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Buffalo teachers and students recognized for extraordinary performance

Courtney McCann

Each year adult education providers from across New York State have the opportunity to recognize exceptional performance of both instructors and students.  This year, two instructors and two students from Buffalo Public Schools Adult Education Division were selected by the New York Association for Community and Continuing Education (NYACCE) for their annual recognition awards.

Courtney McCann and Ryan Skerrett, both instructors in the Division’s English to Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) program, were selected as NYACCE Outstanding Teachers of the Year.  John Rader, a student who earned his high school equivalency (HSE) diploma in the Division’s Distance Learning program, was named a NYACCE Outstanding Student of the Year.  Lynette Walker, another student who earned her HSE diploma was given Honorable Mention by the statewide group.

Courtney is known for creating a positive learning environment in her classroom by celebrating every student success.  Knowing that adult students often face conflicts that interfere with their ability to concentrate on learning, she frequently contributes her own time to resolve some common issues outside the classroom.

Ryan was originally hired as an ESOL teacher but has also taken on teaching assignments in computer and other job training skills to English language learners.  He often builds lessons from scratch, writing and adapting material to meet his students’ individual interests and needs.  He has also mentored new teachers and shares material with his colleagues at professional development meetings.

Adult Education Division student John Rader left high school almost twenty years ago because the traditional setting did not serve his needs.  Once enrolled in the Adult Education Division, he was placed in a Distance Learning program which requires self-motivation and independent work.  He thrived in this learning environment and earned his HSE diploma in a short amount of time.  He is currently employed at NFTA.

Lynette Walker is a mother of seven who spent most of her life caring for others.  She decided it was time to do something for herself and enrolled in HSE classes where she was recognized for her commitment, determination, positivity, and team spirit.  With her HSE diploma in hand, she recently enrolled in the Adult Education Division’s Allied Health Office Technology program where she continues to impress her instructor with her work ethic.

The BPS Adult Education Division serves approximately 6500 students with high school equivalency diploma preparation classes, English to Speakers of Other Languages classes, and workforce training & community education courses at approximately 25 sites in the City of Buffalo.  All WNY residents are welcome to enroll.  More information is available at or by calling (716) 888-7088 ext 100.

Written by Buffalo Public Schools Adult Education Division

Buffalo Public Schools Adult Education Division

The Buffalo Public Schools Adult Education Division offers High School Equivalency (HSE) Diploma preparation classes and English as a Second Language (ESL) classes at sites across the city of Buffalo. In addition, the Division is an official New York State testing site for the TASC™ exam which has replaced the GED® as the official test for earning a HSE diploma from the NYS Education Department.

The Division also provides workforce training and community education programs in other disciplines including construction trades, automotive, welding, computers, allied health office technology and facilities management.

A complete listing of courses, descriptions, and schedules is available at For more information contact

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