The high school’s Brian Haldenwang was recently selected as a New York State Master Teacher. He was one of 228 educators from 129 statewide school districts chosen by Gov. Cuomo to join the New York State Master Teacher Program. These honored Master Teachers specialize in science, technology, computer science, robotics, coding, engineering, math and integrated STEM courses across grades K-12.
Earning his bachelor’s degree in biology from Stony Brook University, Haldenwang went on to obtain his master’s in education from Dowling College. Prior to teaching, he worked as a biochemist with Enteric Products Inc. where he did research on H. pylori infection.
Haldenwang has worked for the past 15 years at West Islip High School, where he currently teaches International Baccalaureate higher level biology and human anatomy and physiology. He serves as the IB extended essay coordinator as well as the Students Acting for the Environment club adviser. An active member of the Science Teachers Association of New York and Educational Ambassador for the Half Earth Project, Haldenwang handles the planning for the annual Day in the Life of a River project and serves as the PASCO Scientific liaison for the West Islip Science Department. Annually, he attends and contributes to IB roundtable meetings for biology and extended essay to stay current with best pedagogical practices and curriculum changes. He also serves as an external examiner for IB biology exams.
“As a New York State Master Teacher, I plan to broaden my content knowledge and pedagogical skills by collaborating with other Master Teachers,” Haldenwang said.