Hope Mazuroski In Oswego Teacher Spotlight

OSWEGO, NY – Hope Mazuroski is currently in her 21st year of teaching.

She spent the first 12 years in the Gouverneur Central School District where she was hired in 1989.

Hope Mazuroski works with one of her first grade students.
Hope Mazuroski works with one of her first grade students.

After moving to Oswego in the fall of 2001, she began substituting in Oswego and Hannibal and eventually landed in Kingsford Park School where she has taught first grade for the past five years.

In addition to her work in the classroom Mazuroski is also an in-service instructor for the district for the Primary Units of Study in Writing.

She grew up in Edwards, NY.

She attended school Kindergarten through grade 12 in the same K – 12 building and graduated with 18 students in her class.

She attended Potsdam State and earned her undergraduate degree in Biology/Elementary Education with a specialization in Early Childhood.  She earned her Masters Degree from Potsdam as well in Classroom Instruction.

A visit to her classroom finds actively engaged first graders who are participating in their daily Reading group/lesson.

But, you won’t find any ‘Spot, Dick or Jane’ in this Reading lesson!

Mazuroski uses her SMART Board and a pre-made SMART notebook during her lesson to engage her students.

Students take turns going to the SMART Board and working with a variety of interactive materials all related to the day’s reading: ‘Space Pup.’

Interactive activities in this lesson include a “Matching Game,” “Touch and Reveal” shapes with hidden words, letters and clues, “Drag and Drop” and a spiraling vortex used to sort ‘ug’ and ‘us’ words.

Her students are excited about going to the board and clearly enjoy the use of the interactive and multimedia materials that are being used in their classroom.

When first grader Aiden Caroccio is asked what his favorite subject is, he responds with enthusiasm, “Reading!”

Mazuroski is excited when she talks about her technology integration.

She said, “I think the integration of technology into education has helped me motivate all of my students to want to be in the ‘game of learning’ through the use of my computers and especially the SMART Board!”

She continued, “Technology provides a much more hands-on approach that children gravitate to versus a paper – pencil activity that doesn’t provide instant feedback like others do.”

Student Spencer Stepien summed it up best when he shared that the thing he likes best about using the SMART Board is “moving things around on it to find an answer.“

In addition to being hands-on and engaging, Mazuroski’s lesson is also a vocabulary-rich example that models good and appropriate use of subject – specific terminology including: word blending, cause, effect, connecting word, word building, title, author and illustrator.

She offers various strategies for reading to the group such as: using picture clues, skip and re-read, stretching their words, sounding out and recognizing chunks in words.

Mazuroski easily differentiates her instruction to reach all of her learners through the use of “Turn and Talk,” varying her “Wait Time” small and large group activities and Interactive/Multimedia SMART Board use.

During her free time, she enjoys spending time with her family and good friends, attending her sons’ sporting events, reading, scrap booking and Zumba!

She admits that she has been bitten by the ‘New York City bug’ and credits Joan Dain for taking her for the first time.

She now looks forward to going to New York City to take in a show, the sights and tourist attractions.

Mazuroski and her husband, Bob, have two sons, Stefan and Hunter.

Stefan is a sophomore at Oswego High School where he plays soccer and basketball and plays oboe in the Symphonic Band and Orchestra.

Hunter is a sixth grader at Kingsford Park Elementary School and also plays soccer and basketball, plays trumpet in the band and really enjoys working with computers.

The Mazuroski family also has a 1.5 year old chocolate lab named Snickers who weighs 94 pounds.

“He forgets that he isn’t a lap dog anymore!” quips Mazuroski.

Mazuroski clearly loves what she does and is a wonderful role model for her peers.

When asked what the favorite part of her job is she replies, “Working with my 18 beautiful students each day and seeing them learn and grow right before my very eyes.”

She adds, “The second favorite part of my job is working with all of the wonderful people at KPS and especially my other Musketeers that work with me on a daily basis Karen DeRitter and Deb Brancato.  I couldn’t do what I do without them.”

She also credits her first grade teammates Kelly Lewis and Melissa Storms with helping to create the SMART notebooks that she uses for her literacy lessons.

Mazuroski is truly a team player who instills a love of learning into her students that will follow them throughout their education career.

Student Austin Carroll said, “I really like Mrs. Mazuroski she does a lot of nice stuff for us.”

For all that she has done to integrate technology into her classroom and to educate, engage and excite the students at Kingsford Park Elementary School, she is being recognized as our first Teacher Spotlight for 2010.