Two Receive Clarkson University Inspirational Educator Award

May 11, 2024

Two educators nominated by Clarkson University students were honored as the 2024 Clarkson University Inspirational Educators at the University’s Commencement Saturday.

Graduation caps with tassels are thrown in the air set against a partly cloudy sky.

The award recognizes these educators for their lasting impact on their students and in their fields of education.

Melanie Drury, an earth science teacher at Webster Thomas High School in Webster, NY, was nominated by Celia Darling, a senior from Webster, NY majoring in Political Science.

“Mrs. Drury consistently would go above and beyond helping students inside and outside of the classroom. I have never met an educator that cares more deeply about their students,” Darling said in nominating Drury. “In the classroom, Mrs. Drury would plan fun, hands-on activities to help students understand earth science, plan multiple field trips to do fieldwork and go out of her way to teach things in multiple ways to reach different students. Outside the classroom, she was always a class faculty advisor planning Spirit Week activities and helping the class plan events. She also was the advisor of Earth Club and constantly helped students push the administration to have a greener school and community. She always said yes to students. Yes to use her lunch to help with earth science homework, yes to crazy Earth Club ideas, and yes to believing in all of her students even when they don’t believe in themselves. She empowers high schoolers to save the planet (that is the most inspirational thing ever!)”

Cristina David, a biology teacher at Massena Central High School in Massena, NY, was nominated by Mercedes Osgood, a senior from Massena, NY, majoring in Biology.

“Taking IB Biology with Mrs. David was the spark that lit a growing flame of love and compassion for Biology and Health Sciences,” Osgood said in nominating David. “The way she taught showed me how interesting and amazing the human body & cellular functions are, and if I had not had her as a teacher I don't know if I would have decided to major in Biology or go to Clarkson at all! Thanks to her support, among other things, I am in the process of preparing to apply to Medical School!”

Clarkson University is a proven leader in technological education, research, innovation and sustainable economic development. With its main campus in Potsdam, N.Y., and additional graduate program and research facilities in the Capital Region and Hudson Valley, Clarkson faculty have a direct impact on more than 7,800 students annually through nationally recognized undergraduate and graduate STEM designated degrees in engineering, business, science and health professions; executive education, industry-relevant credentials and K-12 STEM programs. Alumni earn salaries among the top 2% in the nation: one in five already leads in the c-suite. To learn more go to
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