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Bard MAT Graduate Colleen Bucci Named New York State Master Teacher

Darren O'Sullivan

ANNANDALE-ON-HUDSON, N.Y.—Bard College Master of Arts in Teaching (Bard MAT) graduate Colleen Bucci ’08 has been named a New York State Master Teacher by Governor Andrew M. Cuomo. Bucci, a Saugerties resident, is among one of 104 educators from four regions to be selected as the first group of New York State Master Teachers. Bucci, who graduated from the Bard MAT Program in 2008, is a biology teacher in the Hyde Park Central School District.

Master Teacher fellows receive a $60,000 stipend over four years. Fellows engage in peer mentoring and intensive content-oriented professional development opportunities throughout the academic year; work closely with pre-service and early career teachers to foster a supportive environment for the next generation of STEM teachers; attend required regular cohort meetings; participate in and lead several professional development sessions each year; and participate in the training of pre-service and early career educators as part of the Master Teacher Program.

“It is not surprising to hear that Colleen Bucci has been elected as a master teacher, having worked with her as a student during her intensive year of study and practice on the Bard Master of Arts in Teaching Program,” said Ric Campbell, dean of teacher education and founding director of Bard’s MAT Program. “Colleen is passionate and deeply knowledgeable in her subject area and, equally important, she is attentive to her students as individuals, thinking and planning carefully to engage students in the challenges of scientific reasoning in ways that respond to differences in background knowledge, interests, skills, and dispositions. This NYSED-sponsored program gives Colleen and other exemplary Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) teachers the chance to offer additional leadership and energy to subjects that have been historically undeserved in our public schools. We look forward to what might emerge from this initiative, but with teachers like Colleen, there is good reason for optimism.”

“Teaching can be a frustrating profession,” says Bucci. “We can choose to get bogged down by politics, by a broken system, by over-filled classrooms, lack of money, lack of supplies, and lack of time. Or, we can find beauty in the work that we do every day. We can continue to push through and find new ways, brilliant ways, to offer our students new learning experiences that will enable them to become the thinkers and problem-solvers that we want them to be. The Bard MAT Program helped me set a solid foundation in teaching seven years ago. Since then I have been blessed to work with wonderful teachers and able to work with organizations like the Wolf Conservation Center and the Cary Institute of Ecosystems. What I have learned is that teaching is not about being a solitary figure at the head of the class. Teaching is about collaborating, sharing ideas, knowing your students, and knowing how far you are willing to take them. We have to make learning real . . . biology is the study of life . . . it’s about laying the world at their feet and finding ways to make them want to pick it up.”

 The first group of Master Teachers has nearly 1,500 years of combined full-time teaching experience and comprises 77 high school teachers, 21 middle school teachers, and six with dual responsibilities. Subjects of expertise include calculus, algebra, physics, earth science, chemistry, engineering design and development, and mechanics. Each regional Master Teachers program is paired with a SUNY campus to give participants additional content exposure. “I am pleased to welcome New York’s inaugural group of Master Teachers, which brings together 104 of the most qualified math and science educators from four regions of the state,” Governor Cuomo said.

The New York State Master Teacher Program was established by Governor Cuomo to identify, reward, and support master math and science teachers throughout New York State. The role of master teachers as professional mentors and content experts is key to developing the current cadre of outstanding educators as well as developing skilled future teachers. For more information about the New York State Master Teacher Program, go to

The Master of Arts in Teaching (MAT) Program at Bard College, founded in 2003, has at its core an integrated curriculum leading to a master of arts in teaching degree and New York State Initial Teaching Certification or California Single Subject Teaching Credential (grades 7–12) in one of four areas: literature, mathematics, biology, or history. Having completed an undergraduate degree in their chosen field, incoming students continue studies in that field while they take education courses that challenge them to apply the results of research and pedagogical analysis to the actual work of teaching. Combined with student-teaching experiences, the program’s instructionally innovative courses provide the basis for critical reflection on educational practice. Students can earn the degree in one-year/full-time or two-year/part-time options. The MAT Program is based on four campuses, in Annandale, New York City, and Tulare and Los Angeles, California. For more information, visit

CAPTION INFO: Bard College Master of Arts in Teaching (Bard MAT) graduate Colleen Bucci ’08 has been named a New York State Master Teacher by Governor Andrew M. Cuomo.


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This event was last updated on 10-18-2013