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Four to Receive 2011 Clarkson University Inspirational High School Educator Awards

Four teachers, all nominated by former students, who are now Clarkson University seniors, will be honored in May as the 2010 Clarkson University Inspirational High School Educators.

Each year, Clarkson asks its seniors to nominate the secondary school educators who have significantly affected their lives and helped guide their higher education and career decisions. The award recognizes these educators for their lasting impact on their students and in their fields of education.

Paul Buell of Gouverneur, N.Y., has given his students the strength and drive to succeed after high school. He is an inspirational and outstanding leader. The band director at Sackets Harbor Central School was nominated by former student Mallyssa Ditch of Henderson Harbor, N.Y., a senior chemical engineering major.

Shawn Graci of Mechanicsburg, Pa., motivates her students to achieve great success. She is well regarded by students, faculty, and administration. The retired calculus teacher at Cumberland Valley High School was nominated by former student Brent Pomeroy of Mechanicsburg, Pa., a senior aeronautical engineering major.

Don Southard of University Heights, Ohio, loves his job and takes his students’ education seriously. The chemistry teacher at Hathaway Brown School was nominated by former student Nina Welchans of Cleveland, Ohio, a senior chemical engineering major.

John Tague of Johnson, Vt., encourages students to focus on learning, and not solely on high grades. He also serves as the Upward Bound liaison and encourages students to pursue higher education. The mathematics teacher at Bellows Free Academy was nominated by former student Jason Holloway of Cambridge, Vt., a senior electrical engineering and physics dual degree student.

Early in the spring term, graduating seniors submit their reasons for choosing their teachers, how the teachers influenced them and actual situations in which the teachers showed themselves to be outstanding educators.

"Clarkson believes it is important to recognize the people that inspired our students to become who they are today," said Clarkson University Vice President for University Outreach and Student Affairs Kathryn B. Johnson. "These high school educators help students to discover their potential and guide them toward success. They believe in the students’ dreams, listen to their ambitions and provide guidance that lasts a lifetime."

Clarkson University launches leaders into the global economy. One in six alumni already leads as a CEO, VP or equivalent senior executive of a company. Located just outside the Adirondack Park in Potsdam, N.Y., Clarkson is a nationally recognized research university for undergraduates with select graduate programs in signature areas of academic excellence directed toward the world’s pressing issues. Through 50 rigorous programs of study in engineering, business, arts, sciences and health sciences, the entire learning-living community spans boundaries across disciplines, nations and cultures to build powers of observation, challenge the status quo, and connect discovery and engineering innovation with enterprise.

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

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