NYS Teacher of the Year Joins Teach the Change Initiative

Mount’s ‘Teach the Change’ seeks to strengthen education profession


NEWBURGH, N.Y. – Mount Saint Mary College professors, students, and nearly 20 alumni recently worked to enhance the quality of the teaching profession in the Hudson Valley and beyond through the Teach the Change initiative.

Teach the Change is a comprehensive initiative of the college’s Division of Education, coordinated in conjunction with the Center for Adolescent Research and Development (CARD), under the leadership of Mount education professor Frances Spielhagen. 

The initiative has three major focus areas:

  • Continuing to strengthen the teaching profession in the programs provided by the college.
  • Creating a pipeline of teacher candidates from area high schools, especially first- generation college students and those who may be underrepresented in the teaching profession.
  • Enhancing the current teaching force by providing teacher leadership training for area educators.

Dana McDonough, 2016 New York State Teacher of the Year and Mount alumna, noted that it was up to all educators to “teach the change.”

“Being a teacher is more than a great job, it’s a special calling,” she said. “You are choosing a career that will position you to make great changes.”

McDonough graduated from the Mount in 1991 with a Bachelor of Arts in education and in 2000 with a Masters of Science in Education with a reading specialization. She is a second grade teacher at Fostertown Magnet School in the Newburgh City School District, where she has served for 22 years.

Other Mount alumni at the Teach the Change event were Michael Conklin ’11; Carielle Erskine ’16; Alejandra Gomez MSE ’16; Torrance Harvey MSE ’03; Brenna Kennedy ’15, MSE ’17; Benjamin A. Liberatore ’11; Karen McCaffrey ’12, MSE ’15; Dana McDonough ’91; Shannon McGuinness ’16; Gerald Ortiz ’10, MSE ’13; Barbara Rubin ’93, MSE ’94; Nicole Speranzo ’15; Philip Stewart MSE ’14; and Ashley Woodill ’15, a current graduate student.

The Mount will host “Teachers as Leaders: Reclaiming our Schools” on October 26 from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. This initiative has the support of the New York State Education Department and the United States Department of Education. 

For more information, visit www.msmc.edu

Headlining Photo: Dana McDonough (photo by Lee Ferris - provided)