Two Copiague School District teachers have been recognized with the Distinguished Teacher Award for 2023 by the Harvard Club of Long Island. Copiague Middle School science chairperson Dr. Daniel Leccese and Walter G. O’Connell Copiague High School social studies chairperson Michelle Penyy are two of the 12 teachers who will be honored by the Harvard Club of Long Island this year.
Copiague School District Superintendent of Schools Dr. Kathleen Bannon said, “Dr. Leccese and Ms. Penyy are both well-respected educators and always willing to assist their students and colleagues. Dr. Leccese has grown our science program at the middle school level to prepare students for our high school science research program. Ms. Penyy has helped implement many new programs into our social studies curriculum, including engaging students in local government and civic readiness. They are both truly distinguished educators and deserving of this honor.”
Daniel Leccese, Ed.D., graduated from SUNY Oneonta with a degree in secondary education-chemistry. He earned a master’s degree from SUNY Stony Brook and a doctorate in education from St. John’s University. He has been the science chairperson at Copiague Middle School since 2001, after having taught across Long Island since 1993. At Copiague, Dr. Leccese has taught many denominations of science including integrated, bilingual, grade 7/8 and science research.
A teacher for 19 years, Michelle Penyy holds a bachelor’s degree in economics and a master’s degree in social studies from SUNY Stony Brook. For 10 years, Ms. Penyy has served as the secondary social studies chairperson in Copiague. She has been awarded several competitive fellowships throughout her career including Goethe’s TOP program to Germany, Fulbright-Hays Fellowship to China, and was given the opportunity to travel to Korea with the World History Digital Education Foundation. Ms. Penyy has attended and presented at numerous conferences including the College Board’s annual AP Conference, the National Council for History Education and the New York State Council for the Social Studies.
The 2023 award winners will be honored by the Harvard Club of Long Island at a luncheon on March 18. At the ceremony, the Harvard Club will announce which Distinguished Teacher will also receive the scholarship for a “Harvard experience” at the school’s campus in Cambridge, Massachusetts.
Date Added: 3/8/2023