Carlos B. Sánchez, executive director of the Hudson Valley Regional Bilingual Education Resource Network (HV-RBERN) at Southern Westchester BOCES, was recently honored for his work and advocacy by the New York State Teachers of English to Speakers of Other Languages (NYS TESOL).
Mr. Sánchez was bestowed with the Recognition Award for acting as a friend and ally to students, while furthering the profession of TESOL, and facilitating and fostering students’ acquisition of the English language.
“This is very validating,” he said, noting that the association advances and enriches TESOL education and professionalism across the state. “When you spend your career as an educator supporting English Language Learners, it’s a true honor when your colleagues find you worthy to identify. I am proud to be recognized by my peers.”
Mr. Sánchez joined the HV-RBERN six years ago and is currently in its second five-year grant from the New York State Education Department. Under the direction of NYSED’s Office of Bilingual Education and World Languages, the HV-RBERN provides support and technical assistance to English Language Learner educators in 142 public school districts in the Hudson Valley region, serving nine different BOCES. Its goal is to help each district create an educational environment that engages ELL students and teachers in meaningful teaching and learning.
While Mr. Sánchez received the Recognition Award, he insisted that the credit belonged to his entire team at the Hudson Valley RBERN. Without their collaboration, he said, the department could not make the impact it currently does. Mr. Sánchez’s team is composed of Assistant Director Kathleen Lowell; Resource Specialists Beverly Guity, José Meléndez, David Mumper, Alison Provencher and Rachael Wasilewski; Technology Resource Specialist Gregory Bailey; senior office assistants Lisa Bayrasli and Sheri Handwerger; and hourly clerk Joanne Maida.
“The plaque has my name on it,” said Mr. Sánchez, “but nothing happens without our whole RBERN team, including those who support us in the SWBOCES Center for Professional Development and Curriculum Support. The award belongs to the entire group. It’s a shared credit. We have an awesome team of really hard-working, conscientious, thoughtful, caring and competent individuals.”
In the midst of the coronavirus pandemic, the HV-RBERN has performed additional work to support students, families and educators. This work was done in the areas of physical education and physical activity, health education, social and emotion school climate, employee wellness, community involvement and family engagement.
“The goal is to be making an impact on student education,” said Mr. Sánchez. “We always want better outcomes for children.”
Mr. Sánchez will be honored at TESOL’s virtual 50th annual conference on Nov. 13.