Monday, March 7, 2011

The Central New York Technology Education Association & The Technology Alliance of Central New York

Vernon A. Tryon 
Retired ~ SUNY Oswego ~ Department of Technology

The Central New York Technology Education Association (CNYTEA) has had a long 
and beneficial relationship with the Technology Alliance of Central New York (TACNY) 
(until 2003, the Technology Club of Syracuse). Many individuals have been members of 
both groups and some have held leadership positions in both organizations. Clearly, 
the strongest connections have been through the Outstanding Teacher Awards Pro- 
gram of TACNY. Many CNYTEA members have received the awards and others have 
served on the Awards Committee. To date, 24 of the 92 awards (i.e. 26%) that have 
been presented have gone to Technology Education teachers. Three of them, Earl Billings, Maurice Lepine and Todd Dischinger, have received the award twice. 

Written records of the early days of the Outstanding Teacher Awards Program have 
not been found but the recollections of several individuals who were involved provide 
some information. The idea of forming the awards program appears to have been first 
discussed when Al Harvey was president of the Technology Club. An awards commit- 
tee was formed in 1987. Those who developed the idea and shaped the operating pro- 
cedures included Thomas LaClair, Louis Ragonese, Steven Tehon, Ray York, and Clem 
Nadieu. Jack McKissick was one of the Technology Club directors who was especially 
supportive of the awards program. Initial planning took about one year and the first 
awards were made in the school year 1988-1989. 

Tom LaClair was the first chairman of the committee. He was followed by Philip Ho- 
ran, who relinquished the chair when he became president of the Technology Club in 
1997. Gary Rivenburg served as chairman for one year during the span of Phil Horan’s 
service. Vernon Tryon became chairman of the committee in 1997. Louis Ragonese and 
Steven Tehon have been members of the committee from its inception to the present 
day. The awards criteria were especially well formulated by the early committee and have 
seen very little change over the years. They call for the selection of teachers who: 

Inspire students to pursue study in fields related to mathematics, science, or 
•Encourage students to demonstrate outstanding academic achievement 
•Involve students in co-curricular activities such as mathematics, science, or 
technology exhibits or competitions 
•Serve as role models for students in the responsible use of technology 
•Demonstrate active participation in professional development 
•Share their expertise and enthusiasm with colleagues 

The Technology Club of Syracuse established the Outstanding Teacher Awards Pro- 
gram to recognize extraordinary contributions to the advancement of mathematics, 
science, and Technology Education for the elementary and secondary students of 
the five counties of Central New York State – Cayuga, Cortland, Madison, Onond- 
aga, and Oswego. From the outset, the Board of Directors wanted the teacher 
awards to be prestigious. They firmly believed in the direct relationship between 
high quality teaching in the schools and qualified workers for the region’s technol- 
ogy enterprises. Consequently, they decided that there should be both a financial 
award and plaques for both the teachers and their school districts. The plaques 
would be presented at some local, public occasion so the community would be made 
aware of their teachers’ good work. The monetary award would be presented at a 
formal banquet attended by the teachers, administrators, colleagues, family mem- 
bers, Technology Club members, and other interested persons. 
Award recipients received a $500 stipend from the beginning in 1988 through 2006. The 
TACNY Board of Directors decided to increase the stipends to $1000 with the 2006-2007 

Current information about the Outstanding Teacher Awards Program may be found 

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