SWR Educator Honored by Harvard Club

SWR Educator Honored by Harvard Club thumbnail165684
SWR High School social studies teacher Ms. Ann Gianfalla has been named a Distinguished Teacher of 2020 by the Harvard Club of Long Island. Nominated by 2019 SWR graduate and current Harvard freshman Andrew Honold, she is the first educator from the Shoreham-Wading River Central School District to be honored with the prestigious honor.

“This award honors middle and high school teachers who have profoundly influenced their students’ lives,” Dr. Judith Esterquest, chair of the Distinguished Teacher Selection Committee said. “Dedicated teachers like Ms. Gianfalla inspire Long Island students to excel, to become passionate about learning and to recognize the value of hard work. These teachers devote countless hours to creating a better future for our children.”

Ms. Gianfalla, who currently teaches AP United States History and AP Psychology, has also taught AP Government and Politics in the past. She has been an educator in the district for the last 19 years. In addition to being the recording secretary for SWRTA, she is also the adviser for the high school’s successful Brainstormer team.

Prior to teaching, Ms. Gianfalla worked as a corporate attorney after earning her Juris Doctor degree from St. John’s University Law School. Her secondary education began with an associate degree from Suffolk County Community College followed by a Bachelor of Arts degree from St. John’s University. All of her education credits have been earned at Stony Brook University.

“Not only was Ms. Gianfalla a great history teacher to me, she coached the quiz bowl team,” said Andrew, who is expected to graduate from Harvard College in 2023. “This remarkable teacher treats every student the same, giving all students the opportunity to know her. Ms. Gianfalla has truly and greatly affected my life for the better, preparing me for both Harvard and my life as an adult.”

“This honor is one that is befitting for Ms. Gianfalla, who epitomizes an extraordinary educator. Her professionalism, dedication and eagerness to challenge and motivate her students extends beyond the classroom and continues to transform our students into lifelong learners. We are pleased that this achievement is one that has shaped the post-high school life of one of our graduates,” Superintendent of Schools Mr. Gerard Poole said.
Ms. Gianfalla will be honored at the Harvard Club of Long Island’s annual University Relations Luncheon on April 4, along with 11 other teachers from across Long Island.