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Flower City School No. 54 Music Teacher Named New York State Teacher of the Year

(September 12, 2023) The Rochester City School District congratulates The Flower City School No. 54 teacher Zach Arenz on being named the 2024 New York State Teacher of the Year. This honor was announced on Tuesday, September 12, 2023, by the New York State Education Department in Albany. 

Arenz, a music teacher at School No. 54, started his career in the RCSD in 2013.  Prior to joining the RCSD, Arenz taught music classes to students in the country of Sweden and prepared them for high school and career opportunities by creating academic and social goals. When he returned to the United States, he worked as a substitute teacher in Erie County.  He had seen friends applying for teaching jobs and moving throughout the state or out of state to find employment.

“I got a phone call from Rochester,” said Arenz.  “There was this long-term substitute teaching job, and it would be an itinerate music position working in three buildings out of four days.  I fell in love with our community, students, and teachers. I love the resources that our District has and the support we have available.” 

Superintendent of Schools Dr. Carmine Peluso says having Arenz named teacher of the year is something positive for the entire community.  “I am proud, honored, and humbled to have such an honor for our kids and the school,” said Peluso.  “Zach is someone special and he has done a lot to get this recognition. We have so many amazing teachers, but to have one recognized as a teacher of the year, and potentially a national teacher of the year, is quite amazing.”

“Zach has exemplary teaching practices and guiding principles,” said Demitria Lawton-Greggs, Principal of The Flower City School No. 54.  “He collaborates and maintains an environment to build caring and trusting relationships. He is always available to support school stakeholders and strives to empower all around him.  He embodies the qualities of a highly qualified New York State Teacher.”

Arenz will now represent all New York State teachers at events throughout the state and at national events with Teachers of the Year from across the United States. 

“This is an opportunity for our students to feel proud and know they have great teachers in their community,” said Arenz.  “We have wonderful, amazing people here, and I want others to know that.”