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    Harvard Club Honors Melissa Dreyer Teacher at Sayville High School
    March 16, 2016 7:17 pm  
    Harvard Club Honors Melissa Dreyer Teacher at Sayville High School

    Melissa Dreyer Sayville High School has been named a “Distinguished Teacher of 2016” by the Harvard Club of Long Island.

    “This award honors teachers who transform lives,” explained Dr. Judith Esterquest, Harvard Club of Long Island Chair of the Distinguished Teacher Selection Committee. “Devoted teachers like Mrs. Dreyer offer Long Island students deep expertise, extraordinary talents, and countless hours of attention. By capturing the minds and imaginations of our children and preparing them for challenges that were unknown even a few decades ago, these teachers shape the future of our country.”

    One of fourteen teachers from across Long Island to receive this award — from across the 150 public school districts and private schools on Long Island — Mrs. Dreyer will be honored at the Harvard Club of Long Island’s annual University Relations Luncheon on April 10. Following the award ceremony, Benjamin M. Friedman, Professor of Political Economy at Harvard University, will discuss “Prospects for the US Economy and US Economic Policy.”

    Mrs. Dreyer has taught both Regents and AP Chemistry at Sayville High School for 12 years. She earned both her Bachelors of Science and Masters degrees from Binghamton University.

    Nominated as a “Teacher Who Made a Difference” by the Sayville class of 2015, Mrs. Dreyer describes teaching as a “profession where there is growth for both the teachers and students ­ although it is often difficult to measure.” She commented that being recognized is an honor “because I know that my students appreciate my effort.”

    “What I enjoy most about teaching,” Mrs. Dreyer continued, “is witnessing students make a connection about what we are learning in class to something in our everyday lives. The moment when they discover something on their own is very meaningful to me.”

    Married and the mother of two, Mrs. Dreyer likes to keep up with latest in Science Education. She also designs and sews figure skating dresses, a hobby that came in response to her daughter’s competitive skating and which now includes more adventurous design and beading across a broader range of admirers.

    Nominated by Shreeya Panigrahi, a graduate of Sayville High School who will graduate from Harvard College in June of 2019, Mrs. Dreyer was praised as a teacher who taught the importance of collaboration in the classroom. Ms. Panigrahi then added, “Mrs. Dreyer helped me develop my writing skills by always asking us to concisely explain our reasoning.”

    “One of the most important things she taught me,” Ms. Panigrahi concluded, “is that it is hard, impossible rather, to do it all –something which continues to help me manage all my commitments.”

    At the ceremony on April 10, the Harvard Club of Long Island will announce the Distinguished Teachers of 2016 who will also receive scholarships for a “Harvard experience” at the Harvard University campus in Cambridge, Mass. Past winners of the scholarships have enhanced their teaching by sampling the resources available to Harvard students: meeting with faculty; visiting research laboratories, rare book archives, and specialty museums; and enjoying visual and performance art. The scholarships are funded by contributions from Harvard alumni living on Long Island.

    When he learned of the award, Superintendent of Schools Dr. Walter Schartner commented, “ Mrs. Melissa Dreyer is a dedicated science educator at Sayville High School, able to teach Chemistry to all levels of students with great success.”

    “Her AP Chemistry students are predominately 10th graders and demonstrate tremendous success in this vigorous course,” Dr. Schartner noted. “Her classroom demeanor creates a strong teacher-student bond that continues long after the course has ended. She is a truly exceptional educator and mentor.”

    Principal, Ronald Hoffer describes Ms. Dreyer as a “phenomenal teacher” who is both “dynamic and innovative — and revered by her colleagues.”

    This year’s fourteen Distinguished Teacher Award winners were nominated by current Harvard undergraduates and then selected by Harvard Club of Long Island board members. This year’s award winners teach art, biology, chemistry, earth science, English, marine science, math, music, and social studies. The winners teach in the Half Hollow Hills, Herricks, Hicksville, Manhasset, Massapequa, Oceanside, Sayville, Sewanhaka, Syosset and Valley Stream districts, as well as St. Anthony’s High School, The Stony Brook School and the Waldorf School.

    Mrs. Dreyer is the second Sayville teacher to be honored by the Harvard Club of Long Island. Mrs. Kathy Bernstein, who teaches math at Sayville HS won this award in 2011.

    Harvard College has received over 39,000 thousand applications from the US and abroad for the Class of 2020 (almost 650 from Long Island) and will accept fewer than 5%.  “Over the past 20 years, Harvard has accepted students from more than two-thirds of the public, private, parochial, and charter high schools on Long Island,” remarked Carolyn Hughes, who chairs the Harvard Club of Long Island’s Schools & Scholarships Committee, which tries to ensure that every Long Island applicant to Harvard gets a personal alumni interview.  Mrs. Hughes noted that 70% of Harvard undergrads receive financial aid, based exclusively on need and they are not required to take out loans. Harvard is providing more than $180 million in scholarship aid this year.

    Melissa Dreyer
    of Sayville High School, Harvard Club “Distinguished Teacher of 2016”

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    For more information, please contact: Susan Barbash sbarbash@optonline.net 516-639-8575.

    The University Relations Luncheon on April 10 is open to the public, although Harvard Club of Long Island members and their guests have priority for the limited seating — cost is $50 per person for the public.

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