Vorwald Named Distinguished Teacher

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P.J. Gelinas Junior High School teacher and Science Chairperson Gary Vorwald has received the first-ever Distinguished Earth Science Teacher Award from the New York Earth Science Teachers Association.

The award honors an active earth science teacher in a public or private school in New York. Candidates were evaluated on the profile information they submitted, their outstanding results with their students, and their participation and leadership in professional organizations, as well as their commitment to earth science teachings.

Mr. Vorwald, a 29-year educator, has been teaching in the district since 1998. He has taught nearly every science course offered at P.J. Gelinas and is the school’s science department chairperson, as well as the lead coach of its award-winning Science Olympiad team. He is active in numerous professional organizations and is a leader in the Science Teachers Association of New York State, where he has held offices such as Suffolk section president, subject area representative for earth science and conference chairperson. He is also a member of the National Science Teachers Association, the National Earth Science Teachers Association, the New York Earth Science Teachers Association, the National Association of Geoscience Teachers and the Long Island Science Congress. He presents at the annual coaches clinic and is the event writer and supervisor for the Rocks & Minerals and Fossil events.

Mr. Vorwald’s list of awards is extensive. He received the Outstanding Earth Science Teacher of New York State award from the NAGT in 1997, and Suffolk STANYS presented him with its service award in 2005. He was honored by the Harvard Club of Long Island as a Distinguished Teacher in 2011 and received the STANYS Excellence in Teaching Award for intermediate level science teaching in 2012. Earlier this year, he was named a New York State Master Teacher.