SUCCESSORIES: B-P honors our 3rd quarter winners

Chereith (CJ) Vincent, Meg Marsden, Andrea Hamill, Dave Samek, David Newvine
Presenting the 3rd quarter Successories winners: From left are HS English teacher Chereith (CJ) Vincent, TLC second grade teacher Meg Marsden, IS social worker Andrea Hamill, MS computer/STEM teacher Dave Samek and HS science teacher David Newvine.

HS English teacher Chereith (CJ) Vincent wins the day off

Gift cards were awarded to Meg Marsden (TLC), Andrea Hamill (IS), Dave Samek (MS) and David Newvine (HS)

We’re proud to announce the third quarter Successories winners! Congratulations to all of this quarter’s winners and nominees. The grand prize winner, picked from everyone nominated this year, will be drawn before the end of June. They receive a $100 gift card. Successories gives people a way to say “thank you” when they feel that a B-P faculty or staff member is going above and beyond for students. CJ Vincent is this quarter’s grand prize winner and will additionally receive a personal day, which Superintendent Stephen Tomlinson will cover.

Student to CJ Vincent: “She sees something in me that I have never even seen in my life, and because of that I have positively changed as a person.”

Parent to CJ Vincent: “In addition to being a great teacher, you are there for the kids for whatever they need.”

CJ Vincent
CJ Vincent

Her full nominations from students read:
“I want to thank Ms. Vincent for everything she has done for me, in school and at home during this pandemic. Ms. Vincent has been there for me by being like a therapist and listening to everything I have to say. She puts her students above her own self and I feel she should win this because she has been like a mother to me.  She’s caring, honest, and gives 110% of her dedication for her students. She also lifts spirits during rough and dramatic times, making me and other students feel as though they’re worth every bit. She sees something in me that I have never even seen in my life, and because of that I have positively changed as a person. For all of those reasons, I am nominating Ms. Vincent as one of the staff that I see go above and beyond for students and other people.”

“Thank you for always being there when I am stressed and need to talk, for the hugs, for teaching me not only so much about English but life. You have taught how to be a better person and deal with things. Thank you for everything you do for not only me but everyone else in the school district. You never turn down a kid if they ask for help, and throughout our online learning she has probably been the best teacher in the sense of getting work to us, making sure we understand it, and meeting with us.”

“Thank you for everything you do for me, you are my second mom and I couldn’t ask for a better teacher. You are always there for me no matter what and you got me through a really dark place in my life. I love you so much Vincent.”

“This teacher always goes above and beyond to make sure that everyone in our school feels safe and welcome. She has been the best support system at school, especially on days when you are feeling your worst.”

Her full nomination from a parent read: “Thank you for being a trusted support for [my daughter] when she’s at school. She has mentioned on many occasions how much she appreciates that she can talk to you about anything. I appreciate that in addition to you being a great teacher, you are there for the kids for whatever they need.”

CJ Vincent has taught English at B-P for seven years. She serves as B-P Alliance Club co-advisor, Class of 2023 co-advisor and BPTA’s NYSUT/NYSTRS co-representative. She considers those she teaches as her family.

“My students always ask me if I have any kids, and my response is, ‘You are my kids,’” CJ said. “After reading the submissions that were sent to me, I’d be lying if I said I didn’t cry. There are hard days in this profession, especially now, just like all other professions, but there is nothing more rewarding and heartwarming than to have your students feel the way about you, the way you feel about them. I love ‘my kids,’ and I’m forever grateful that they are in my life, now and always!”

Parent to Meg Marsden: “I cannot begin to describe what Mrs. Marsden has done for our son. She has been amazing. His reading level improved drastically since being in her class.”

Meg Marsden
Meg Marsden

Her full nomination reads: “I cannot begin to describe what Mrs. Marsden has done for our son. She has been amazing. His reading level improved drastically since being in her class. She always finds a way to motivate and has such creative ideas to keep him interested in the work he is doing. During this pandemic she has been amazing at utilizing technology to keep him on task. He looks forward to Mondays and Fridays for their class Google meetings. I just cannot say how thankful we are that we have her as is his teacher.”

Meg Marsden has taught second grade for 23 years at B-P. She is also a writing coach in the TLC and helped implement a cohesive writing workshop approach. She serves as mentor coordinator for new teachers, BPTA secretary, and advisor for the Digital Writing and Little Entrepreneurs clubs. Meg is also involved in intramurals with second graders, from swimming to kickball. She misses interacting with her students on campus.

