Pelham Examiner

Pelham Examiner

Pelham Examiner

PMHS faculty named to NYS master teacher and master counselor programs

Two Pelham Memorial High School faculty members, AJ Quackenbush and Luis Barcelo, were honored at the school board meeting Wednesday for gaining acceptance into the New York State master teacher and master counselor programs.

“They were selected by a rigorous multistep application process, and we in Pelham this year are honored to have two of our outstanding faculty selected for this program,” said Superintendent Dr. Cheryl Champ.

Barcelo is one of the high school guidance counselors, and Quackenbush is a calculus teacher.

Barcleo “will be joining peers to form a network of outstanding K-12 counselors who demonstrate a deep understanding of career, academic, social and emotional development, as well as their students’ families and communities, and are dedicated to professional growth,” said Champ.

PMHS Principal Mark Berkowitz said Barcelo has received the great honor of being “among the first in the state to be named a New York State master school counselor.”

“Mr. Quackenbush embodies the ideals of the master teacher program… if you visit his classroom, you see his love of math, his passion for education and his desire to make math accessible to all students,” said Dr. Tom Callahan, director of math and science. “His lessons are engaging, student-centered and rooted in the best practices in our field.”

Siwanoy Elementary School Principal Farid Johnson was among those honored with the Westchester-East Putnam PTA “Heroes in Education” Award.

After the ceremony, the board held a work session to review the history of the district’s current and previous five-year strategic plans.

From the 2013-2014 school year to the 2022-2023 school year, there have been changes in demographics and course enrollment in Pelham.

White students declined from 70% to 64% of the enrolled population, while multiracial students rose from 4% to 9%.

In 2013, 34% of eighth graders took advanced algebra, compared with more than 68% in 2023.

Over the 10-year period, 31 new course offerings were added at the high school.

The next board of education meeting will take place on Dec. 13 at 7:30 p.m. in the middle school library.

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Annika Halvorson, Staff Reporter
Annika is a junior at Pelham Memorial High School. She is a senator in the student association and a volleyball player. She is the president of the PMHS Chemistry Club, and is interested in coding and computer science. She enjoyed writing for a journalism fellowship at the start of highschool and looks forward to writing with the Pelham Examiner!

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