Senator Larkin Recognizes NFA English Teacher for Prestigious Fulbright Award Distinction

     On Friday, July 27, 2012, New York State Senator William J. Larkin Jr. visited the Newburgh Free Academy Main Campus to honor Newburgh Free Academy English Teacher Christine McCartney, recipient of the distinguished Fulbright Awards in Teaching grant. McCartney is one of approximately twenty teachers from across the United States who recently earned this distinction.

     Beginning in January, McCartney will travel to Finland for six months, where she will study at the University of Tampere. McCartney will conduct seminars for local teachers and students, observe classes, and complete a capstone project in which she will research how Finnish teachers utilize formative assessments in their classrooms. In two weeks, McCartney will head to Washington, D.C., as part of an orientation into the program.

     “It says something to our parents and our school district- look at the quality of teacher we have here. Twenty teachers in the United States achieved what you have- what an honor. We in Newburgh should be really proud,” explained Senator Larkin.

     Larkin spoke about the message that McCartney’s distinction send to the students. “I care more than once. I care about the person, because of what they’ve done to achieve this. And then I care what it means to the children that she’s going to teach. They’re going to have a teacher that has this Fulbright distinction,” he explained.

     McCartney, although appreciative of the support she received, was quick to note that her colleagues should also be commended for their hard work. “I really am one of many at this school. I’m just doing something a little different,” she explained.

     McCartney said she hopes to blog about her experience while over in Finland and looks forward to the new opportunity that awaits her.

     The Fulbright Program is the flagship international educational exchange program sponsored by the U.S. government and is designed to increase mutual understanding between the people of the United States and the people of other countries. The primary source of funding for the Fulbright Program is an annual appropriation made by the U.S. Congress to the U.S. Department of State, Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs. Participating governments and host institutions, corporations and foundations in foreign countries and in the United States also provide direct and indirect support. McCartney was selected on the basis of her academic and professional achievement, as well as demonstrated leadership potential in her field.

     Since its establishment in 1946, Fulbright alumni have achieved distinction in government, science, the arts, business, philanthropy, education, and athletics. Forty Fulbright alumni from 11 countries have been awarded the Nobel Prize, and 78 alumni have received Pulitzer Prizes.