The Broadalbin-Perth Central School District hosted New York State Teacher of the Year Alhassan Susso as a special guest speaker during Superintendent’s Conference Day on Wednesday, March 13. As Teacher of the Year, Susso represents all New York State teachers at events throughout the state, and at national events with Teachers of the Year from across the United States. He travels the state to work with local educators.
Susso is a high school social studies teacher at International Community High School in the Bronx. According to his biography, Susso is an immigrant from West Africa. He came to America as a poor teenager coping with a rare eye disease which left him nearly blind at an early age. Having overcome this and other obstacles, Susso draws on his own personal struggles to help connect with his students. In earning the designation as New York’s Teacher of the Year, the state Education Department recognized what was described as Susso’s ability to engage students at their level and help them transform their lives.
Susso gave a presentation to the Broadalbin-Perth faculty and staff about developing a growth mindset and developing loving and lasting relationships. He talked about the importance of making social and emotional connections with students to help enable their success.
“When I became interested in my students, it changed everything,” Susso said. “What makes a difference in a child’s life is to have one caring adult who believes in them.”
Broadalbin-Perth Superintendent Stephen Tomlinson said a key takeaway from Susso’s presentation is that any educator could relate to his words.
“Mr. Susso’s message applies to classrooms no matter the location, be it the Bronx or Broadalbin-Perth,” Tomlinson said. “As a keynote at this event, Mr. Susso reminded me of the power of influence that we all have as public school educators.”