Professor Leslie Day, PDS Director, is proud to announce the following:

Dear Leslie,

On behalf of the Executive Council, Board of Directors, and Awards Committee. I am delighted to inform you that your PDS has been selected as a 2011 recipient of the NAPDS Award for Exemplary Professional Development School Achievement. Your PDS will be recognized at the PDS National Conference next month.  I look forward to your PDS being there to receive this wonderful recognition in person.  Please let us know who will be in New Orleans to receive the award so that we can mention those coming forward to accept the award on behalf of your PDS.  The awards will be presented on Thursday, 10 March, at the General Session, at 5:00 PM.

This was the third year of the award and we were delighted at the response by PDS partnerships across the country. We received a number of applications and the Awards Committee certainly had its work cut out for it. The applications provided a sense of excellence in the partnerships and we have been delighted to know that there is clearly wonderful PDS work being conducted nationwide.
I would like to commend you on the work you are doing in the name of PDS.  I hope that you will continue both to strengthen your efforts using the nine essentials and share your partnership successes with others.
Again, we are grateful for your application, wish you much continued success, and look forward to seeing you at the PDS National Conference in New Orleans.
Elliott Lessen
Chair, Awards Committee


BSC's PDS makes local news:

Buffalo State’s Professional Development School Consortium Honored for "Exemplary Achievement"



Meryl Hewitt, Julia Gefell, Christopher Guidarelli, Rachelle Leger were named to the Undergraduate Who’s Who Among Students in American Universities and Colleges at the annual Student Leadership Awards Ceremony on April 21, 2011. 

Christopher Guidarelli, graduating in May 2011 with a B.S. in Exceptional Education is also a recipient of the SUNY Chancellor’s Award for Student Excellence.

ACEI Hosted a Valentine’s Day Party at Cornerstone Manor! 

On February 15, from 6:15-8:15, ACEI hosted a Valentine’s Day party for children currently staying at Cornerstone Manor, the Women’s and Children’s Division of the Buffalo City Mission.  ACEI planned activities including crafts and games, as well as a snack.   

Cornerstone Manor is a shelter for homeless women and children, located at 150 East North Street in Buffalo. (

Congratulations to Liza Acanfora, who applied and was accepted into Leadership ACEI.  This program is for student members of ACEI.  In Leadership ACEI, Liza will be partnered with an education professional, not necessarily at a University, for purposes of learning about educational issues and advocacy for children.  This is a real honor for Liza, and for Buffalo State College.

Liza Acanfora is also to be congratulated for her recent selection as a winner of the Joseph Sperrazza Endowed Scholarship.

EDU 312 student Jean Marie Dickey went above and beyond the Junior Practicum standards in arranging for the Aquarium of Niagara to visit to School 53.  In planning her lesson on habitats and food chains, she was determined to  give the students an opportunity to have a real life experience with a touch tank.  When Jean discovered the cost of having the Aquarium Touch Tank visit, she immediately started to write letters and make phone calls to people in the community that she thought would be able to help, and was able to find a funding sponsor.  Jean's actions provided a wonderful experience, allowing the students to get in "touch" with the ocean by handling living sea creatures in the Aquarium's traveling Touch Tank.  After a short lesson, the students were given the opportunity to feel and hold the living creatures - star fish, sea urchin, horseshoe crabs, lobsters, hermit crab, clams and mussels.  


Sheila Smith, Principal, submitted the following about Professor Chris Tredo and her junior practitioners' activities at Hyde Park Elementary:

I met with Chris Tredo, who serves as the coordinator for our Buffalo State Student teachers in November/December to see if her students could develop a project that would incorporate vocabulary development and mechanics, and target our students Pre-K thru 6 doing our morning TV broadcast program. She met with her students and they developed a new segment as part of our broadcast on Mon. & Wed. called "Wizardy Words of Oz."

Buff State students dress as 'Wizard of Oz ' characters and introduce a word (vocabulary) or sentence of the day (sentence needing correct punctuation/grammar) via their glass ball. Then classrooms, as part of a contest, submit a sentence created by their class at the end of the day (or the day's word) and are eligible for prizes at the end of the semester. The class can win a large size Wizard of Oz Poster, book, or enjoy a "Wizardy ice cream sundae" with the Wizardy Words of Oz cast members.  Teachers can win two tickets to the play "Wicked."

