Commitment to Education: Wyoming County Teachers Win Barrie Fleegel Scholarships | Featured story


PERRY — Two Wyoming County teachers received certificates on Monday to acknowledge receiving the Barrie Fleegel Memorial Active Educator Grant.

The grant is from the Central Western Zone of Retired Educators of New York. It financially supports teachers pursuing their graduate studies through a competitive process.

Perry Central School instrumental music teacher Giancarlo Levano received the award in 2021 and 2022.

In addition to his day-to-day duties, Levano finds time for additional musical pursuits such as volunteering as the defense chairman of the Genesee Valley Music Schools Association, director of the Perry Faculty Band, leading both Perry’s 6th Grade Wind Quartet and the Junior High Jazz Band. .

As a personal statement on his candidacy, Levano said, “I entered the field of education to make a difference for the better. I was personally touched by the guidance, kindness and compassion of a former teacher that influenced my decision to become a teacher. I encourage all students to think critically about the world around them, the positive changes they can make, and to become lifelong learners. »

Samantha Bickford is in her first year of teaching secondary mathematics at Letchworth Central School. Prior to teaching at Letchworth, she gained experience at the Caledonia-Mumford School as a substitute teacher and volunteered as an assistant coach for the junior varsity and women’s volleyball and basketball teams. Bickford looks forward to expanding its school and community activities.

On his application, Bickford wrote, “I entered the field of education because I wanted to provide students with the same learning experience that I received in the past. I had a lot of teachers, coaches and community members who were able to help me grow and support me as best they knew how. They all showed me what it was like to learn with pleasure and the challenges behind it so that I could be proud of my achievements. They also showed me the kind of compassion and mutual respect that teachers should have for their students as individuals. This is what I wish to be for all my future students. I want to learn and grow alongside them, play a role in their educational community, provide them with a positive environment, and teach them to appreciate math as I do.

The grant is awarded in memory of Barrie Fleegel, a retired Wayne County educator who was active with the New York State and Central Western Area Retired Teachers Association in various positions as direction.

His belief in educators was summed up in these words: “To accomplish great things, we must not only do, but also dream, not only plan, but also believe.

Perry and Letchworth Schools should be thrilled and proud to have these two teachers on their teaching staff, Western New York Retired Educators leaders said in a news release.

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