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Lavoie Of West Stockholm To Receive Clarkson University Teaching Award
POTSDAM, N.Y. -- Clarkson University senior Cynthia J. Fraser of St. Regis Falls, N.Y., credits much of her academic success to St. Regis Falls Central School social studies/economics/government teacher Robert Lavoie of West Stockholm, N.Y. Fraser nominated Lavoie for Clarkson's Inspirational High School Teaching Award, which he will receive during Clarkson's upcoming Commencement Weekend Activities, May 16-17.
“In seventh and eighth grades, I was basically a ‘get-by’ student,” Fraser said. “But in ninth grade, Mr. Lavoie showed me that ‘good enough’ wasn’t good enough, and that if I wanted anything out of life, I would have to work and strive to succeed. He saw some good in me, even though I was just there because I had to be and wasn’t taking my life very seriously. He helped me to achieve the honor roll and eventually high honors, and even more a feeling of confidence and respect for myself.
“He always told his students ‘Carpe Diem!’ — Seize the Day!” continued Fraser. “He tried to instill the belief that you can be anything you want with hard work and motivation. He helped me realize that if you have respect for yourself, others will respect you, too. Mr. Lavoie gave me praise on exams and assignments that I had prepared for his class, and this gave me a sense of pride and respect for myself, two feelings I had never really had before. I wanted to work hard and do well just to impress him. This led me to start setting some goals and to plan for my future.”
For the tenth year in a row, Clarkson University will recognize some of the exceptional teachers who have influenced the lives of Clarkson students. Five people who taught members of Clarkson's class of 1998 will receive the Inspirational High School Teaching Award.
In the early spring, Clarkson seniors are asked to nominate the high school teacher that they feel most influenced their lives and helped shape their education and career choices. Five educators were then chosen from the nominations to receive this award.
The selections for the award are based on information and insights provided by the students on the nomination form. The information includes the reasons for choosing this particular teacher, how the teacher influenced the student, and an actual situation in which the teacher demonstrated characteristics of an outstanding educator.
The five recipients of this year's award are: Lavoie; Nancy Chant, English/Advance Placement English teacher at Scotia-Glenville High School in Scotia, N.Y.; Paulette Fry, mathematics teacher at Cincinnatus Central School in Cincinnatus, N.Y.; Gary Jones, English teacher at Burnt Hills-Ballston Lake High School in Burnt Hills, N.Y.; and David Taylor, natural science teacher at Triton Regional High School in Byfield, Mass.