Also, a bulletin board near the cafeteria has been designated and is entitled as 'Follow the Yellow Brick Road' where the word/sentence of the day is featured.  In addition, everyday before dimissal, on the PA system, I use the word of the day in a sentence in context with something I have observed doing the day.  For example, the word of the day is 'gleeful."  So today, I announced to students "Today, when I read the Book of the Month in Mrs. P., Ms. Felts, and Mr. Condino's classrooms, students were gleefulwhen Clorinda, the cow, the main character, was able to successfully dance as a ballerina."

We've only been doing the program since Monday, and when I go into the K & 1st grade classrooms, students know the meaning of the word and can spell the word!  Just think -- primary students by the time they reach 4th grade will have added as many as 100 words to their vocabulary!

I would love for you to feature Chris Tredo and her students! What a wonderful way to show how partnerships can build a learning community!

Dr. Hibajene Shandomo, associate professor of elementary education and reading,  gave the keynote remarks at the 54th Annual Honors Convocation held in the Rockwell Hall Auditorium on April 21, 2011.

Congratulations to Laura Klenk and Mary Cummings, who are among twenty nine faculty and staff members to have been recognized by Campus Life student staff with Appreciation Awards.  They were honored at an informal reception Thursday, April 14, 2011.  Each semester, the undergraduate students in Campus Life (Residence Life, Orientation, Student Life, and Dining Services) have an opportunity to recognize the Buffalo State faculty and staff who have made a difference in their lives. Students were asked to consider those whose efforts have had a lasting impression on them and who have provided dynamic classroom instruction.

The following faculty and students have been accepted to present at the NAPDS Conference in March:

"The Role Of The Global Book Project In A Non-Traditional Uran Professional Development School Setting"
Presenters: Professors Kim Truesdell and Mary Cummings; Graduate Student Katie Sclafani

"Embracing The Challenge Of Preparing Teacher Candidates For Teaching In Culturally Diverse Environments" 

Presenters:  Leslie Day, PDS Director of Buffalo State College, Katie Sclafani, Graduate PDS Student Representative, Meryl Hewitt, Undergraduate PDS Student Representative, Fred Szafranski, Undergraduate PDS Student Representative          

"You Can Learn No Matter Where You Come From"

Presenters:  Melissa Cotton, Alexandra Drozd, and Nicole Irizarry, Early Childhood and Elementary Education

In the beginning of the fall semester of EDU312: Teaching Mathematics and Science, a volunteer coordinator from “Journey’s End” was invited to our class to talk about her organization. Journey’s End Refugee Service is a Christian and community based organization with a mission to welcome refugees to Western New York without regard to ethnic origin or creed. The organization also assists refuges to become healthy, independent and productive members of the community. Five of us from the class decided to take part in this experience volunteering three hours every Saturday for five consecutive weeks at the Niagara Porter Library on the West Side of Buffalo. This volunteer work involved teaching refugees about our culture and assisting them with their academic work. Through this experience we learned that refugees have to cope with a lot of new challenges: learning the language, becoming educated, finding work as well as adapting to a whole new culture. We thought that teaching refugees would be a huge challenge but we quickly came to realize that not only were they eager to learn but they also learned very quickly. We also found through our experience that refugees have common basic needs like everybody else.          

NAPDS Poster Session - "Keep Spreading the Word...You want to be a Part of it...PDS!"  
Presenters:  Katie Sclafani, Graduate PDS Student Representative, Meryl Hewitt, Undergraduate PDS Student Representative, Fred Szafranski, Undergraduate PDS Student Representative

Dr. Hibajene Shandomo’s article, “The Role of critical reflection in Teacher  education,” has been accepted for publication in NAPDS Journal, School-University Partnerships.

Moving Beyond the Word Wall: How Middle School Teachers Use Literacy Strategies,”  Ellen Friedland, Susan E. McMillen, & Pixita del Prado Hill will be published in the NCSM Journal of Mathematics Education Leadership fall 2010 issue.

Literacy Strategies in Mathematics Instruction: A Look at New York State Classrooms,”  Susan E. McMillen, Pixita del Prado Hill, & Ellen S. Friedland will be published in the NYS Teachers of Mathematics Journal.

