East Syracuse Jennifer Shatrau, of Clay, motivates her students to achieve great success. Shatrau is one of four recipients of this year's Clarkson University Inspirational High School Educator Award.
The calculus teacher at East Syracuse Minoa High School was nominated by former student Andrea Riedman of Kirkville, a senior civil engineering major at Clarkson. The award will be presented on May 9 during Clarkson's commencement weekend activities.
Each year, Clarkson asks its seniors to nominate the secondary school educators who have significantly affected their lives and helped guide their higher education and career decisions. The award recognizes these educators for their lasting impact on their students and in their fields of education.
Early in the spring term, graduating seniors submit their reasons for choosing their nominees, how they influenced them and actual situations in which they showed themselves to be outstanding educators.
Riedman said that Shatrau had earned this award for her dedication and her "amazing skills" as an educator, including the life lessons she teaches her students. Riedman says that Shatrau is often at school before classes start and stays long after they've ended, helping students with homework or anything life throws at them.
"She gave us a practice AP test one February break and encouraged us to work in groups to complete the problems," said Riedman. "We struggled at first, but we learned how to reason through the process and listen to one another. Our friendships were strengthened as we spent the break laughing and learning together. Mrs. Shatrau knew how to weave life lessons into her assignments and her creativity intrigued me.
"Mrs. Shatrau truly cared about me as a person and because of that I was able to succeed my last year of high school when I lost someone close to me. She remained a comforting presence, helping me through my grief. It meant the world to me.