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A student teacher from Fredonia in a Hamburg elementary school during the 2019-2020 school year
A student teacher from Fredonia in a Hamburg elementary school during the 2019-2020 school year

A student teacher from Fredonia in a Hamburg elementary school during the 2019-2020 school year.

  • January 24, 2022
  • Roger Coda

An open house for the award-winning Helen L. Johnson Fredonia-Hamburg Program will be held for SUNY Fredonia student-teacher candidates in the Hamburg Central School District on Friday, Feb. 11.

Student teaching experiences in three grade levels as well as opportunities to participate in mentor meetings to learn more about parent communication, behavior management, interviewing and technology in the classroom and other unique qualities of the internship program will be highlighted during the visitation.

The day-long session includes a small breakfast at Boston Valley School followed by small-group tours of school buildings given by current interns and remarks from program supervisors Jackie Rasulo, a first-grade teacher and program coordinator, and Nicole Lauer, a school principal and administrative representative.

A combination of methods instruction and teaching in a full-year internship in the Hamburg district is the foundation of the program marking its 50th anniversary. It has three elements or phases: an initial methods semester consisting of three days in a Hamburg classroom and two days of methods instruction taught by SUNY Fredonia faculty, followed by two, 11-week internships that are full-time classroom experiences.

Interns may also be paid when they work as substitute teachers.

The program can accommodate up to 25 student teachers who are assigned to three different classrooms and various grade levels at elementary and middle school levels. Placements are made in Boston Valley, Armor, Charlotte Avenue and Union Pleasant schools and Hamburg Middle School.

“In the Hamburg schools, you’ll be immersed in the culture of thinking and learning,” said Ms. Rasulo, a 1995 Fredonia graduate who completed the Fredonia-Hamburg program and teaches at Boston Valley. “Many interns also become Hamburg Central teachers.”

The program, which follows the Hamburg school calendar, is open to Fredonia seniors majoring in Childhood, Early Childhood, Childhood Inclusive and Early Childhood/Childhood.

The open house includes lunch and concludes with a question-and-answer session at 2 p.m.

The Helen L. Johnson Fredonia-Hamburg Program is supported by an endowment created by Dr. Harold Johnson in memory of his twin sister, a graduate of Hamburg Central School and Fredonia’s teacher preparation program and a longtime elementary school teacher in the Hamburg district. Helen Johnson, who passed away in 2015, was an active participant in the Fredonia-Hamburg program that was renamed in her honor in 2016.

More information on the establishment of this fund can be found online.