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Sayville H.S. Teacher to be Honored at LIU Post Commencement

Maria Panuccio Brown Named LI Secondary School Teacher of the Year


Morgan Lyle,Assistant Director of Public Relations
LIU Post, Long Island University

Brookville, N.Y. – LIU Post will present the Long Island Secondary School Teacher of the Year award to Maria Panuccio Brown, a 2005 graduate with an M.S. degree in Environmental Science and a science teacher at Sayville High School, at the 55th Commencement exercises  on Friday, May 10, 2013.

Ms. Brown is being recognized for her reputation as a passionate educator whose hands-on, creative methods captivate students and inspire them to enter the fields of science and technology.

Ms. Brown began teaching science at Sayville High School in 1999. During her tenure, she has implemented innovative programs that promote and develop interest in the science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) disciplines. Ms. Brown established the STEM Academy for high school students; field-oriented environmental science courses that are aligned with the AP Environmental Science College Board curriculum; enrichment studies in Costa Rica for AP students; and a two-year inclusion earth science program. She also serves as the adviser to Students Working for Enhanced Environmental Projection.

In addition, Ms. Brown developed a Research in Science and Education (RISE) program that encourages high school students to explore science as a process as they work on independent research projects and collaborate with professionals at Stony Brook University and Brookhaven National Laboratory. Under her tutelage, some of her students have been named finalists and semifinalists in prestigious competitions, including the Siemens Competition in Math, Science & Technology and the Intel Science Talent Search. Her expertise and energy isn’t limited to working with students in the high school. She works with younger students in the district through SOAR, an elementary aeronautical engineering program, where gifted and

talented fourth- and fifth-grade science and math students team up with mentors in the fields of aerospace and flight, including pilots as well as engineers from NASA, to build complex, high-performance paper airplanes. The program culminates in a competition, widely attended by members of the community. As the adviser to the Explorer’s Club, she mentors middle school students as they research many different branches of science, through the exploration of local resources.

In the words of Sayville High School principal Ronald Hoffer, “All students who come into contact with Ms. Brown respond to her caring, enthusiastic approach. She is the epitome of a dedicated, caring master teacher.”

A guest lecturer at Stony Brook University and a professional wetland scientist, she has presented at national conferences, published papers in renowned journals and is a member of numerous professional affiliations. She has been honored by myriad groups, including the Science Museum of Long Island and the Great South Bay Audubon Society.

Ms. Brown holds a B.S. in geology, and a B.A. in biology from Queens College, and an M.S. in environmental science from LIU Post. She resides in Sayville, N.Y.

More than 9,000 graduates, families, guests and university officials will attend the ceremony which is held under a white tent on the Great Lawn beginning at 11:30 a.m. The Class of 2013 includes 2,227 students who will be awarded bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degrees and advanced certificates from Long Island University’s three Long Island campuses: LIU Post in Brookville, LIU Brentwood in Brentwood, N.Y. and LIU Riverhead, N.Y.

For more information about LIU Post’s Commencement exercises visit or call (516) 299-2350.

Posted 05/08/2013

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