Port Chester Schools Director of ELL and Bilingual Programs Valerie Lakestream has received the Administrator of the Year award from the New York State Teachers of English to Speakers of Other Languages, in recognition of her outstanding contributions to the school district.
“I am honored to receive this award,” Lakestream said. “It is incredible to be recognized by such a prestigious organization for the meaningful work taking place in Port Chester. I am proud of the progress we have made in our district, and I am excited to continue to create opportunities for English language learners and multilingual learners in Port Chester.”
As an influential district leader, Lakestream has orchestrated an array of invaluable opportunities for professional growth among all educators, and spearheaded programs that empower students to attain the Seal of Biliteracy while actively engaging in myriad initiatives designed to meet the unique needs of multilingual learners. Her leadership approach has been characterized by her dedication to providing access and opportunity to all students through innovative programming, fostering partnerships and leading with a passionate vision for change.
Lakestream boasts over a decade of experience in language acquisition education, having taught Italian and Spanish before assuming her current district leadership role. During her tenure at Port Chester, she has introduced new bilingual programs throughout the district, expanded dual language training and enriched professional development opportunities for teachers. She has also established vital community partnerships to support newcomers, expanded the Seal of Biliteracy program and developed university collaborations that have allowed faculty to earn ENL certification.
She holds bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Pace University, a certificate in educational leadership from Long Island University, and a certificate of advanced study in TESOL from Clarkson University.
Superintendent of Schools Dr. Aurelia L. Henriquez said she was thrilled about Lakestream’s award.
“This recognition is a testament to her exceptional leadership and unwavering commitment to removing barriers for students, paving the way for increased opportunities and success.” Henriquez said. “Ms. Lakestream's data-informed approach has empowered our district to gain a deeper understanding of our strengths while identifying areas for continuous improvement. Her dedication to setting high expectations for all, while increasing bilingualism and biliteracy, are to be applauded. We are most fortunate to have a leader of her caliber serving the Port Chester community. “
Lakestream’s achievements was recognized during the 53rd annual conference in Albany, New York, from Nov. 3-4.