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Teachers At Westlake HS In Thornwood Receive English Excellence Award

Michael Laterza (left) and Vincent Iovane, who teach English at Westlake High School in Thornwood, received the very first New York State English Council’s Collaborators of Excellence Award for their excellence in team teaching.
Michael Laterza (left) and Vincent Iovane, who teach English at Westlake High School in Thornwood, received the very first New York State English Council’s Collaborators of Excellence Award for their excellence in team teaching. Photo Credit: Contributed

THORNWOOD, N.Y. -- Michael Laterza and Vincent Iovane, who teach English at Westlake High School in Thornwood, received the very first New York State English Council’s Collaborators of Excellence Award for their excellence in team teaching.

The award is given to teachers who collaborate on an extensive literacy component and inspire excellence in students and teachers. Laterza and Iovane worked together to develop Westlake High School’s new ninth grade Envisions course, a critical research and writing class for all freshmen that began in 2014.

Together with ELA curriculum leader Janet Matthews, Laterza and Iovane spent 18 months designing the course and lessons that would prepare all ninth graders to be successful thinkers, researchers and report writers.

The goal of Envisions was to lay the groundwork for students’ success for the rest of their high school career and beyond.

The course was well-received by last year’s ninth graders and will continue as a required course for freshman at Westlake.

Laterza and Iovane are two of just eight teachers state-wide to receive the Collaborators of Excellence Award. They received their award at the New York State Annual English Conference on Oct. 16 in Albany.

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