“Working Together to Ease the Pressure to Publish in Higher Education,”  Dianne McCarthy, will appear in the fall issue of Academic Leadership.

Ellen Friedland and Pixita del Prado Hill in collaboration with Sue McMillen have a manuscript entitled "Collaborating to Cross the Math-Literacy Divide: An Annotated Bibliography of Literacy Strategies for Mathematics Classrooms." accepted for publication in the Journal of Adolescent and Adult Literacy.

Coralee Smith  published four book reviews for Science and Children, National Science Teachers Association during 2010.  The last review was published in the October 2010 issue of Science and Children.

Dr. Myrtle Welch and C. Wei.  A Tale of Two Countries:  Classroom Observations in South Africa and China.  Proposal accepted for presentation at the 2010 (NAME) National Association of Multicultural Education Annual Conference.

Thanks to professors Kim Truesdell,  Mary Cummings, Myrtle Welch and Pixita Del Prado Hill, graduate student Katie Sclafani, the Elementary Education and Reading Department, and Wegmans’ hospitality, children are traveling the globe in time-honored tradition—by book.  “When Buffalo State proposed the program to us,” said Amy Pastore, assistant store manager, “we thought it was an awesome idea. We’re glad to have this connection with Buffalo State, especially because it benefits folks in the community.” The Global Book Project, held every Saturday at 11:00 a.m. during the college year at Wegmans' Market Café on Amherst Street in Buffalo, is in its second semester. It’s part of a service-learning course, which requires students to perform community service to deepen their understanding of the course material while contributing to society.

Nancy A. Chicola, associate professor, and Maria A. Ceprano, professor, both of Elementary Education and Reading, had their article “Responsive Literacy Instruction for at Risk  Students: A Path to Critical Thinking” published in The International Journal of Learning (vol. 17, issue 9). The goals of the action research project included assessment of children’s writing, modeling of writing tailored to individual student needs, and communication of social studies content and concepts using reflective letter exchanges between teacher candidates and 5th- and 6th-grade students. Content analysis of these exchanges showed improvements in critical thinking related to social studies content and written language skills.


Mr. James Mulé of St. Amelia School in Tonawanda is one of twelve principals from across the United States to receive the 2011 NCEA Dr. Robert J. Kealey Distinguished Principal Award from the Department of Elementary Schools of the National Catholic Educational Association. He was honored during the annual Convention of the National Catholic Educational Association on April 26 in New Orleans. The recipients of the award, which honors distinguished educational leaders, come from the twelve geographic regions that compose the NCEA Department of Elementary Schools. They were chosen from a possible pool of more than 6,000.  Mulé has spent 22 years in Catholic education, including the last 16 as principal of St. Amelia School. He received both his undergraduate degree and Masters Degree from the State University College at Buffalo, and continues his studies at Niagara University.  Under Mulé's leadership, St. Amelia School has been recognized as a National School of Excellence by the U.S. Department of Education and a New York State School of Excellence. Mulé gives the credit of his success to the work of his teachers, parents, and parish community who sacrifice in so many ways to make St. Amelia School a place where excellence is experienced.  To read the whole article, visit:

Wegmans Supermarket will be honored at the Service Learning Awards on May 3, 2011 for its commitment to literacy and the community.  The program should be available for more details.  They are part of the Global Book Hour initiative spearheaded by EER faculty.

Dr. Yvonne Minor-Ragan, Principal of PDS Partner Westminster Charter School, was featured in the Buffalo News "People Talk" section on September 23, 2010.  Dr. Minor-Ragan was also among nine people honored as a "2010 Woman of Distinction" by the Girl Scouts of Western New York.

Robert Baxter, a 1994 graduate of Buffalo State College in Secondary Education Biology, received the prestigious 2010 Milken Award for excellence in teaching. The New York State Education Department participated in the nomination process for the first year in recommending Robert Baxter for the $25,000 award.  Recipients are free to spend the award in whatever way the teacher desires.  In selecting recipients, the Milken Foundation looks for “early to mid-career teachers who achieve exemplary results, inspire students and have largely escaped recognition” according to the Buffalo News article.  Westminster Community Charter School boasts that in recent years, Mr. Baxter is credited for students producing a high percentage of passing Biology Regents scores.  Robert Baxter is the first recipient in Western New York to be recognized by the Milken Foundation.