I have been involved in Social Studies education in New York State for forty-one years. Having taught on the secondary level in both the private and public school system, the last 26 years at Marcellus High School, in the Marcellus Central School District, just 17 miles west of Syracuse. I teach US History and US History Advanced Placement as well as being the Department Chair for 25 years. I have also been an Educational Consultant with SED for many years in many different capacities as well as editorial consultants for several textbook publishers.
My involvement in NYSCSS began as an officer in the Central NY Council, working my way up to President of that very active council under the wonderful tutelage of Dr. William Fetsko. After serving on the Board of Directors of NYSCSS in that capacity and as a member of several committees, Bill encouraged me to run for state office, which I did. Serving a couple of terms as Secretary, I moved up and then served as President of NYSCSS from 2001-2002. When Donna Merlau had to vacate her Board of Directors seat representing the Central Council on NYS4A, I replaced her, became Treasurer, and moved up the ranks and have served as President since 2011.
I have led both state organizations and have experienced good times and challenging times. These are challenging times. We have a sound, strong working relationship with NYSCSS, share a common goal, and are doing our best to be advoates for social studies education in New York State. With the new curricula and new assessments coming down the pike, the time for us to be active and be heard is more important than ever. A few voices is not enough. We need all of our membership to speak in a loud, unified voice.
An organization like ours is viable because we speak for you, the leadership in social studies education. We bring your concerns to the forefront and act as your conduit to the State Education Department. In these times of tough economies and tight budgets it is more important than ever that we make sure our voice is heard in Albany. We must be very vigilant to make sure that time for social studies is not chipped away to make room for ever increasing practice in ELA and Math, and now science.
Even with an excellent Executive Board and a fantastic relationship with State Ed the organization is only as viable as the membership. So I urge each and every person who has a leadership role in the area of social studies; whether it is as a Director, a Chairperson or a Lead Teacher, get involved and let your voice be heard. Sign-up to become a member of 4A, participate in your local social studies council and the state council, take advantage of the Executive Board contact in your area, and let us know what you're thinking and how you would like to participate.