eight high school students standing with their teacher Mrs. Giarrusso at an awards ceremony

Congratulations to CDHS Social Studies teacher, Laura Giarrusso, for being honored with the Bob Niederberger Award! She received the award in recognition of her exceptional achievements in Social Studies education. Mrs. Giarrusso was presented with the Niederberger Award by the Capital District Council for Social Studies at a ceremony in May, which many of her students attended.

Mrs. Giarrusso (pictured, back row third from right) has contributed so much to Cairo-Durham CSD and our students. Through diverse teaching methods including simulations, hands-on projects, engaging lectures, writing workshops and more, Mrs. Giarrusso consistently helps many of her students achieve high scores on Advanced Placement (AP) exams and/or mastery on the Global History regents exams.

She is also highly supportive of her colleagues and constantly advocates for professional development opportunities to strengthen Social Studies education at Cairo-Durham and beyond. She has advocated for funding to allow Social Studies teachers to attend conferences across the country and even coordinated a regional conference connecting educators from across the area. At the regional conference held at the former Durham Elementary School, Mrs. Giarrusso brought in nationally known AP educators, representatives from the New York State Education Department, field trip sites, and more to help teachers build curriculum, learn new strategies, and obtain many more resources.

Mrs. Giarrusso relentlessly advocates for AP/honors, at-risk, and special education programs equally to ensure the needs of all students are met. As the Social Studies department facilitator, her leadership skills have led to more cross-building collaboration to help broaden Social Studies course offerings and ensure all students are equipped with the skills and knowledge they need to be successful in high school and college.

Without a doubt, Mrs. Giarrusso’s instruction and her leadership positively impact Cairo-Durham CSD, our students, and Social Studies education in general. She always works in the best interest of all Cairo-Durham students and is highly deserving of this award. Congratulations, Mrs. Giarrusso!