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City honors 11 teachers with Big Apple awards

The city has named the first 11 teachers to receive Big Apple Awards, a new prize designed to reward teachers who make an “exceptional impact” on student achievement. The city announced the creation of the awards in February, shortly after negotiations between City Hall and the UFT to create a new teacher evaluation system ended spectacularly. The winners were selected from more than1,500 nominees, of whom 500 were invited to submit essays and 50 were interviewed and observed in the classroom. The UFT, New York City Charter School Center, and other education groups played a role in the final selection, according to the city’s press release. Each winner will get $3,500 to use on classroom supplies — roughly 90 percent more than teachers received from the city last year. The winners are Silvestre Arcos, a fifth-grade math teacher at KIPP: Washington Heights Middle School in Washington Heights, Manhattan Patrick Berry, a seventh- and eighth-grade English teacher at J.H.S. 057 Whitelaw Reidin Bedford-Stuyvesant, Brooklyn Erika Bogdany, a high school English Language Arts teacher at Brooklyn Bridge Academy, a transfer school  in Canarsie, Brooklyn Damion Clark, an11th- and 12th-grade English teacher at Democracy Prep Charter High School in Harlem, Manhattan Catherine Downey, a fifth-grade science and social studies teacher at P.S. 128 Bensonhurst in Bensonhurst, Brooklyn Kristin Ferrales, an 11th-grade social studies teacher at the Urban Assembly School for Law and Justice in downtown Brooklyn Marietta Geraldino, a 10th- and 11th-grade math teacher at Frederick Douglass Academy II Secondary School in Harlem, Manhattan Stephen Jackson, a middle school science teacher at P.S./M.S. 278 Paula Hedbavny Schoolin Inwood, Manhattan Deborah Laster, a special education teacher for autistic students (ages 14-21) at P.S.176 in Co-op City, Bronx Kimberly McCorkell, a fourth- and fifth-grade teacher who provides academic intervention services at P.S. 222 The Katherine R. Snyder School in Marine Park, Brooklyn; and  Melissa Salguero, a general music teacher at P.S. 48 Joseph R. Drake in the South Bronx. More details about each winner’s contributions to the classroom, as described in a Department of Education press release, are below.