FIREFIGHTERS ASSOCIATION HONORS CAIRO-DURHAM PRINCIPAL AS “TEACHER OF THE YEAR”

Mr. Christopher Stein Receives FASNY Fire Safety Education Award for All His Work Spreading Fire Prevention and Safety Information to His Students and His Community

(CAIRO – May 19, 2023) The Firefighters Association of the State of New York (FASNY) presented their 2023 Teacher of the Year award to Christopher Stein, Principal of the Cairo-Durham Elementary School in Cairo. The FASNY Teacher of the Year Award is presented to an educator who goes above and beyond to bring fire prevention and fire safety information into their school, including working with their local fire department. The award was initiated in 2005 and acknowledges the work of teachers who make fire safety education a priority for their students and their families.

“We are very proud to present the FASNY Teacher of the Year award to Principal Christopher Stein,” said FASNY President Edward Tase, Jr. “Mr. Stein has shown a deep personal dedication to the cause of spreading fire prevention information to the children in his school and their families. Even in the face of a worldwide pandemic, Mr. Stein and his team made sure that their students continued to receive important fire prevention information monthly – including homework assignments! Our state’s 80,000 volunteer firefighters salute Principal Christopher Klein as our Teacher of the Year.”

Chris Stein became the principal at Cairo-Durham Elementary School at the start of the 2018-2019 academic year.

Since taking over the school’s leadership reins, Stein understands that fire prevention is not just for adults. Having a firm grasp of fire safety measures – and what to do in the event of a fire – is also a critically important subject for children, too.

In addition to placing a heavy emphasis on fire safety during October’s Fire Prevention Week, Stein makes sure that fire safety lessons are woven into the school’s academic curriculum year-round. This gives youngsters a much deeper appreciation for the importance of fire safety.

“Over the past several years, it’s been a pleasure working with Mr. Stein hands on with our elementary students,” said Cairo Fire Chief Raymond Feml. “He understands the vital importance of our program and goes above and beyond to show his support. He loves his students and their safety at home is just as prominent as it is in school.”

During Fire Prevention Week, the Oak Hill-Durham Volunteer Fire Company’s Fire Prevention and Life Safety Team coordinates several stations for children to participate in hands-on learning, including spraying fire hoses and crawling through “smoke” mazes. Stein accommodates whatever needs to be set up for the children to have the best experience possible. And that even extends to being part of the demonstrations!

During Fire Prevention Week in October 2019, Stein joined in Oak Hill-Durham Volunteer Fire Company’s grand finale with the Greene County Sheriff’s K-9, Havoc. Students not only saw how the sheriff’s German Shepherd works when he’s on the job, but also enjoyed watching their principal be the “bad guy” and get “attacked” by the powerful canine!

Besides being a good sport, Stein is adept at problem solving. When the COVID-19 pandemic struck in March 2020, he made sure the virus didn’t sidetrack students’ Fire Prevention Education. With his assistance, handouts, videos and homework were sent to students electronically each month. He then personally delivered prizes to end-of-the-year drawing contest winners.

“I have worked with many principals over 10 years as a school administrator and to say Chris Stein is among the best is an understatement,” noted Douglas Morrissey, director, Pupil Personnel Services, Cairo Durham Central School District. “I have known few others who are as dedicated to improving the lives of students both in school and out as Chris.”

Studies show that most fires start unexpectedly and spread quickly. It’s therefore imperative that children have the fire safety skills they need before a fire occurs. Due to Stein’s exemplary leadership, desire to make health and safety a top priority, and adaptability through the COVlD-19 pandemic, students at Cairo-Durham Elementary School have the skills they need to protect themselves should they find themselves in harm’s way.

About FASNY 
Founded in 1872, the Firemen’s Association of the State of New York (FASNY) represents the interests of the approximately 80,000 volunteer firefighters and emergency medical personnel in New York State.  For more information, visit www.fasny.com. 

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