By Janee Law
Northport High School math teacher Kristen Rozell said she’s always had a passion for learning new and advanced ways to teach students in the classroom. With her recent designation as a New York State Master Teacher, she’ll be able to continue that passion.
The New York State Master Teacher Program is composed of the highest performing teachers and educators in the subjects of science, technology, engineering and math. After teachers are selected for this program, they undergo a four-year commitment process. This includes peer mentoring and professional development opportunities, as well as monthly regional meetings with other Master Teachers.
In order to be accepted, Rozell, of Northport, said she had to go through an application process, where she had to get letters of recommendation, take a math test, wrote multiple essays, underwent an interview process, and presented a lesson to a committee.
She added that the program will begin in January at Stony Brook University, and she’ll be expected to complete at least 50 hours of service as a Master Teacher in the next four years.
Robin Rann, chairperson of mathematics in the Northport-East Northport School District, said the district is “extremely proud” of Rozell.
“Kristen embraces professional growth,” Rann said. “This is a well-earned accomplishment.”
Rozell said that she was excited when she learned she was selected for the program.
"I really love learning about new ways of teaching," she said. "I love seeing what other teachers do in their classrooms, and I love bringing new ideas back to my classroom or back to the school, in general, to share with my colleagues. I’ve been teaching since 1999 and it’s always great to get new ideas, especially with how technology has been changing over the years.”
Rozell has been teaching at Northport since 2001. She earned a Bachelor’s in Math at SUNY Binghamton and a Masters in Teaching at Pace University.
Rozell said what makes a successful teacher is having a good connection with students and “being able to explain things in different ways and using different techniques so that if a student’s doesn’t understand it one way, you have different approaches and learning styles.”
“I love working with students, helping them be successful, and seeing them grow as math students and students in general,” she added. “It’s exciting to work with teenagers.”
Rozell said she’s looking forward to learn about new methods of teaching.
“I’m excited about learning from other people and meeting people from other districts and seeing how they do things differently,” she said. “I think it will be a really great opportunity to grow as a teacher and to gain new ideas.”