Awardee Gratitude

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Awardee Gratitude

Dear Readers,

The NYS TESOL MOSAIC, 53,11-18 highlighted four pieces of gratitude from our award winners. They each explained what the NYS TESOL award meant to them, personally and professionally.

Here, you will enjoy an additional token of gratitude on behalf of ALL the awardees:


Lisa Friscia 

"I’m very honored to have been selected as the recipient of the 2022 NYS TESOL Award in Elementary Education.  I’d like to thank the NYS TESOL organization and my colleague Mrs. Mirenberg for the nomination. Thank you to my family for always supporting me on my journey as an educator. It is truly a wonderful achievement to be celebrated and recognized for my work as an English as a New Language teacher. I strive each day to encourage my students to reach their fullest potential, while highlighting and celebrating their diverse cultures, strengths, and assets. Thank you again. This is truly a memorable moment in my teaching career."

Roshii Jolly

"I would like to take this opportunity to deeply thank the NYS TESOL Awards Co-Chairs for the Adult Education ESOL Teacher of the Year award.
It has been, and is an honor to teach, learn from, and empower adult ELLs."


Clara Bauler

"I am deeply honored for being nominated for this award by my cherished friends Ching-Ching and Jaileen. I want to express my gratitude for being nominated for an award that means so much, especially after a pandemic where we had to rethink education and reimagine the ways we engage in education for Multilingual learners and discover so many new things. Thank you"


Dr. Ann c. Wintergerst

“Thank you, NYS TESOL, for honoring me with the Lifetime Achievement Award and for recognizing my 40+ years of dedicated service to our organization, our field, and our English language learners. A special thank you to Dr. John Fanselow, a past president of NYS TESOL and TESOL and my doctoral father at Teachers College Columbia University, who encouraged me to join NYS TESOL and inspired me to follow in his footsteps to later also become president, and to Dr. Laura Baecher, a recent past president, for having nominated me for this special award. Dankeschoen!” 


Ron Silva

“Thank you to my parents, Nancy and Hernan Silva, my mentors Sussane Marcus and Angela Cozzi, my Great Neck North Middle School administrators Dr. Cozine, Mrs. Andersen, and Mrs. Gunning, my former World Languages and ENL Chairperson Dr. Carnevale, my current World Languages and ENL Chairperson Mrs. Walsh, the NMS ENL team Ms. Ryder and Ms. Szuster, all the North Middle School teachers who support  ENL students, and the Great Neck School District Superintendent Dr. Prendergast, and Assistant Superintendent Dr. Lando. Thank you everyone for all your support, kindness, and guidance throughout my career. Thank you to all my former and current ENL students for always trying your best and making me smile.”


Priscilla Zarate

“I am greatly honored and humbled to have received the NYS TESOL Administrator of the Year Award. I would like  to thank Ching-Ching Lin, Christine Seebach, and the committee for selecting me for this award. Back in 1999 when I started my career in teaching, never would I have imagined that I would be here today, as an advocate, educational administrator, and community leader serving as Suffolk County Hispanic Advisory Board Chairwoman, Suffolk County Community College Trustee, Director of ENL for the Port Washington Union Free School District and most recently, as the president of the New York State Association for Bilingual Education (NYSABE). This accomplishment is not something that I did alone as behind me is my wonderful family. I specifically thank and dedicate this award to my dearest father whom I lost during the pandemic. My father stood by my side for 47 years as my pillar and mentor.  Nothing in my educational career happened without my father’s opinion, guidance  and input. Thank you, Papi, for being the amazing father you were. This is for you!”

Dr. Sandra Vargas-Ortega

“I am profoundly humbled to receive the NYS TESOL Recognition Award. It is with great inspiration that I continue to acquire knowledge and further my profession and commitment in the field of TESOL.  A special thank you, Mrs. Morales, for having nominated me.  Thank you, NYS TESOL, for acknowledging the wonderful work of so many great educators.  With gratitude, Dr. Sandra Vargas-Ortega.”

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