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05-31-2002

Simonis Of Binghamton Receives Clarkson University Inspirational High School Educator Award

Potsdam, N.Y. -- To Clarkson University Senior Matthew Hunt of Port Crane, N.Y., Chenango Valley High School Spanish teacher Kirk Simonis of Binghamton was more than just a talented classroom teacher; he was an important and influential role model.

“He taught me a good deal more than the intricacies of the Spanish language,” said Hunt. “By being around him, I learned lasting and important lessons about life and how one should conduct one’s self to function well with others.”

Hunt nominated Simonis for the 2002 Clarkson University Inspirational Educator Award. Simonis was one of six high school educators chosen to receive the award during Clarkson’s commencement weekend, May 11-12.

“He cared greatly for his students as evidenced by the after-school activities he took part in, the sports he coached, activities he chaperoned, and the leadership he provided his students and his colleagues,” said Hunt. “His warm and caring nature made a lasting impression on me and everyone fortunate to come in contact with him.”

For the 13th consecutive year, Clarkson University recognized those educators who have made an indelible impact on the lives of Clarkson seniors. In early spring, graduating students are invited to nominate the one educator whom they feel has shaped their lives and influenced career choices. Winners are chosen from the nominations to receive the award.

“As a university, we rely on the talent and dedication of high school educators to prepare our students for the special challenges of college and adult life,” said Clarkson University Vice President of Student Affairs Gary Kelly. “It seems fitting, then, to recognize these remarkable individuals who have given so much time and energy to help young people develop the motivation and skills necessary to ensure their futures.”

Simonis and the other award recipients received the awards at a special dinner on the evening of May 11, and were honored during the commencement ceremonies the following day.

[News directors and editors: For more information, contact Michael P. Griffin, director of News & Digital Content Services, at 315-268-6716 or mgriffin@clarkson.edu.]

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