Athens teacher named "Teacher of the Year"



Athens, NY – The Firemen’s Association of the State of New York (FASNY) recently teamed up with faculty at Edward J. Arthur Elementary School and the Elsmere Fire Department to plan a surprise ceremony naming second grade teacher Elisa Futia as FASNY 2017 Teacher of the Year.

The statewide award recognizes a teacher who has gone above and beyond in their dedication to the safety and advancement of her/his students and their families. Futia was surprised with the honor during the school’s morning assembly. FASNY representatives, including past President Robert McConville, joined a dozen members of the Elsmere Fire Department, Mayor Peter Alberti, and the school’s students and faculty at the award presentation.

Ms. Futia has incorporated emergency response training into her second graders’ daily lessons, making sure it becomes second nature to them. Her husband is an Assistant Chief with the Elsmere Fire Department, which recognized her efforts and nominated her for this prestigious award.

FASNY selects only one teacher for the award each year, and Futia stood out amongst the candidates.

“It was a pleasure for FASNY to be a part of such a wonderful ceremony honoring a very deserving candidate,” FASNY President Ken Pienkowksi commented. “Surprising Ms. Futia in front of her colleagues, students, and even her husband made the ceremony even more special. My hope is that teachers around the country learn from Ms. Futia’s example and incorporate fire safety into their lessons.”

Ms. Futia expressed “It is a tremendous honor to be recognized as the FASNY Teacher of the Year, when so many educators across the state have dedicated themselves to safety education. My lessons would not have been possible without the encouragement of the Elsmere Fire Co, our local fire departments of Albany and Greene County, as well as fire chiefs from across the state. I am lucky to be a member of the Coxsackie-Athens Central School District, which is filled with creative professionals who have supported my efforts and who value safety education.”

Mayor of the Village of Athens Peter Alberti was pleased to be able to attend the assembly. “I’d like congratulate and thank Ms. Futia for all her hard work and dedication to Coxsackie-Athens School District, especially with regard to the fire service. Her leadership demonstrates the importance of caring for one another in our community, and I am proud to see her receive this honor,” he noted.

“Elisa’s commitment to her students shows in her willingness to go above and beyond for them and by her efforts to incorporate fire and life safety as part of her lesson plans,” said Edward J. Arthur Elementary School Principal Jim Martino. “She is an exceptional teacher, and we at the school are all proud to see her receive this award.”

According to Elsmere FD Commissioner Joseph M. Catalano, “Ms. Futia motivates everyone to strive for high standards in fire education and is dedicated to teaching lifelong skills that will benefit her students and everyone they come in contact with.”

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