New York State Senator Andrew Lanza was honored by the College of Staten Island for his enthusiasm, and his $100,000 support, of the Discovery Institute’s Teaching Scholars program, which provides 200 teaching scholars to 23 public schools on Staten Island.

The innovative program is designed to provide teacher support in the public schoolroom, as well as give CSI students the opportunity to see the world of education in action, whether they are planning to become teachers, or have never given teaching a thought as a career goal.

“We are deeply grateful for the support that Senator Lanza gives the college, and are especially proud of the opportunity to serve our community and its students,” said Tomás Morales, president of CSI, to the 150-plus Teaching Scholars in attendance at the college’s Center for the Arts.

Kristina Niesi, a junior at CSI pursuing a degree in linguistics, is a first-year Teaching Scholar at New Dorp High School. After thanking Senator Lanza from the podium at the standing-room-only event, she said “I could tell you of my personal experiences, but I feel I would be ignoring one of the main reasons why the Discovery Institute exists, which is for the young students.” She then read from her students’ letters…

“I think having two adults in the classroom should become mandatory one day,” wrote Richard.

“My student teacher graduated high school only a few years ago so she knows how difficult it is, and she gives good advice to future high school grads,” added Sheaunese.

Thomas wrote, “I can always turn to my student teacher for help and support.”

Tiffany stated, “Thank you for supporting this program. It means you believe in us as students, when most of the time nobody does. Thank you so much Senator Lanza, and the College of Staten Island, from the bottom of my heart.”

“It is great to be a part of the College of Staten Island Teaching Scholars program,” said Senator Lanza. “There is no greater calling than the calling to teach. Teachers truly do have the future in the palms of their hands, and the opportunity every day to have a positive influence in the lives of students. I commend CSI for attracting the best of the best to become the teachers of our future.”

“It’s a win-win-win-win-win situation,” added Ivin Doctor, director of the Teaching Scholars program. Doctor notes that the program is a very cost-effective way for public schoolchildren to gain invaluable assistance in the classroom from a dedicated Teaching Scholar who is closer in age, and may have more in common with them. It is an opportunity to build lasting relationships while providing much needed teacher support.

“Our purpose is to attract high-performing CSI students from other career pursuits with the hope that when they become involved in working with and helping schoolchildren they will be attracted to teaching as a career pursuit,” continued Doctor. “When they can turn on the light in a youngster’s eyes and see that smile when he or she finally understands that which seemed a moment ago to be impossible, it is a force hard to ignore.”

CSI Honors Sen. Lanza for his $100K support of Teaching Scholars.