Bellmore-Merrick CHSD English Teachers Honored as Educators of Excellence

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Merrick Avenue Middle School English teacher Michael Dlugozima and Mepham High School English teacher Erica Wagner have been recognized as New York State English Council Educators of Excellence.

“Mr. Dlugozima has taught seventh- and eighth-grade English honors, regulars, and collaborative classes for 29 years in the Central High School District,” said Board Member Wendy Garguilo as she recognized him at the Nov. 1 meeting. “He is a pioneer of 21st-centruy teaching and learning and is always the first to experiment with and implement new strategies, techniques and technologies in the classroom. He is known for teaching in a virtually paperless environment and often engages his students in lessons by flipping his classroom, utilizing Google Apps, and maintaining an interactive teacher website and blog. He is the driving force behind the creation of the new inquiry-based research class titled “RISE” (Research-Based Independent Student Centered Explorations).”

Dlugozima has also been instrumental in mapping out the Humanities curriculum, in which the English and social studies teacher periodically co-teach and make cross-curricular connections between the two disciplines. 

As internship coordinator for Mepham’s Senior Experience Program, a responsibility she assumed in 2016, Ms. Wagner worked to establish Mepham’s first ever Senior Experience Internship Fair which gave students an opportunity to practice their networking and interviewing skills with professions in their field of interest. 

“In the 15 years that Mrs. Wagner has been a member of the Mepham High School family, she has become a truly ubiquitous presence in the school,” said Board Vice President Nina Lanci. “As a teacher of 11th-grade English and College Public Speaking, Ms. Wagner works closely with students to help them establish their voice as writers and speakers.” 

Each year the council recognizes excellence in teaching by presenting awards to deserving educators who have been nominated by their schools with letters of recommendation from their colleagues and former students and then selected by the council.