Teacher of the Year

FASNY invites communities and schools across the state to honor their best fire prevention educators with a nomination for Teacher of the Year. Each year, the FASNY Fire Prevention and Life Safety Committee recognizes a teacher with dedication to fire prevention and the safety of students and their families.



2018 Award Sponsored by:

Hannigan Law Firm PLLC


2017 Winner

Elisa Futia

Edward J. Arthur Elementary School
Athens, NY

Elisa is a very innovative first grade teacher and a truly respectable teacherleader. Whether in- or outside of the classroom, her energy and knowledge are dedicated to training and safety

Elisa provides a warm and appealing culture in her classroom, where she makes sure that all her students are afforded the best opportunity to receive a quality education.

In addition to the core curriculum, Elisa teaches her students how to stay safe and protected at all times. She dedicates a portion of each day to teaching her children the significance of becoming aware of their surroundings and providing them with the necessary skills for fire prevention and escape in the event of an emergency.

Her strategies are both creative and unique. In the spirit of inspiring fire prevention and life safety education at her school, Elisa held a “Fire Safety Day” for kindergarten and first grade classes.

She began the day with an assembly, where she used a firefighter puppet to introduce the topics that included the importance of fire drills, preparing an exit plan with two ways out, how to stay low and avoid breathing in toxic fumes and where to go once safely outside. She set up fire stations in the cafeteria and had the children practice each of the skill sets.

To reinforce these lessons and ensure that the children would retain the information, she created songs with the necessary material for them to sing. She sings the songs regularly in the classroom to continually reinforce these life safety lessons.

In addition to the practical lessons she teaches, Elisa wants her students to connect with real firefighters, so she developed the “Gift of Gloves Program.” She held a popcorn sale with the help of parent volunteers and raised enough money to send gloves to two firefighters at Engine 157 and Ladder 80 of Port Richman, Staten Island.

You will often find Elisa dressing up in costumes to accompany the theme she is presenting that day. She has even made her own props to simulate bedrooms, kitchens and basements. Realizing that parents frequently visit her website and that her students enjoy working on the computer, she has dedicated an entire section of her elementary school web page to this very important topic.

Elisa has worked with the Elsmere Fire Department (where her husband is currently the Assistant Fire Chief) over the past 10 years and subsequently improved her programs to the point where the Elsmere FD now uses many of her teaching techniques in their fire prevention program for over 1,000 students in schools and day care centers in their fire district.

Elisa’s ultimate goal is to continue to inspire other educators in the fire service. She has already ignited a culture of training and innovation at the Elsmere FD and her school. She motivates everyone to strive for high standards in fire education and is dedicated to teaching lifelong skills that will benefit her students and everyone they come in contact with.

Past Award Recipients

2004 Daria M. Pascale, C.V. Starr Intermediate School
2005 Warren G. Schmidt
2006 Tammy Hollenbeck
2007 Fehmida Mohammedali, Al-Iman School, New York
2008 Ann Chestnut, 
St. Mary’s School
2009 Gail Carrier, Holy Ghost Lutheran School
2010 Susan L.S. Brown, 
Germantown Central School District
2011 Daria M. Pascale, C.V. Starr Intermediate School
2012 Paula Candella, Westmoreland Road Elementary School
2013 Sandy Hickey, Mill Road Elementary School
2014 Michele Hood, Roscoe Central School
2015 Paul E. Ziring, Great Neck School District
2016 Michael Revenson, Mahopac Volunteer Fire Department
2017 Elisa Futia, Edward J. Arthur Elementary School