Cowan, Pinitore named JCC’s College Connection’s Teachers of the year
Tim Cowan of Chautauqua Lake Central School and Andrew Pingitore of Fredonia High School were recently named the 2018-19 College Connections Teachers of the Year.
Each year College Connections — Jamestown Community College’s concurrent enrollment program — recognizes a teacher who best exemplifies the core program standards.
“We had 15 nominations submitted this past academic year by school counselors, administrators, and JCC faculty members,” according to Jade Barber, director of the College Connections program. “It was difficult to choose just one this year, since both Mr. Pingitore and Mr. Cowan have gone above and beyond this past year in their dedication to this program.”
Cowan has been teaching College Connections courses since 2009. Since that time, he has taught seven JCC credit-bearing courses at Chautauqua Lake: Web Publishing, Elementary Statistics, Problem Solving for Mathematics, Engineering Drawing with AutoCAD, Introduction to Engineering & Design, College Algebra/Trigonometry and Precalculus.
“I enjoy and believe in the College Connections program because it provides opportunities for high school students to challenge themselves through rigorous coursework in a safe environment by bringing part of the college experience right to their high school,” said Cowan.
“It does so at no cost to the student. Many of my students have completed more than a year’s worth of college classes before leaving high school, which will lessen the growing burden of college tuition and debt,” he added.
Cowan is entering his 19th year of teaching. During his tenure at Chautauqua Lake, he created a Science-Technology-Engineering-Mathematics-Medicine (STEMM) Academy, which uses College Connections courses as the cornerstone. He travelled to San Antonio, Texas, last November to attend the annual conference for the National Alliance of Concurrent Enrollment Partnerships (NACEP). NACEP is the sole accrediting body for concurrent enrollment programs, such as College Connections, and Cowan was able to participate in a number of workshops focused on pertinent topics.
Pingitore started teaching Elementary Statistics at Fredonia High School in the 2014-2015 academic year.
“Teaching college-level courses has always been a joy to me,” Pingitore said. “Statistics is uniquely ubiquitous in its uses, which allows me to draw students into an area they are interested in and still be teaching statistics.”
Pingitore was nominated for the award by his JCC faculty liaison, Angela Raynor, who noted: “I am always extremely impressed by the amount of multi-source material Andrew has gathered to supplement his teaching. He uses a variety of different real world examples, simulations, and computer programs to further student understanding.”
Darrin Paschke, principal at Fredonia High School, described Pingitore as a creative problem solver who helps students in many areas, not just math.
“While he may focus on statistics,” according to Paschke, “students leave his classes with an improved vocabulary, stronger writing skills, [and] coping skills.”
In an effort to bring more College Connections courses to Fredonia High School, Pingitore has been enrolling in additional college-level courses required to become qualified to teach JCC computer science courses.
Both Cowan and Pingitore were presented with their awards at their respective high school faculty meetings on Sept. 3.
JCC has offered concurrent enrollment courses to qualified high school juniors and seniors through the College Connections program since 1998. The courses, taught in partner high schools by JCC approved teachers, allow students to earn both high school and college credit.