Jacqueline Farinon Wiley of Manhasset High School has been named a Distinguished Teacher of 2018 by the Harvard Club of LI.
“This award honors teachers who transform lives,” explained Dr. Judith Esterquest, Harvard Club of LI chair of the Distinguished Teacher Selection Committee. “Devoted teachers like Mrs. Wiley offer Long Island students deep expertise, extraordinary talents and countless hours of attention. By capturing the minds and imaginations of our children and preparing them for challenges that were unknown even a few decades ago, these teachers shape the future of our country.”
Wiley will be honored at the Harvard Club of LI’s annual University Relations Luncheon on April 15, at the Heritage Club at Bethpage, along with 11 other teachers from across Long Island. Following the award ceremony, Harvard Professor Michael Klarman will lecture on The Framers’ Coup: The Making of the U.S. Constitution. A renowned legal historian and constitutional law scholar, Klarman will discuss questions that still resonate today: why so many features of our constitution insulate the national government from populist political influence, why the Philadelphia convention was so unrepresentative of national opinion and why ordinary Americans approved a scheme that drastically reduced their political influence.
Wiley, who teaches Spanish across all grades at Manhasset Middle and High Schools, has taught six years in the Manhasset district, having previously taught in Port Washington and Levittown. As the faculty advisor for the Spanish Honor Society throughout her tenure in the district, she has supervised annual fundraisers to donate to schools in Latin America and to sponsor the education of impoverished Guatemalan children. She also served as faculty advisor for the MHS Class of 2016.
Earning her B.A., cum laude, from Fairfield University, with a double major in English and Spanish and a minor in philosophy, she was awarded the prestigious Father Leeber Scholarship for Spanish and earned Fairﬁeld University Dean’s List every semester. Before teaching locally, she taught English in Madrid, Spain. Subsequently, at Queens College CUNY, after earned her MS in Secondary Education, she was honored for outstanding foreign language instruction. More recently, she has studied TESOL Education, linguistics, German and Italian. In 2015, she won a scholarship from the AATSP (American Association of Teachers of Spanish and Portuguese) in 2015 for a two-week program of study and volunteer work in Antigua, Guatemala.
She loves to travel, spending much time in Spain, a summer in Argentina, and various trips to Europe and Latin America with her husband Stephen. She describes a study abroad trip to Spain, where she was the faculty group leader for 25 students from MacArthur High School, as one of “the best experiences of my career.” She and Stephen are most recently focused on their infant son.
“Sra. Wiley’s class was my favorite of high school,” said Julia Henry, a former MHS student who is currently a sophomore at Harvard College. “She is the reason I am now pursuing a citation in Spanish and applying to various internships in Spanish-speaking countries for next summer.”
“A ball of energy in our fifth-period class, when many students start hitting a wall of exhaustion, Sra. Wiley’s class was anything but a normal Spanish class,” added Henry. “I came to realize how hard Sra. Wiley was willing to work for the benefit of her students; morning meetings, after-school churro sales, Spanish movie nights; she always went above and beyond.”
When Superintendent of Schools Dr. Vincent Butera learned of this award, he observed, “Mrs. Wiley is an exceptional teacher who strives to create meaningful, relevant lessons to help her students to communicate with confidence in Spanish. Recognizing the need for successful global citizens, Mrs. Wiley seeks to develop intercultural awareness and international understanding. We are honored and proud to work with such a professional.”
At the ceremony on April 15, the Harvard Club of LI will announce the Distinguished Teacher of 2018 who will also receive a scholarship for a “Harvard experience” at the Harvard University campus in Cambridge, MA. Past winners of the scholarships have enhanced their teaching by sampling the resources available to Harvard students: meeting with faculty; visiting research laboratories, rare book archives and specialty museums; and enjoying visual and performance art. The scholarships are funded by contributions from Harvard alumni living on Long Island.
This year’s 12 Distinguished Teacher Award winners were nominated by current Harvard undergraduates and then selected by Harvard Club of LI board members. This year’s award winners teach English, economics, history, math, physics, chemistry, science research and Spanish. The winners teach in the Bellmore-Merrick, Bohemia, Brentwood, East Meadow, East Williston, Herricks, Hewlett, Lynbrook, Manhasset, Mt. Sinai and Roslyn school districts.
The extraordinary teaching excellence within Manhasset secondary schools is demonstrated by the previous honorees from MHS, Dr. David Dorman, 2009, history; Terese Keogh, 2013, physics; Marcia Untracht, 2014, English; Diann Flanagan, 2016, science; and Annie Law, 2017, economics. MMS English teacher, Eric Shapiro, won in 2010.
Unusually, two Manhasset Middle School teachers have also been named Honorary Fellows of the Harvard Club and traveled to Cambridge, MA, for the Harvard Experience: eighth-grade Earth Science teacher Gary Chen in 2016; and Dr. Joseph D’Angelo, English, 2005, for both high school and middle school teaching.
—Harvard Club of LI