PRESENTING THE 3RD QUARTER SUCCESSORIES WINNERS: From the left are Sharon Smith (sixth grade teaching assistant), Linda Biggers (fourth grade teaching assistant), Brian Henry (HS science teacher), Nichole Sullivan (Jr. HS math teacher) and Michele Giallonardo (sixth grade math teacher).
Sharon Smith wins the day off!
B-P Yeti travel mugs will be awarded to: Linda Biggers,
Brian Henry, Nichole Sullivan and Michele Giallonardo
We are proud to announce the third quarter Successories winners for the 2020-21 school year! Sixth grade teaching assistant Sharon Smith will receive a personal day, which Superintendent Stephen Tomlinson will cover. Our other Successory recipients will receive a B-P Yeti travel mug. All award winners are entered into a drawing which will take place in June. A grand prize winner will randomly be selected from the pool to win a $100 gift card!
Please read below to hear why each of these five amazing B-P employees were chosen to win a Successories Award this quarter!
Sharon Smith, sixth grade teaching assistant
Sharon Smith is a long-time teaching assistant at B-P Elementary School. Not only is she a Successory Award recipient this quarter, she was also chosen to receive a day off, with Superintendent Tomlinson covering for her in the classroom!
Smith started her B-P tenure in 2009 as a substitute TA with The Learning Community. She became a full-time TA in 2012 and currently works with the sixth grade team. Smith says she absolutely loves working with students that age.
Her Successory nomination was submitted by two of her colleagues on the sixth grade team. They wrote: “Sharon Smith is a true representation of the heart, soul, and dedication displayed by all of the teaching assistants in our building.” They noted that she “shows initiative, is a team player, and gives her all to the students on a daily basis.”
Smith is a monitor for the Before & After School Programs at B-P. As the greeter and “temperature taker” inside the lobby, she’s often the first face that students see when they arrive at BPES.
Her nomination recognized the importance of this role: “Before the school day begins, staff and students are welcomed with a warm and bubbly smile that is contagious,” and described Smith as “a perfect addition to the sixth grade team.”
Smith said she was “shocked” to be nominated. “I am grateful to everyone I work with here. BPES is my work family. I try my best at everything I do and I enjoy working with the kids.”
Linda Biggers, fourth grade teaching assistant
Fourth grade teaching assistant Linda Biggers’ Successory nomination started off with the most creative compliment we could imagine. It read: “Linda Biggers is a true ninja!” Nominated by “the entire fourth grade,” the nomination went on to highlight the ways in which she is an asset to her students and colleagues.
“She is able to adapt to any circumstances needed … She can do anything, including juggling online support for Google Meets, in-person classes, and everything in between … She can usually be overheard saying ‘I will do whatever you need me to do.’ It is true.”
Biggers said the nomination came as a “total surprise” and admitted that she “got a little teary” while reading it.
Biggers started at B-P as a substitute teaching assistant and joined the district full-time seven years ago. She has worked with the fourth grade team for the past three years and describes them as a “true team” that works very well together.
“This has been a tough year for all of us and I think we’ve all had to step out of our comfort zones,” Biggers said. “I’m happy to do whatever my team needs as they are so dedicated to our students — teaching and keeping them engaged during these trying times.”
Biggers connects with students outside of the classroom as the advisor of the Mosaic Club with fifth graders. The group has been “on pause” this year, but Biggers said she is “looking forward to something great next year.”
“Working on collaborative projects like this are a great way to connect with the kids and they love making something that will be a permanent part of their school,” she said.
Brian Henry, HS science teacher
High school science teacher Brian Henry has been an educator for 21 years and has spent his entire career at Broadalbin-Perth. He has no doubt made an impression in the classroom over the years, but his work in extracurricular activities has provided him a platform to connect on a different level with students.
In fact, it was his role as B-P’s Fishing Club advisor that prompted his Successory nomination, which was submitted on behalf of “High school students, past, present and future” and read, “Although he was recently recognized in his role as our head boys soccer coach, what many people don’t realize is the number of students he has mentored through B-P’s Fishing Club. Many of these students don’t ‘fit’ in other traditional club or sports offerings, but they find a school ‘home’ in Fishing Club.”
Henry said he is “truly humbled and honored” to be recognized for his work with the Fishing Club. “A lot of our students have been looking for an outlet like fishing and I am fortunate enough to provide it for them,” he said. “Fishing not only gives our students an opportunity to appreciate the outdoors, but it also becomes a lifelong hobby.”
In addition to being an avid outdoorsman and nature photographer, Henry has served as the head coach for the B-P boys varsity soccer program for almost 20 years and coached the team to a New York state title in 2011 (B-P’s first state title in any sport!). This year, he earned his 200th career win as a coach. He is also founder of the Patriot Pink Out campaign and was a 2012 recipient of the district’s Outstanding Patriot Award.
We are so proud of Mr. Henry’s contributions in the classroom, on the soccer field, and “out on the boat,” and feel fortunate that he is a B-P Patriot!
Nichole Sullivan, Jr. HS math teacher
Nichole Sullivan is a B-P graduate who found her way back to the district as a teacher. She started her career at B-P working with alternative education students and teaching ninth grade algebra. After her first year, she was moved to the middle school where she says she “found her niche” as an eighth grade math teacher. She has been with B-P for eight years.
Sullivan said she was particularly touched that her two Successory nominations came from a hybrid student and a fully remote student. Her first nomination read, “Thank you for always being there and listening. You have helped me grow so much this year!”
The other read, “Thank you for spending an hour each day helping me understand the math lesson and calming me down before and after quizzes and tests. You continue to make learning math remotely easier to manage.”
Sullivan said her nominations made her realize “it isn’t about the setting, but about the time and energy we put into our relationships.”
“We work hard every year, but this year has been uniquely challenging for the whole community,” she said. “These students deserve recognition for their resiliency and I look forward to watching them continue to grow.”
Outside of the classroom, Sullivan is an active member of the B-P school community as an advisor for Travel Club and Future Cities team. She also serves as a building representative for the BPTA and is a New York State Master Teacher.
Michele Giallonardo, sixth grade math teacher
Michele Giallonardo has been a teacher for 34 years — and 33 of them have been at Broadalbin-Perth! She started her career teaching kindergarten and moved around to various grades until she ended up in a sixth-grade classroom, where she says she found her “true calling.”
Giallonardo’s Successory nomination came from the grateful parent of one of her students. Her nomination read: “You always go above and beyond to make sure all students understand their math work. You help students who need extra help and teach in a way that my daughter understands and retains math skills.”
The parent also said, “No child gets left behind in your class. You are approachable and easy for the kids to talk to.”
Giallonardo says the nomination meant a great deal to her, especially since it came from a student and her family. “It is always my hope that I have let my students know that they are capable and that they shouldn’t be afraid to ask for help,” she said.
After 34 years as an educator, Giallonardo will be retiring at the end of the school year. She says she is looking forward to traveling, spending time with friends and family, and having time to complete some unfinished projects around the house.
Congratulations on your Successory award and a well-deserved retirement!