Teacher Fellowship for Graduate Study in Memory of Richard Gazzola

The Teacher Fellowship was established by the New York State PTA in 1961 to encourage excellent teachers to stay in the classroom by providing an opportunity for them to improve their teaching skills, update their professional knowledge, and expand their professional perspectives. In 1992, the Fellowship was named to honor a “Master Teacher,” Richard Gazzola, who served on the New York State PTA Board of Directors for many years prior to his untimely death in 1991.

NOTE: This grant can ONLY be used for course work completed after submission of the application and can be used anytime up to August of the following year.

Deadline for Applying: June 15, 2023 – Now Closed

Completed application (link below) including official transcripts for graduate degree and letters of recommendation must be postmarked, not metered, no later than  to be considered.


Mail to:

Recognitions Specialist
NYS PTA Office
One Wembley Court
Albany, NY 12205-3830

Allow sufficient time to obtain the necessary transcripts and letters of recommendation. If the application and all supportive data are not postmarked by June 15th, the application will NOT be considered. (If the deadline falls on a weekend or holiday it will be extended to the next business day)


Applicant must:

  1. Be a full-time, non-substitute teacher in a New York State public school.
  2. Have obtained a master’s degree and have completed at least one full year of teaching in the year immediately preceding applying.
  3. Be a New York State PTA member in the school in which the applicant teaches or which the applicant’s children attend. The PTA must be in good standing. (Only members of units affiliated with National PTA and New York State PTA may apply.)
  4. Plan to continue teaching in a New York State public school for a least one year.
  5. Have received a Teacher Fellowship no more than once before.

NOTE: Applying for a grant from another source must be indicated on the application. Receipt of a comparable grant would make applicant ineligible for a Fellowship. Notification of acceptance of such a grant should be sent to the NYS PTA Office immediately.


Academic ability, professional promise, relevance of proposed study to improve teaching proficiency, and course of study must be in a field to improve the applicant’s teaching proficiency.

The following courses shall not be considered:

    • Courses being taken to meet initial teaching certification requirements.

    • Courses being taken to meet certification requirements (or any other courses) for guidance positions.

    • Courses being taken to meet certification requirements (or any other courses) for administrative positions.

Financial need is NOT a consideration.


The applicant is responsible for the following:

  1. Arranging for an official transcript for graduate degree to be sent by the college or university to the NYS PTA office.
  2. Submitting, along with the application form, letters of recommendation from:
  3. PTA president, attesting to the applicant’s membership and active participation in the unit.
  4. Applicant’s principal or superintendent.


Special Fellowships:

May be awarded outside the usual requirements of formal classroom attendance when the applicant can convince the committee of its value by presenting a written plan for a course of study not met by available graduate courses. No more than one such Fellowship will be awarded in any year.

Selection of State Winners:

Applications are reviewed by a committee of members of the New York State PTA Governance Team.

Winners Announced:

Winners are notified on or about August 15th and receive a contractual agreement which must be signed and returned.