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Canastota teacher to participate in national competition

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CNY/NNY/S. Tier: Canastota teacher to participate in national competition
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A Canastota teacher is leading by example. She started an elective, Canastota Apprentice, based on the hit TV show. Her students competed in a number of projects before an "Apprentice" was named. This summer, she'll compete in a national competition to showcase their work. Our Iris St. Meran has her story.

CANASTOTA, N.Y. -- Tuesday marked the last day of school at Canastota Junior Senior High School. But this summer, business teacher Patricia Ragan will be hard at work.

Ragan said, "I'm going to be traveling to Redmond, Washington in July to present the program to a panel of judges."

The program is "Canastota Apprentice." It's modeled after Donald Trump's Show, "The Apprentice." Earlier this year, we showed you how students competed and completed a number of tasks, including making an anti-bullying video and working with local organizations.

Canastota Apprentice winner Isaac Smith said, "That experience I can take wherever I go and it's great."

What's even greater is his teacher entered the curriculum into Microsoft’s Partners in Learning 2012 U.S. Forum and she was chosen as a finalist to compete against 100 other educators across the country. She will demonstrate how she used technology in the classroom and show samples of student work.

"I have seen it grow over the last two years and it's very, very popular. We want our teachers to be creative and they are very creative and the kids have just jumped on board and it's growing by leaps and bounds," said Principal Ed Rinaldo.

She has inspirational quotes all around her classroom including one that says, “You can't get anywhere unless you start.” That's the biggest lesson she hopes her students have gained from this experience as well as watching her compete in the national competition.

"Don't ever give up. Be willing to take the risk,” Ragan said, “You have nothing to lose."

After this experience, her students feel the same way about her as she does about them.

"I'm very proud. I thought she's done an amazing job and I'm so glad she has come up with this idea," said Canastota Apprentice runner-up Audrey Soper.

If Ragan advances in this competition, she will then have the opportunity to represent the U.S. at a forum in Athens, Greece.

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