerne, Community Relations Manager, ETHOS

Success Academy Bronx 2:
Ashley Sansing, Kindergarten Teacher, ETHOS
Maria Del Valle, Music Teacher, ETHOS

Success Academy Bronx 2 Middle School
Caitlan Carberry, 6th Grade English Teacher, ETHOS
Karina Mateo, 7th Grade Math Teacher, ETHOS

Success Academy Bronx 3 (Upper & Lower)
Jose Rosario, 2nd Grade ICT Teacher, ETHOS
Dakim Vanterpool, Chess Teacher, Teacher Growth
Stephen Schwarz, Athletic Coach, ETHOS

Success Academy Bronx 4:
Salema Jackson, Chess Teacher, ETHOS
Javaughn Smith, Education Coordinator, ETHOS
Yahaira Perozo, 3rd Grade 12:1:1 Teacher, Teacher Growth

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