Higher Education Administration

Nicole Feml
Photo credit: Don Straight

Nicole Feml Receives Award from the New York State Middle School Association

Award Recognizes Outstanding Middle-level Leadership in Program Development for Future Teachers

The New York State Middle School Association (NYSMSA) presented HEA student Nicole Feml with its Connie Toepfer Award for Leadership at the Middle Level at its 2013 conference held in late October in Verona, NY. Ms Feml works as the Assistant Director of the Center for School Partnerships and Teacher Certification at SUNY Potsdam, where she has been involved in a number of initiatives to professionalize the experience of students who are embarking upon teaching careers.

A former teacher herself, Ms. Feml has a deep understanding of higher education's role in partnering with K-12 organizations to develop future teachers who are equipped to meet the challenges of the 21st Century classroom. Ms. Feml writes, "My personal goal, that has been only furthered by the HEA program, is to help students have meaningful experiences that will help them be successful as teachers in public schools across NY and Canada. A big component that we have addressed in courses is the collaboration with communities and professional organizations."

To this end, Ms. Femi is developing a regional workshop day to be co-sponsored between SUNY Potsdam and NYSMSA. The conference is geared toward both local practitioners and as well as teacher certification candidates.

Mr. Jamie Cruikshank, the Superintendent of the Norwood-Norfolk Central School District who nominated Ms. Feml for the juried award, praises Ms. Feml as "the driving force behind providing the education students at SUNY Potsdam with a professional experience concentrating at the middle level." He is also enthusiastic about the conference and its implications for teacher development. "Having the local professionals attending with the college students will enhance the professionalism in our newest cohort of teachers. It will provide an avenue of collaboration that has not been witnessed in the North Country."

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