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Congratulations Master Teachers

The Orchard Park Central School District is pleased to announce that in October two Orchard Park High School teachers were selected as members of the New York State Master Teachers Program by Governor Andrew Cuomo. Mr. Adam Ziccardi III and Mr. Tom Zinteck are two of the 228 recipients chosen. 

Mr. Adam Ziccardi III has been teaching for 26 years.  Earning a BS in Mathematics in 1993 from State University College at Buffalo he began in the classroom while earning a Master’s in Mathematics Education from Buffalo State College. In addition to mathematics, Mr. Ziccardi also extensively studied Astronomy and Computer Programming. Since 1996, Mr. Ziccardi has been teaching at his alma mater; Orchard Park High School. Current courses include CS Academy newly developed at Carnegie Melon University, Advanced Placement Computer Science A (Java) and P (Principles).  Also Mr. Ziccardi currently teaches in-depth C++ topics. Mr. Ziccardi has taught professional development for WNY STEM, is a nationally trained facilitator for, and participates with CSTA.  Ongoing collaborations with University at Buffalo’s Center for Computational Research and also Carnegie Melon University have kept Mr. Ziccardi’s classes relevant and rigorous. In Orchard Park, he is the Computer Science Coordinator building a K-12 CS program with colleagues. Since 2008, Mr. Ziccardi serves as the Orchard Park Teachers Association president focusing on community relations, collegial collaboration and student success. He looks forward to providing and improving opportunities in Computer Science.

Mr. Ziccardi was motivated to become a master teacher to be involved with educators of excellence and pursuits of intriguing information and activities. According to Mr. Ziccardi, “Extending learning for ourselves beyond what we do in our classrooms keep us fresh and curious about academic pursuits so our students benefit from an exciting and relevant teacher.”

 Orchard Park High School Principal, Jon Wolf states, “Mr. Ziccardi has single handedly built the coding program at the Orchard Park High School and through his leadership Orchard Park students are flourishing and accessing incredible opportunities.”

Thomas Zinteck earned his BS and MS in technology education from Buffalo State College. He has been teaching technology education for a total of 13 years; his first five at Newfane High School and his last eight at Orchard Park High School. Mr. Zinteck is currently teaching Civil Engineering and Architecture, Technical Drawing, Photography, and Construction Technology. Within his school, he serves as the instructional leader for his department and is the co-advisor of the media club. In the past, he was the head advisor for the FIRST robotics team 378. In addition to his teaching duties, Mr. Zinteck is a very active participant within the Western New York Technology Education Association. Through this association, he serves as the head coordinator of an event at Tech Wars, hosted by Niagara County Community College. With his spare time, Mr. Zinteck enjoys spending quality time with his family, and playing various sports, such as, golf, hockey, and pickle ball. What he is most excited about for this educational opportunity is to meet like-minded individuals who share his passion for STEM education.

                Mr. Zinteck pursued becoming a Master teacher because he wanted to be the best teacher he could be, and by putting himself in situations where he could learn from other master teachers he thought would be a better way to accomplish that goal. Mr. Zinteck says, “I hope that I can walk away from this program learning so much about the other disciplines in STEM education, have newproject ideas, and meet professional like-minded people”. 

According to Orchard Park High School Principal Jon Wolf, “Mr.Zinteck has undertaken a leadership role at the within the Orchard Park High School Technology Department. Under his direction STEM offerings have been expanded and enhanced.” 

The 228 Master Teachers are dedicated professionals who teach science, technology, computer science, robotics, coding, engineering, and math courses across grades K-12 including Advanced Placement, honors, Regents and International Baccalaureate levels.  All Master Teachers are active beyond their classrooms. “I salute these brilliant and dedicated teachers who have made an incredible, lasting impact on New York’s future leaders,” Governor Cuomo said. “These 228 new members of the Master Teacher Program will join the ranks of the state’s top educators, a group who strive every day to enrich and expand the horizons of countless students in every corner of the Empire State.” 

The Orchard Park Central School District is so proud to have Mr. Ziccardi and Mr. Zinteck joining Master teachers Mr. Dena (2018) and Mr. Bella (2018) at the Orchard Park High School.