Skip to main content
Auburn schools - click for home
Click for Athletics Click for Anonymous Alerts Click for Calendar Click for SchoolTool Click for Lunch Menu

Outstanding achievements happening in Auburn schools

instruction robot
Lucky the Robot displays Auburn Enlarged City School
District Superintendent Jeff Pirozzolo's face on an iPad

(November 14, 2018) - There have been some outstanding things happening throughout the Auburn Enlarged City School District lately.

This year, the district has teamed up with representatives from Lindamood-Bell Learning Processes to expand the Seeing Stars© program, providing an innovative way to further our students reading fluency skills. The program provides personalized, job-embedded support to our teachers through the use of a state-of-the-art robot named Lucky. Lucky enables a Lindamood-Bell instructor to observe classroom instruction in our schools remotely over a streaming video session, allowing the instructor to interact with staff and students in real time. This is an extremely cost-effective solution to bring onsite support to our classrooms while providing highly engaging, differentiated, and interactive instruction that will maximize student achievement in our district.

At Casey Park Elementary, two classes are teaming up to work on a kindness project. Kiley Kustyn’s second grade class and Shannon DelloStritto’s fourth grade class decided to take part in the Kindness Rock Project that has recently become very popular world-wide. The two classes are going to work together to gather rocks, paint them, and distribute them throughout the community. Once someone finds the rock, they can post it to the Casey Park Kindness Rocks Facebook page. This project is a great way for these classes to provide inspiration to others right here in our community and beyond.

In October, New York State accepted 275 master teachers into the New York State Master Teacher Program, and two Auburn teachers, Matthew Drastal and Prin Furst, were among those selected. The New York State Master Teacher Program (NYSMTP) began in 2013 as a way to identify and support teachers who teach STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) subjects. Teachers who are chosen to be a part of the program are considered to be innovators and leaders in STEM education. Drastal is a technology teacher at Auburn Junior High School, and Furst teaches Enriched Regents Chemistry and AP Chemistry at Auburn High School. The two will join several other master teachers in the Auburn school district – Judith Coye and Patrick Crawford who are currently in the program, as well as Master Teacher Emeriti, Kathleen Austin and Janet Scheffler.

This month, Auburn Junior High physical education teacher, Shelly Connors, was awarded the Society of Health and Physical Educators (SHAPE) America High School Physical Education Teacher of the Year award in the Eastern District, which spans from Maine to Maryland. Connors was able to apply for this award based on receiving the New York State Association for Health, Physical Education, Recreation, and Dance (NYS AHPERD) High School Teacher of the Year award in a previous year. She is now eligible to apply for the SHAPE National High School Physical Education Teacher of the Year award in the future.

Auburn High School senior, Aaron Baim, was selected to participate in the New York State School Music Association’s (NYSSMA) All-State Mixed Chorus at the 2018 NYSSMA Winter Conference in Rochester, Nov. 29 through Dec. 2. Baim was selected from the best vocalists among all of the students in New York State. Students attend festivals around the state with a prepared solo ranging from levels I through VI with VI being the most difficult. A Level VI is required to be considered for All-State, and Baim received a perfect score. He is the first vocalist from Auburn to be selected to participate in a NYSSMA All-State Conference in many years.

The district also recently earned two Awards of Merit in the 2018 New York State School Public Relations Association (NYSPRA) Annual Communications Contest. Each year, NYSPRA celebrates outstanding achievement in educational communications by recognizing remarkable work by school public relations professionals. The district’s public information specialist, Jessica Luisi, earned these awards for an article she wrote about three Auburn students who earned their New York State Seal of Biliteracy and for a social media campaign she created with the hashtag #VoteForAJHS to encourage community members to vote for Auburn Junior High School in a multi-state contest to win fitness equipment.

The board is very proud of these outstanding achievements, along with many others that happen in our district on a regular basis. For more great news, please visit our newly designed website at

Kathy Rhodes
Board of Education President
Auburn Enlarged City School District
Superintendent: Jeffrey Pirozzolo
Phone: 315.255.8800
Address: 78 Thornton Avenue | Auburn, NY 13021