Elementary School Teacher of the Year 2018
Degrees and Certifications:
Mrs. Afsaneh Parandian
Afsaneh Parandian began her career in the Yonkers Public Schools in 1998 at School 30 as a prekindergarten teacher, the multicultural magnet teacher and in her current position as a kindergarten teacher for the past 16 years. Mrs. Parandian was nominated by eighteen current and former parents of her students and endorsed by Principal Dr. Marjorie Brown-Anfelouss.
Mrs. Parandian was raised in the City of Yonkers after her family came to the United States in 1983. “My amazing parents live in Yonkers!,” noted Afsaneh. Educated in the Yonkers Public Schools, she graduated from Gorton High School in 1994 where she participated in the Law Magnet program and attended elementary Schools 32 and 28 (currently Family School 32 and Kahlil Gibran School) and Emerson Middle School (currently Cross Hill Academy).
Mrs. Parandian received a Bachelor Degree in Education from Marymount College, graduating Summa Cum Laude. In 2000, she was accepted and awarded a Scholar placement into the first cohort of the Ennis Williams Crosby Graduate Certificate Program, a partnership with Fordham University’s Graduate School of Education that focused on children’s learning disabilities in kindergarten through second grade. Afsaneh went on to complete a Master of Science in Education at Fordham University.
Academic study and practical experience as a kindergarten teacher informs Mrs. Parandian’s work every day. She wrote in her application, “I have gained a deeper understanding of the developmental level of kindergarteners. Their excitement and eagerness to learn, coupled with their amazing abilities to absorb new information is fascinating. I work with the whole child and really get to know each individual child and family. I make connections with the families through emails, phone calls, text messages through the Remind App, newsletters and weekly updates. I can see the difference it has made in my relationships with my students and their families. They become a part of my life, as much as I become a part of theirs.”
This attentiveness to communication with the families and passion for her students’ learning was evident in Mrs. Parandian’s nominations. When asked why this teacher deserves this recognition every parent’s comment espoused similar responses; “she’s always willing to talk to parents and help with any issue and she genuinely treats them (students) all like they are HER children,” “she has an enthusiasm every day that is amazing,” “she communicates thoroughly with parents and has us involved and informed of what is happening in the classroom,” and “she has the most beautiful and bright smile that lights up the entire school.”
Mrs. Parandian is an active member of the School 30 community that was endorsed by the PTA. She is the school’s liaison to the PTA and attends most school and PTA activities as well as many community events that support educational opportunities for Yonkers students. Afsaneh feels her, “community involvement provides a network of colleagues and peers with whom I can share learning.” Over the years, she has led professional development for Response to Intervention, differentiated instruction and multicultural activities. She mentors students through the school’s Mentor/Mentee buddy system as well as colleagues providing guidance to new teachers.
Afsaneh and Kamran Parandian are the proud parents of daughters, Yasmin and Leila