ALBANY, N.Y. (NEWS10) — Governor Kathy Hochul announced that 147 educators across New York have recently been selected for the state’s Master Teacher Program. Additionally, 25 school counselors were announced as part of the inaugural Master Counselor Program.

The programs consist of a network of over 1,700 public-school teachers and counselors that are dedicated and passionate about empowering the next generation through education. Throughout a four-year participation in the program, Master Teachers will receive an annual $15,000 stipend, engage in peer mentoring and partake in professional development opportunities.

The program appointees were commemorated at regional SUNY campuses. Among the appointed are 10 educators based in the Capital Region, who were honored at the University at Albany and are listed below:

New Capital Region Master Teachers and Counselors

Albany City School District

  • Jill Lastarza – Master Counselor

Averill Park Central School District

  • Emily Caboot – Master Teacher

East Greenbush Central School District

  • Shondra Conyers – Master Teacher

North Colonie Central School District

  • Jill Regan – Master Teacher
  • Tracy Sangare – Master Teacher

Schenectady City School District

  • Phuong Tran – Master Teacher
  • Nick Zelkowitz – Master Teacher

Shenendehowa Central School District

  • Michael Cassia – Master Teacher
  • Megan Gifford – Master Counselor

South Glens Falls Central School District

  • Matthew Talbot – Master Teacher

“Our teachers and counselors have the vital responsibility of educating and supporting New York’s future leaders,” Governor Hochul said. “I’m proud to celebrate the New York State Master Teacher Program and the hardworking educational leaders who are helping us build a world-class education system here in New York. We are incredibly grateful for our educators and counselors for their dedication to inspiring and shaping the minds of our children.”

SUNY Chancellor John King, Jr. said, “The New York State Master Teacher Program celebrates outstanding educators who make a significant impact on their students and the school districts they serve, and we are pleased to see this program expand to include Master Counselors. K-12 educators and counselors are critical in guiding students through their early academic journey, inspiring them to learn more and get excited about their studies. With the new FAFSA form coming out this year, the role of counselors in helping students achieve their college dreams is more important than ever.”