Mark Belden, a Schuylerville Middle School technology teacher, has been named a New York State Master Teacher. Belden was among 275 educators from across the state to join the program, which celebrates the work of high-performing science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) teachers.
“The Master Teacher Program will give me access to professional development opportunities that I might not have heard about, or had access to,” Belden said. “I see it as a way to help other teachers and bring great ideas back to my classroom.”
Belden, who earned his Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering Technology from Rochester Institute of Technology and his Master of Science in Manufacturing Management from Kettering University, has taught in the district since 2000. He currently teaches seventh and eighth grade technology and has taught seventh and eighth grade AIS math, principles of engineering and digital electronics and nanotechnology in the past. Belden also serves as the adviser for the middle school robotics club. Additionally, he co-taught with Jeff Branson from SparkFun Electronics at the STEM Consortium at SUNY Alfred last summer.
Belden was designated a New York State Master Teacher after a rigorous application process, which included an exam, letters of recommendation, a group discussion and interview. As a Master Teacher, Belden will participate in statewide meetings, professional development and workshops over four years, with the network of Master Teachers, to develop best practices in STEM education and mentor other teachers.
“We are beyond excited for Mr. Belden,” said Principal Katie Elsworth. “He works very hard and is dedicated to furthering his own professional development, as well as providing enriching STEM opportunities for our students both in class and through middle school robotics club. We are eager to see what he can attain through this program and what he can bring back to our district to enhance STEM education at all levels.”