A message from the outgoing Director

For the last 16 years it has been my privilege and honor to work as the charter director of the Long Beach Teacher Center. Beginning with the now retired curriculum assistant superintendent Helen Cheliotes, who wrote the first application grant in the 1996-1997 academic year to the present time and with the support of current assistant superintendent for curriculum, Dr. Ken Graham, the center continues an unbroken record of commitment to the development of high quality staff development programs for Long Beach teachers and staff.

Since then the Long Beach Teacher Center has endeavored to provide important professional development programs to the educators of the LBSD as well for as those from surrounding school districts, ultimately aimed at increasing student achievement.

The policy board, composed by statute of a majority of teachers together with members of the administration and the local community, plans programs, hires instructors, and generally provides support for professional development driven by the annual needs assessment together with district initiatives.

The board chairpersons, beginning with Lori Dano, followed by Marianne Colucci who was succeeded by the current chair, Heather Puckhaber, ably provided direction and advocacy for the center’s programs and for Teacher Centers in general.

While funds for Teacher Centers across the state have dwindled, the Long Beach TC has managed to maintain a district presence in staff development and takes proud responsibility for the initiation of the training and application of SmartBoards in the district.

As I retire from the position as director of the Long Beach Teacher Center I look back and take pride and pleasure in its accomplishments.  In looking forward I take equal pleasure and pride in announcing the policy board appointment of Dr. John Marr as the next Long Beach Teacher Center director. “Dr. John”, as we have affectionately dubbed him, has served the LBTC as a highly capable program instructor, involved policy board member and quick responder to my tech-based SOS calls. John’s commitment and passion for staff-development is what first drew him to the teacher center and I believe is what will sustain him as director.

I wish to especially thank, Heather Puckhaber the policy board chair, for her unwavering support, kindness and assistance. She has been instrumental in maintaining the center’s presence in the district during difficult times and especially post-Sandy.  I also wish to thank all policy board members present and past for their service. I wish to extend my thanks to the Long Beach School District school board and administration who have graciously provided the much needed in-kind support necessary to keep the center going.

Last, but by no means least, I want to thank June Vinokur, the Teacher Center secretary and able assistant. June has overseen the tasks of monitoring registrations, taking meeting minutes, monitoring and ordering supplies, chasing down course participants, and running countless errands for the center. She has been an indispensable right hand, sounding board and friend.

I thank all teachers, teaching assistants and school personnel for supporting the Long Beach Teacher Center in the past and hope you will continue to do so in the future.

Thank you for the opportunity to have served in this position. It was, as I have said before, the highlight of my career in education.

Sharon Kimmel