By Teachers, For Teachers
May 03--Forty-one standout students have identified teachers who influenced them, and the pairs have been honored in the 2012 Daniel B. Swift Scholar Recognition Program.
High schools in Otsego, Delaware and Chenango counties (New York) were invited to select an exemplary student who reflects academic achievement, leadership, community service and other characteristics.
"I'm honored to be able to take part in it," Jessica Terrano, 17, a senior at Franklin Central School, said Wednesday afternoon before the night's celebratory dinner. Math teacher Nancy Piper has been the most influential teacher who helped her with academics and confidence, Terrano said.
"Mrs. Piper is always there to help her students, even if it means staying after school or giving up a free period," Terrano said.
Teachers play key roles in preparing students to face a competitive world, she said.
"Teachers not only teach us things we need to know to be competitive, but they also teach us life values," said Terrano, who plans to enroll at the State University College at Oswego and study physical therapy.
On Wednesday night, area business representatives and educators took time to honor students and their teachers at a dinner for the ninth annual Scholar Recognition Program. About 360 people, including family members, were expected at the 6 p.m. event in the ballroom of the Hunt College Union at the State University College at Oneonta.
Nancy Kleniewski, college president and keynote speaker, said the college looks forward to hosting the Scholar Recognition Program banquet each spring because it is a chance to celebrate and acknowledge many of the region's finest teachers and to honor some of their most promising students.
"Being asked to speak at this year's event is all the more special because it gives me the opportunity to personally congratulate each of these young scholars and their families, and to wish them continued success," Kleniewski said in a statement.
The Daniel B. Swift Scholar Recognition Program is the result of a business and education partnership spearheaded by the Education Committee of The Otsego County Chamber.
In addition, organizers this year are recognizing Swift for his initiative to start the program and continuing support.
DCMO BOCES coordinator of enrichment services Stacie Haynes said Swift, retired publisher of The Daily Star, is well-respected and was not only initiator of the local program but also "the glue" that kept it together.
"He really built this program from nothing to a very well-attended and respected event," Haynes said Wednesday.
The program is offered in collaboration with the Delaware-Chenango-Madison-Otsego and the Otsego Northern Catskills Boards of Cooperative Educational Services, five institutions of higher education, The Daily Star and underwritten by several area businesses, including the Mang Insurance Group.