Successories: Congratulations to the second quarter winners!

MS science teacher Kelly DiNatale wins the day off

Gift cards to be awarded to Karen Klein (TLC), Jamie Sanford (IS), Caitlyn Fagan (MS) & Danielle Jiguere (HS)

We’re proud to announce the second quarter Successories winners! Each nomination tells a story of our staff members’ dedication and commitment to the students in Broadalbin-Perth.  Congratulations to all of this quarter’s winners and nominees! All nominees are entered into a drawing in June, and could be the grand prize winner of a $100 gift certificate.

Student: ‘Mrs. DiNatale always does what is best for us’

middle school science teacher seated at desk in a classroomIt’s been quite a year for 11-year teaching veteran Kelly DiNatale. She earned national board certification earlier this year, and now she’s the grand prize Successories winner for the second quarter. DiNatale was nominated by one of the students in her middle school science classes. 

“Thank you for always trying to help us improve our grades,” the nomination says. “Mrs. DiNatale always does what is best for us. We are visual learners, so she will have us take notes, which help us remember. She always does fun labs. And you can always ask her questions and you can stay after with her! Overall, Mrs. DiNatale is an amazing teacher!”

“I’m truly humbled that a student would go the extra mile to recognize a teacher’s hard work,” DiNatale said. “That’s the ultimate prize.”

As the grand prize winner, DiNatale also wins a a day off, and Superintendent Stephen Tomlinson will sub for her. 

“It’s incredible that our superintendent is willing to do that. He’s going above and beyond on his part, and the effort is certainly appreciated. I’m truly honored that he would do that for me, even though I hate to be out of the classroom if I don’t have to be.”

Karen Klein (TLC)

first grade teacher
First grade teacher Karen Klein

Karen Klein has been a teacher at Broadalbin-Perth for 23 years. She got her teaching degree when she was 50, and has been at B-P ever since. Klein currently teaches first grade, and has also taught kindergarten and second grade. Klein was nominated by a parent who recognized how she cared for and nurtured a child who was struggling to adjust in school.

“My child was having a rough start this school year and his teacher did everything in her power to get him the extra help he needed to do better academically, while enjoying his time at Broadalbin-Perth,” the nomination said. “She definitely is one of a kind and we appreciate her!”

Klein said this was her first Successory nomination and she was thrilled to be chosen as this quarter’s winner for TLC. She said aside from winning a couple dollars on scratch off tickets here and there, the only thing she has ever won was a prize for reciting a Bible verse when she was a little girl. 

“I didn’t get hired as a teacher until I turned 50. I got my teaching degree because I wanted to help children. I never thought I’d be here that long. But I don’t do it for me, or the money, I do it for kids. When they accomplish something, it means a lot to me.”

Jamie Sanford (IS)

Fifth grade teacher
Fifth grade teacher Jamie Sanford

Jamie Sanford is a fifth grade teacher at the intermediate school. She has been teaching at B-P for nine years, with the last five years at the intermediate school. 

Sanford was nominated by a parent of one of her fifth grade students who was having a hard time following directions and listening in class. 

“Thank you for maintaining high expectations and reaching out to us when he was not doing what he was supposed to be doing in class,” the nomination said.

Sanford called the parent who nominated her a “dream parent” to work with. “Our goal as educators is to make connections with parents and to recognize we’re all working together as teammates. It’s important for us to be honest with each other, and I really appreciate that this parent values the team aspect.”

Sanford says that being an educator is much more than teaching students about reading, writing and math. The experience with this student and parent helps exemplify that. 

“We’re here to teach, but the social and emotional needs of the kids have to be at forefront of what we do,” Sanford said.

Caitlyn Fagan (MS)

middle school ELA teacher
Middle school ELA teacher Caitlyn Fagan

Caitlyn Fagan is a first-year ELA teacher at the middle school. She was a student teacher with high school English teacher Alycia Spraker at the high school last fall. When she earned her master’s degree, she returned to B-P as a high school building substitute, and she was hired full-time this year.

Fagan was nominated by middle school Principal Wayne Bell because she co-hosted an after-school study workshop for students with Kelly DiNatale, who was also nominated for the effort.

“Thank you for taking the time to gather resources to organize an after-school study workshop for our students,” Bell wrote in the nomination. “Your dedication to the success of our students is appreciated!” 

Fagan said the workshop was extremely successful and approximately 60 students attended. Fagan and DiNatale decided to organize it after chatting and noticing that their students were having a hard time retaining what they had learned.

“We spend a lot of time teaching what to study, but not how to study. It’s not something we often have time to do. So we decided we should show them how their brains work and teach them strategies of how to practice and use information to get it to stick in the brain.”

Danielle Jiguere (HS)

high school special education teacher
High school special education teacher Danielle Jiguere

Danielle Jiguere is a second-year special education teacher at B-P, but she has been an educator since 1999 in the Capital Region. 

Jiguere was nominated by a parent who recognized Jiguere’s positive influence and her ability to relate to kids. Jiguere was also nominated by parents twice in the first quarter for similar reasons. 

“My child is making such progress with the support of Danielle Jiguere,” the nomination said. “She has not only academically supported him with such precision and dedication, but also with legitimate concern about his personal well being. The connection she has with him makes all the difference! We appreciate all the extra she invests in him daily!”

Jiguere said it has been extremely gratifying to watch her students make marked progress since the beginning of the school year. 

“When I work with this student, we work on the things that are most difficult for him. Because of that, they are his least favorite things to do,” Jiguere said. “My approach has been to work at his level. We’ve seen huge improvements, and because of that, his confidence is growing and he’s advocating for himself. I’m grateful to work with a student who is focused every day.”