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Local Teachers Honored

David Sexton and Nkenge Gilliam of the Sewanhaka Central High School District have both been named “Distinguished Teacher of 2013” by the Harvard Club of Long Island. 

The two will be honored at the Harvard Club of Long Island’s annual University Relations Lunch on April 7.  Following the award ceremony, Harvard professor Dr. Maria Tatar will give a short lecture entitled, “Mythical and Magical: The Resurgence of Fairy Tales in Popular Culture.”

“Our awards recognize people who transform the future,” explained Dr. Judith Esterquest, a board member of the Harvard Club of Long Island. “Dedicated teachers expend unfathomable amounts of time and energy on our Long Island teens, day after day and year after year.”

Sexton, who has worked at Sewanhaka High School for the last 11 years, primarily teaches physics but has also taught chemistry and science research. Before beginning his career as a teacher, he worked as an environmental engineer in the field of municipal and industrial wastewater treatment.

He holds a BS in chemistry from the University of Buffalo and a master’s degree in environmental engineering from Manhattan College.

Gilliam, who holds a B.A. and M.A. in history from SUNY Stony Brook, has taught U.S. history for 15 years and serves as co-advisor of the Model United Nations Program, advisor of Students Against Destructive Decisions, and advisor of the MSG Varsity Media Club, a high school sports television network. As a board member of Highlighting Success, Inc., a community-based organization designed to expand opportunities for young people, she firmly believes that “all children can learn” and “all children should have access to a world-class education.”