By Jasmine A. Willis
After student teaching together, four Buffalo State alumni have all landed jobs at the same
Rochester City School.
Shalyn Kanaley, Jason Legrett, Tellis Lott and Samantha Ramsey student taught at Henry
Hudson School 28, before getting hired by the school.
Although Tellis Lott is no longer working as a long-term substitute at School 28, he hasn't left
the Rochester City School District. He now teaches second grade at George Mather Forbes
Lott said when he was hired to work permanently in the RCSD in October of 2012 he was
ecstatic. He said all the hard work really paid off for him and everyone who supported him along
"There are three people I give all the credit in the world to for helping me get to where I am
today," Lott said. "Those people are my beautiful wife Tanya Alisha, who sacrificed herself
day in and day out to support my education, my mentor teacher Jeremy Ventura, and Professor
Assistant Director of Student Teaching and a lecturer in Elementary Education and Reading at
Buffalo State, Rosemary Arioli, supervised all four former students.
She said the number of students who are getting jobs shows the capability of all students. She
said Lott and Ramsey were considered non-traditional students, because they worked full-time
at another position while working to get their education. Kanaley and Legrett were full-time
Arioli said the student teaching acted as an internship. She said this is their chance to really go
beyond what is expected of them as students.
"I think when they are volunteering they do extra things, and they are willing to take on
challenges that make them go beyond what is required," Arioli said. "We motivate students to
really put in their time, to shine, to really step up and do the best they can do."
Arioli said the four students are willing to motivate and talk to other student teachers about their
experience. She said Buffalo State students put forth their best work because they understand
how competitive the job market is.
Lott said professor Arioli reached out to him and helped him reach his goal to become a teacher.
He said it was important to him to do his best because he not only represented her, but he
represented Buffalo State and the School of Education program.
"The one occurrence that always stands out is when I was being observed in my first grade
placement," Lott said. "It was a rare day where I was teaching a lesson on temperature, and my
students struggled with the content, which caused me to get frustrated and fearful of my post
Lott said Arioli took time to reinforce the positives of his lesson, and gave him constructive
feedback on what could have been done differently. He said she helped him see the positives of
his teaching and made sure he understood where improvements could be made.
Arioli believed her new group of students found inspiration in the success stories of the four
former students that landed jobs in Rochester.
"I would say it really feels good and that these students are all shining stars that worked really
hard," she said.
Arioli said she hopes these students gave hope to the next group of graduates and showed them
that they do not have to get a job out of state because there are opportunities close to home.
Arioli said in a press release that Jeremy Ventura, a teacher at School 28 wrote to her about the
"I have worked with probably every campus in the surrounding area...and your school is the
exemplar," Ventura wrote. "Your students are the utmost professionals and their preparation is
second to none."
Jasmine Willis can be reached by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.