The Rye schools announced Kristie Orlando-Bangali is the Teacher of the Year for 2020-2021. Each year the winner is nominated annually by his or her fellow teachers, administrators, and current and former parents and students.
Kristie joined the Rye City School District in 2008 as a World Languages teacher. For nine years, she taught Spanish at Rye Middle School. As a teacher, she was always at the forefront of instructional technology. Her students benefited from her knowledge, excelled in class, and as a colleague put it, “adored her.”
In 2017 she applied for and received the position of teacher on special assignment/Instructional Technology Specialist, supporting teachers and administrators in grades 6-12. She has served as the IT Staff Developer for the Middle and High School ever since.
As an IT specialist, Kristie leads 1-1 sessions, small groups, delivers professional development, holds workshops – including the famous Breakfast bunch – teaches classes on Superintendent’s Conference Days, and creates informative and engaging technology newsletters. Her PD sessions fill up within minutes of being opened. Her slide decks are legendary.
Teachers who attended her workshops walk away with multiple activities and applications tailored to their specific content area that they can begin using right away. Her teaching has enabled teachers to leave their technology comfort zone. Many were better prepared for the transition to remote learning because of her training workshops. Her value to her
colleagues has only increased during the past three months.
As one colleague said, “I would be lost during this remote schooling if I had not taken courses with Kristie and if she were not available to teach me about additional applications I am using like Screencastify, FlipGrid, Padlet and more.”
Prior to coming to Rye, Kristie worked as an 8th grade Spanish teacher at P.S./I.S. 194 in Bronx, NY. She has a BA from Muhlenberg College with a Major in Spanish and an MA in Bilingual/Bicultural Studies from Teachers College.
As one colleague said, “To be quite honest, I never before thought of nominating a teacher for Teacher of the Year; As this year went on…and I was being helped continuously, over and over again, by one, specific faculty member, I realized this is exactly what Teacher of the Year looks like.