CAIRO — Laura Giarrusso, a social studies teacher at Cairo-Durham High School, has received the Bob Niederberger Prize from the Capital District Council for Social Studies. Giarrusso received the award in recognition of his outstanding achievement in teaching social studies. Giarrusso received the Niederberger Prize at a ceremony in May, which several of his students attended.
Giarrusso has contributed so much to the Cairo-Durham Central School District and its students. Through a variety of teaching methods, including simulations, hands-on projects, engaging lectures, writing workshops, and more, Giarrusso consistently helps many of its students achieve high scores on Advanced Placement (AP) exams and / or to master the Global History Regents exams.
She is also strongly supportive of her colleagues and constantly encourages professional development opportunities to strengthen social studies education in Cairo-Durham and beyond. She advocated for funding for social studies teachers to attend conferences across the country and even coordinated a regional conference bringing together educators from across the region. At the regional conference held at the former Durham Elementary School, Giarrusso brought in nationally recognized AP educators, representatives from the New York State Department of Education, field trip sites and more again to help teachers develop programs, learn new strategies, and obtain many other resources. .
Giarrusso is a tireless advocate for AP/honours, at-risk, and special education programs to ensure the needs of all Cairo-Durham students are met. As a facilitator in the social studies department, her leadership skills have led to greater cross-functional collaboration to help expand social studies course offerings and ensure all students have the skills and knowledge they need to succeed in high school and college.
Without a doubt, Giarrusso’s teaching and leadership has a positive impact on the Cairo-Durham CSD, the students and the teaching of social studies in general. She always works in the best interests of all Cairo-Durham students and is well deserving of the Niederberger Prize.