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Carmine salutes Anne Marie Lettieri-Baker!

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I’m madder than Oscar the Grouch when he realized that the award they give out for those movies has nothing to do with him over the fact that I didn’t have time to tell you last week about BWECC!’s Educator of the Year because my editor has me on some confounded word count.

Well, let me tell you this! You can’t keep the Big Screecher down. And I’m going to tell you what I gotta say no matter how many words — or weeks — it takes me.

Speaking of Sesame Street, that magnificent learning tool that taught kids to read, count, and think while we were busy making giant submarine sandwiches for lunch, let me now tell you about the wonderful educators that we’ll be spotlighting at our 53rd annual gala on March 19 at the fabulous El Caribe in Mill Basin.

The nominee (and winner) of educator of the year goes to Ann Marie Lettieri-Baker.

And now, I will cut and paste her bio, thus saving me the precious time I need to finish making my latest submarine sandwich.

Ann Marie began her public school teaching career in District 2 in the Greenwich Village section of Manhattan, or as we like to call it, outer-Brooklyn. She taught on both the upper as well as on the lower elementary school grade levels.

While teaching, Ann Marie also served as a District 2 New Standards Fellow and her students’ work was featured as exemplars in both the National as well as in the New York City New Standards performance outcome guides.

In 1996, Ann Marie was asked by the then District 2 Superintendent, Anthony J. Alvarado, to write a proposal to create and open a Middle School academy that would service the students from Greenwich Village. In September 1997, Ann Marie opened the Greenwich Village Middle (MS 896), of which she was co-director.

Toward the end of that school year, Ann Marie was approached by the superintendent of District 15 in Brooklyn to open a Middle School Academy for him, as he was in the process of replicating the middle school academy model begun in District 2 and, in September 1998, she opened the Journalism School (MS 463), of which she was director.

Mid-way through that school year, Ann Marie was once again approached by the District 15 superintendent, but, this time, to take over a failing elementary school. In April, 1999, Ann Marie took over Public School 32 in Carroll Gardens, Brooklyn. PS 32 was a New York State Corrective Action School for persistently low performance in both English language arts and mathematics and was on the verge of closure. Under Ann Marie’s leadership, the school came off the Corrective Action list and was a school within good standing after only three years. Further, Ann Marie opened the first New York City Autism Spectrum Disorders Program at PS 32, which provided students with autism a non-District 75, inclusive elementary school education in a regular, neighborhood public school. This program has been replicated in more than 20 schools city-wide.

In 2007, Ann Marie accepted a position with the New York City Department of Education’s Office of Accountability as a senior achievement facilitator. She served in this position until 2009. At this time, she accepted an assignment as interim acting superintendent of Community School District 21.

In 2010, Ann Marie joined Neal Opromalla, network leader of Children First Network 409, as his deputy network leader and continues to proudly support 36 school leaders and their communities in this capacity. Ann Marie considers this experience the highlight of her career, as it is and has been an opportunity for professional growth and leadership as well as an opportunity to work alongside an educational visionary, Neal Opromalla, 36 amazing school leaders and an exceptional team!

Raised in Brooklyn, Ann Marie is a product of the New York City parochial school system. She received her undergraduate degree in early childhood and elementary education from New York University; her first master’s degree in the psychological foundations of reading from New York University and her second master’s degree is school leadership from City College.

Still a teacher at heart, Ann Marie has served as an adjunct professor at both Long Island University as well as at Fordham University and currently teaches Zumba in her spare time!

Ann Marie shares her life with her husband, Chris. They consider their greatest accomplishment and most precious possession their daughter, Alexandra, age 9, who, of course, attends a New York City public school.

Wow, what a bio! There is still time to make reservations to join us honoring Ann Marie and her co-angels, e-mail me for info or reservations at diegovega@aol.com.

Screech at you next week!

Read Carmine's screech every Saturday on BrooklynDaily.com. E-mail him at diegovega@aol.com.
Updated 11:48 am, January 16, 2019
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