The Webster Teachers Association and Webster Central PTSA announced that this year’s Oak Tree recipients are Cindy Handley and Alex Peck.
News of their award was shared with Handley and Peck in their classrooms via a decorated cookie cake bearing the message, “2018 Oak Tree Winner.” Handley teaches second grade at State Road Elementary School, and Peck teaches Global History 10, Citizens in Action, You and Society: Leadership and Law and Justice at Webster Schroeder High School. The pair was honored by the Webster Central School District Board of Education at its May 3 meeting, during which they were each presented with plaques that are to hang in their respective buildings as a display for their colleagues and visitors to the schools. They also each receive a hand-lathed wood pen and a $500 award.
The WTA and PTSA have co-sponsored the Oak Tree award since its inception in 2001. The award celebrates excellence in teaching by naming one elementary and one secondary recipient from those nominated for this one-time honor. Other nominees this year were: Noble Armstrong, Jeff Baier, Kathleen Biscaro, Marcy Dungey, Lisa Foster, Dana Graf, Sue Hooper, Jacqueline Martin, David Monson, Sheila O’Hanlon, Michele Parry, Kim Salina, Jennifer Schoenweitz, Kirk VanHouten, Brenda Ehinger, Celine Geary, Carol Gillis, Julie Hynes, Greg Kennedy, Sue Morency, Chris Pratt, Kelly Tara and previous recipient Jill Mancini.
A nominee must be characterized as an exemplary teacher, be currently teaching in a full-time position in the Webster Central School District, have a minimum of five years’ teaching experience in Webster and plan to continue to teach in the following school year or retire from the Webster Central School District. Anyone — including staff, students and parents — may nominate a candidate. A committee of WTA members and Webster Central PTSA members reviews and selects the winners.