Governor Cuomo Announces Expansion of the New York State Master Teacher Program

March 11, 2016

From the office of Governor Cuomo

Outstanding STEM teachers encouraged to apply through May 14, 2016

Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today announced the expansion of the New York State Master Teacher Program. Launched in 2013, the initiative rewards the state's highest performing teachers to ensure the best and brightest stay in the classroom and share their expertise with peers and pre-service teachers. Additional funding will enable more outstanding secondary school Science, Technology, Engineering and Math teachers to join the existing statewide network of 623 Master Teachers.

"We created the Master Teacher Program to attract our best and brightest teachers to the classroom and strengthen the quality of our schools in communities across this state," Governor Cuomo said. "By expanding this program we are giving more talented professionals in STEM education the opportunity to develop their careers and help lay the foundation for a world-class workforce. I encourage all of New York’s outstanding educators in these fields to apply to the Master Teachers program today."

The Master Teacher Program is supported by SUNY campus partners in nine economic development regions and in partnership with Math for America in New York City. In addition, three regional programs (Central New York, Long Island, and Western New York) will host a pilot program to extend the Master Teacher Program to outstanding STEM teachers with training and expertise in working with English-language-learners and special education designated students.

SUNY Chancellor Nancy L. Zimpher said, "Our Master Teachers are truly leaders in STEM education, and their work is critical in inspiring more teachers to be experts, and thereby more students to have a higher understanding of STEM subjects. There is more work to do in bringing the Master Teacher program to communities across our state. I encourage our brightest teachers to join and apply today."

The current 623 Master Teachers have an average teaching experience of 14 years. Representing nearly 300 school districts, they teach all levels of STEM courses at the middle and high school levels. Fifty Master Teachers have earned National Board Certification, a national recognition of the highest professional standards. Many of these individuals began their teaching career following successful professions in STEM fields, including careers as meteorologists, research scientists, and mechanical engineers.

To be eligible for application to the NYS Master Teacher Program, teachers must be certified New York State public school teachers in grades six through twelve. Teachers must have a minimum of four years of experience teaching STEM subjects and must spend at least 60 percent of their time in the classroom teaching STEM subjects.

Individuals that meet the above eligibility requirements and the following additional criteria are encouraged to apply for the pilot program being launched in the Central New York, Long Island, and Western New York regions:

  • Hold an extension certificate in bilingual education, or
  • Hold certification in English as a Second Language, or
    Hold a dual certification in a content area and special education.

Master Teachers:

  • Receive a $15,000 stipend per year over 4 years for participation in the program (total compensation of $60,000 per Master Teacher).
  • Engage in peer mentoring and intensive content-oriented professional development opportunities throughout the academic year.
  • Work closely with pre-service and early career teachers to foster a supportive environment for the next generation of STEM teachers.
  • Attend required regular cohort meetings, participate in and lead several professional development sessions each year, and participate in the training of pre-service and early career educators as part of the Master Teacher program.

Additional information about the Master Teacher Program and the application requirements and process is available at

About the State University of New York
The State University of New York is the largest comprehensive system of higher education in the United States, and more than 95 percent of all New Yorkers live within 30 miles of any one of SUNY’s 64 colleges and universities. Across the system, SUNY has four academic health centers, five hospitals, four medical schools, two dental schools, a law school, the country’s oldest school of maritime, the state’s only college of optometry, and manages one US Department of Energy National Laboratory. In total, SUNY serves about 1.4 million students amongst its entire portfolio of credit- and non-credit-bearing courses and programs, continuing education, and community outreach programs. SUNY oversees nearly a quarter of academic research in New York. Research expenditures system-wide are nearly $1.1 billion in fiscal year 2023, including significant contributions from students and faculty. There are more than three million SUNY alumni worldwide, and one in three New Yorkers with a college degree is a SUNY alum. To learn more about how SUNY creates opportunities, visit

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