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RCSD Announces 2019 NYACCE Award Winners

The Rochester City School District is proud to announce the 2019 New York Association for Continuing Community Education (NYACCE) awards. NYACCE has selected Paul Burke for the Lawrence Levin Professional Award and Miriam Zaffrann with a Teacher of the Year Award. They will be recognized at the 68th Annual NYACCE Conference on Tuesday, April 30, 2019, at the Albany Marriott Hotel.


NYACCE represents agencies and adult education programs throughout New York State that are committed to providing lifelong learning opportunities for adults. The prestigious Lawrence Levin Professional Award is given to an administrator of an adult education program who has made unique contributions to adult education. In addition, each year NYACCE recognizes an outstanding group of teachers from across the State; this year 10 teachers will be honored.

 Paul Burke has been part of the Rochester City School District for the past 25 years, serving the Rochester community in various capacities. As the Director of the Office of Adult and Career Education Services (OACES), his leadership has been instrumental in making a significant impact on the staff and students he serves. OACES staff describe him as a leader who creates the kind of environment that empowers people to make positive changes on their own, creating hope for many through his numerous contributions to the Rochester community and adult learners throughout New York State. It is examples like these, along with his dedication to programming for at-risk youth, career and technical education training, and creating opportunities for non-English speakers, which make Paul Burke an ideal selection for the Lawrence Levin Professional Award.

Over the last 30 years, Miriam Zaffrann has served hundreds of adult learners through her steadfast dedication and commitment to education. As an English as a Second Language instructor at OACES, many of her students are refugees from terror-stricken countries, who have been forced to leave their homes to escape war, persecution, or natural disaster. Miriam has learned that her role encompasses much more than teaching English proficiency—it also includes lessons in life skills, while demonstrating how to integrate language and American culture with characteristics of their own cultures. She works tirelessly to assist students in applying their learning to practical, purposeful lessons directly related to everyday experiences. Miriam Zaffrann’s passion for teaching, combined with hard work, tenacity, and determination, make her more than deserving of the NYACCE Teacher of the Year Award.