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Social Studies Grad Named State’s Best for Second Straight Year

04/03/2016 

Promising social studies teachers from SUNY Cortland’s Class of 2010 are staking claim to a statewide award.

For the second straight year, the New York State Council for the Social Studies (NYSCSS) presented its Susan Wasserman Memorial Award — an honor that recognizes an educator who has demonstrated exceptional potential within the first five years of teaching — to a SUNY Cortland graduate.

Troy Killian ’10, a history teacher at Corcoran High School in Syracuse, N.Y., received this year’s award at the organization’s annual recognition dinner April 1 in Albany. Classmate Lindsay Cook Janssen ’10, who teaches in the Union Springs Central School District, earned the distinction in 2015. 

“They’re both hard-working, creative, go-the-extra-mile type teachers,” said Jim Miller, a lecturer in the College’s History Department who taught both recipients and nominated them for the honor. “They represent everything that the award stands for.”

The individual winner must be knowledgeable in social studies content, excel in teaching practice and relate effectively with students. Miller noted that Janssen and Killian return to campus each fall to offer an inspiring team presentation for aspiring social studies teachers.

“They do an excellent job,” Miller said. “They talk about the realities of teaching and also the hopefulness and the positivity associated with the profession.”

Miller, who taught for 32 years in the Syracuse City School District, said he notices common traits in the successful young social studies educators who graduate from the College — most notably their passion for the profession. Perhaps not surprisingly, he took another member from the Class of 2010 to the recent awards dinner with the intention of nominating her next year and continuing SUNY Cortland’s streak of recognition.

“We’re on a roll,” he said.