Congratulations to Jason Millington and Jeff Wujcik for winning the New York Association for Continuing Community Education

2018 Teacher of the Year Award

Mr. Jason Millington Mr. Jeff Wujcik

The Office of Adult and Career Education Services (OACES), an adult education program within the Rochester City School District, has two teachers, Jason Millington and Jeff Wujcik that will be recognized as Teacher of the Year by the New York Association for Continuing Community Education (NYACCE) during its 2018 NYACCE Conference on May 1, 2018 in Albany, New York. NYACCE represents agencies and adult education programs throughout New York State that are committed to providing lifelong learning opportunities for adults.

Jason Millington has uses his life experiences to encourage students, often quoting Ella Fitzgerald, “It isn’t where you come from, it’s where you’re going that counts.” He stresses with his students that, as long are they have determination, motivation, and are striving for success, anything is possible if they set their minds to it. As an Adult Education teacher, Mr. Millington has taught many students that have had family experiences similar to his own upbringing. Often these students have dropped out of school, and are now uncertain of their future. As students enter his classroom, they quickly realize they have a teacher that sees the potential in everyone and uses positivity to motivate them to be successful.  Students soon recognize their purpose for being in the classroom: they are striving to become successful adults both in the classroom and in life. It is especially meaningful when students know his story and past.  As a current student Ferdinand Morgan attests, “Mr. Millington doesn’t always tell you the answer or solve a problem for you, instead, he points you in the right direction, encourages you, and celebrates your accomplishment. I have a positive outlook for me and my family. If Mr. Millington could change his life, so can I.”

Nominating “Chef Jeff” for NYACCE Teacher of the Year was not based solely on program nor student employment outcomes. Our recommendation was based on the life changing influence he has made on the lives of his students, their families, and the overall OACES community. The Culinary Careers curriculum is based on food preparation but is grounded in relationship building. As quoted from former student Shaqueda Bembry: “Chef … encourages us to reach our full potential. He helps students to get jobs, even those who never worked a day in their life. He is a phenomenal man who puts his heart into his work!” As former student Alicia Edmondson attests, “I came to OACES with a lot of personal problems. Chef never judged me. Instead, he taught me to channel that negative energy into something positive. He is someone I admire and look up to.” In class, students frequently discuss life barriers and collectively find solutions. Everyone understands that the goal is self-sufficiency and that it is everyone’s responsibility to help each other reach that goal.