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Harvard Club of Long Island Names Syosset Educator ‘Distinguished Teacher'

Allison Noonan, who teaches social studies at Syosset High School, is one of 14 winners.

Allison Noonan
Allison Noonan

Allison Noonan, a teacher at Syosset High School and Northport resident, has been named a “Distinguished Teacher of 2014” by the Harvard Club of Long Island

“Our awards recognize teachers who spend unfathomable amounts of time and energy on our Long Island teens, year after year,” said Dr. Judith Esterquest, Harvard Club of Long Island Treasurer and Chair of the Distinguished Teacher Selection Committee, in a statement.

“Dedicated teachers like Ms. Noonan inspire students to dream, to work to accomplish those dreams, and to think rigorously about what they want their future to be,” she added.

One of 14 teachers from across Long Island to receive this award, Ms. Noonan will be honored at the Harvard Club of Long Island’s annual University Relations Luncheon on March 29. Following the award ceremony, Harry Lewis, a computer science professor and former Dean of Harvard College as well as a published author, will give a lecture titled, “Reinventing Higher Education in the Information Age.”

Noonan has taught social studies for 21 years, 18 of which have been at Syosset High School. She holds a bachelor’s degree in political science from Suffolk University in Boston, Mass., and a master’s degree in education from Dowling College.

Currently she teaches Advanced Placement world history, Syracuse University Project Advance Sociology, women’s history and issues (a course for which she wrote the curriculum), criminal justice, and economics. She also serves on the Syosset Teachers’ Association Executive Board. In addition, she founded the Young Women’s Forum, an extracurricular club designed to empower young women, and was the student government class advisor for 10 years.

In her home community of Northport, where Noonan lives with her husband and 10-year-old twins, she is president of the Special Education Parent Teachers Association.

Karishma M. Shah, a Syosset High School graduate and Harvard College freshman, described Ms. Noonan as “the most influential teacher I have had during my pre-College years. I learned more not only about myself, but about the world.”

“She consistently supports students to take initiatives in the community and attends every school event, ranging from the blood drives to the school concerts,” Shah added. “She is the epitome of a leader, juggling work and taking care of her children, all the while making a positive impact on the nation. She empowers me, and many others, to do the same.”

At the ceremony on March 29, the Harvard Club of Long Island will announce the Distinguished Teachers of 2014 who will also receive scholarships for a “Harvard experience” at the Harvard University campus in Cambridge, Mass. Past winners of the scholarships have enhanced their teaching by sampling some of the resources available to Harvard students. They have met with faculty; visited research laboratories, rare book archives, and specialty museums; and enjoyed visual and performance art. The scholarships are funded by contributions from Harvard alumni living on Long Island.

“We are proud to honor these teachers, whose efforts enable our Long Island students to thrive at top universities and to be upstanding citizens,” said Susan Novick, Harvard Club of Long Island President.

When Syosset High School Principal Giovanni Durante learned of this award, she said, “Ms. Noonan epitomizes what it means to immerse oneself in the total school program. Whether we are organizing weekend class trips, a school wide walk-a-thon, or discussing classroom instruction that works, we count on Ms. Noonan to be an active leader and contributor for the benefit of all of our stakeholders.”

This year’s 14 Distinguished Teacher Award winners were nominated by current Harvard undergraduates and then selected by Harvard Club of Long Island board members. This year’s award winners teach biology, chemistry, earth science, English, government, history, math, science research, and social studies. The winners teach in the Baldwin, East Meadow, Farmingdale, Herricks, Island Trees, Lindenhurst, Manhasset, Massapequa, and Syosset school districts, as well as the Long Island School for the Gifted, the North Shore Hebrew Academy, St. Anthony’s High School, and The Stony Brook School.

Past winners of Distinguished Teacher Awards from Syosset include Stephen Wolfson (2006) and Arthur Kalish (2005).


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