“People don’t become teachers for recognition, but for the joy of the connections and successes they make with their students,” Meg said. “My best advice to new teachers in our mentor program is in order for students to have academic success, a teacher needs to know their students and make connections with them first. In this new wave of computer online teaching, it is the everyday hugs, conversations, morning meetings and pushing swings at recess that I miss the most. That daily interaction with children is such an integral part of their growing process and teaches them soft skills to interact with other people effectively.”

About her Successories award, Meg said, “It was a wonderful surprise to have a parent nominate me for this honor. I am thankful that I had the opportunity to get to know their son in class, and hope that our connection will bond us together in the future. It is my wish that all students remember something about their younger years in education. My goal as a teacher is to make a lasting impression with each one of my students, and hope that they leave my classroom knowing how much I care about them and how much I want them to succeed in life.”

Parents to Andrea Hamill: “Mrs. Hamill goes above and beyond for the students.”

Andrea Hamill
Andrea Hamill

“Thank you for going the extra step to make sure [my son] is doing okay.”

Her full nominations read: “Thank you for taking the time to call and talking with [my daughter]. She really looks forward to the calls and being able to work through her feelings. Mrs. Hamill goes above and beyond for the students.”

“Thank you for going the extra step to make sure [my son] is doing okay over the unexpected break. We really do appreciate it.”

Andrea Hamill has been employed by B-P as a school social worker since 1998. She greatly appreciates her Successories nominations and recognized her peers for all they do for students.

“This is a challenging time for everyone,” Andrea said. “Like many of us, I often feel helpless and wonder if my current efforts under these extraordinary circumstances are making an impact on the students who I work with. To know that my work does matter means so much to me.

“I hope that everyone in the school system knows that what you are doing now is important and meaningful to the students’ lives. Thank you for the nomination!”

Administrator to Dave Samek: “He has been a true asset during these challenging times.”

Dave Samek
Dave Samek

His full nomination reads: “I want to thank Dave Samek for providing assistance to our staff regarding any technical challenges. Dave would reach out to the staff to see if they needed any help. He provided Google Meets to provide information and guidance regarding technology. Dave developed a weekly Assignment Document for students and parents. This document is now displayed on our B-P website and is a quick tool for parents and students to see what is assigned and what is due for the week. This document was only a section of a complete middle school template for remote on-line instruction. When asked by the principal for assistance in this, Dave did not hesitate and presented the document, along with guidance on how to use it to the staff during a faculty meeting. He has been a true asset during these challenging times. Thank you for all you have done and continue to do.”

Dave Samek has been teaching at B-P Middle School for 21 years. He currently teaches 6th and 7th grade computers and 8th grade STEM. His focus on sharing his knowledge to help others has been especially valuable during the pandemic, yet he doesn’t see his desire to assist as unique within the district.

“I am honored and humbled to receive this Successories award,” Dave said. “When you see a need and you have a particular set of skills that can help not only teachers and students but parents as well, you simply step up and do what you can to help. If my actions helped reduce the stress and anxiety during these unprecedented times, that is truly all the thanks I need,” he added. “You don’t do it for recognition or praise. You do it because people need your help. I think this is true for all of us at B-P and that’s what makes our district so strong.”

Student to David Newvine: “You not only teach really well, but you inspire others, too, as you have inspired me to pursue a career in teaching after high school!”

David Newvine (and Emma)
David Newvine (and Emma)

His full nomination reads: “Thank you for being such an excellent teacher. You bring a smile to everyone’s face at BP! You not only teach really well, but you inspire others, too, as you have inspired me to pursue a career in teaching after high school! I appreciate your after-school help more than you know. Science has never been my forte, but being in your class has made me love science, as it now has become one of my favorite classes! Thank you for being you!!”

David Newvine has taught at B-P for 22 years, first as a middle school science teacher and more recently as a high school living environment teacher. Teaching, he said, is “one of the best jobs in the world.”

“I feel very fortunate to have been able to do something I love for so many years,” David said. “The relationships I’ve had and still have with my students and colleagues make my job one that I truly look forward to doing each and every day. I am humbled and grateful that I have been recognized for doing one of the best jobs in the world, and glad that I can be a part of so many great kids’ lives.”