The Niskayuna Community Foundation, an affiliate of The Community Foundation
for the Greater Capital Region, surprised two Niskayuna High School teachers
today by presenting them with the 12th annual Murray Award for Excellence in
Education. The awards were presented to Joseph Carosella, a German teacher, and
Janice Lindsay, a business teacher. A crowd of students, parents and teachers
stunned Mr. Carosella and Mrs. Lindsay as they were in the middle of teaching
their classes, by walking in with plaques and balloons. Each teacher will
receive $2,500 for use in a professional development activity of their choice.
This annual award was begun in 2004 by Kathy Murray Crowe and Jeanne Murray Veasey, the daughters of Edwards and Sally Murray, to honor their parents' involvement in the formation of the Niskayuna High School and their belief that educators in the high school would be the foundation of the "uncompromising excellence" that is typical of the education throughout the school district. The award is also given in memory of Jeanne Murray Veasey, who has since passed away.
A committee representing students, parents and peers chose the recipients and the Niskayuna Community Foundation facilitated the selection process and award presentation. Criteria included outstanding classroom practices as well as growth potential and a school presence that inspires and positively impacts students, colleagues and the community. At the request of the Murray family, this award is not competitive, but is intended to be an annual opportunity to select educators who represent the overall excellence of the high school staff and educational program.
Described by students as a devoted and passionate teacher, Mr. Carosella is often the first person at school and the last to leave. Most students get to know Mr. Carosella through his German classes. But his expertise is not limited to just one language. He extends his knowledge to include many of the world languages and will take the time to converse about how other languages and cultures relate to each other. This gives students a broader idea of how the world works. A student will enter his class expecting to learn German, but will also learn a little Danish, a little French, and come away with a new world perspective. Each August, before school even starts, Coach Carosella is on the soccer field preparing varsity athletes for a season of soccer. Coaching soccer has become a family affair now that his son has joined Niskayuna as the junior varsity soccer coach. Coach Carosella's devotion to Niskayuna and the students is second to none.
Students say there is never a dull moment in Mrs. Lindsay's classroom. Between the curriculum and interactive games in the classroom, her business classes are always popular and enthusiastically discussed among students. She is described as kind, nurturing, and always wiling to help out her students. As one student put it, "It's hard to determine what Mrs. Lindsay is better known for: her lighthearted nature or her fierce determination to her subject. Either way it's clear that his rare and wonderful combination has caused her to be well known, well loved and much appreciated by those who have sat in her class." Mrs. Lindsay is also a constant presence in outside events and is a faculty advisor in multiple clubs in Niskayuna, including Youth Court and Mock Trial. Mrs. Lindsay will be the first to say that every student of hers is special, but it is for these reasons, and many more, that make her a special teacher to many students.
The mission of the Niskayuna Community Foundation is to enhance and improve the community through organized philanthropy. NCF benefits current and future residents through support in such areas as cultural, town beautification, scholarship, social service, recreation, and many more. Further information may be obtained by calling 374-0326 or by writing to NCF, PO Box 9711, Niskayuna, 12309 or at www.niskayunacf.org.
More photos from the award presentation
Since 1968, the Community Foundation for the Greater Capital Region has worked to strengthen the greater Capital Region through philanthropy. The Foundation collaborates with donors and community partners who share their vision for community transformation through stewardship of charitable endowments, superior donor services, effective grantmaking, and leadership to address community needs.
The Community Foundation distributed nearly $4.2 million in 2014 to more than 1,200 nonprofit organizations in the Capital Region and beyond. With assets of more than $62 million, the Foundation is comprised of 400 charitable funds created by a diverse group of individuals, families and corporations. In addition, several local independent foundations (the Bender Family Foundation, the John D. Picotte Family Foundation, the McCarthy Charities and the Review Foundation) contract with the Community Foundation for grantmaking assistance.
Through flexible donor services, strategic grant making and community leadership, the Community Foundation helps people support the causes they care about, now and for generations to come. For more information, please visit them online at www.cfgcr.org or call (518) 446-9638.educators surprised in the middle of morning classes with presentation