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Fry Of East Freetown To Receive Clarkson University Teaching Award

Clarkson University senior David Steele of Cincinnatus, N.Y., credits much of his academic success to Cincinnatus Central School mathematics teacher Paulette Fry of East Freetown, N.Y. Steele nominated Fry for Clarkson's Inspirational High School Teaching Award, which she will receive during Clarkson's upcoming Commencement Weekend Activities, May 16-17.

“One of the most important hallmarks of an outstanding teacher is enthusiasm,” said Steele. “She had it and she passed hers along to students. She often used props and demonstrations in class to keep students’ attention. I remember a meat grinder to represent a function and a bag full of beans to represent the unknown quantity ‘x.’  Miss Fry even demonstrated the principles of algebra using card tricks! Over a period of nearly a year, Miss Fry and I had a contest to see who could memorize the most decimal places of pi. I maxed out about 300; Miss Fry memorized a thousand digits! Even though memorizing so many numbers is almost useless in itself, the important part is how much fun I had and how enthusiastic we both were.”

For the tenth year in a row, Clarkson University will recognize some of the exceptional teachers who have influenced the lives of Clarkson students. Five people who taught members of Clarkson's class of 1998 will receive the Inspirational High School Teaching Award. 

In the early spring, Clarkson seniors are asked to nominate the high school teacher that they feel most influenced their lives and helped shape their education and career choices.  Five educators were then chosen from the nominations to receive this award. 

The selections for the award are based on information and insights provided by the students on the nomination form.  The information includes the reasons for choosing this particular teacher, how the teacher influenced the student, and an actual situation in which the teacher demonstrated characteristics of an outstanding educator.

The five recipients of this year's award are: Fry; Nancy Chant, English/Advance Placement English teacher at Scotia-Glenville High School in Scotia, N.Y.; Gary Jones, English teacher at Burnt Hills-Ballston Lake High School in Burnt Hills, NY; Robert Lavoie, social studies/economics/government teacher at St. Regis Falls Central School in St. Regis Falls, NY; and David Taylor, natural science teacher at Triton Regional High School in Byfield, Mass.

[News directors and editors: For more information, contact Annie Harrison, Director of Media Relations, at 315-268-6764 or]

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