Niagara Gazette — “I do feel very happy and grateful to be able to represent so many teachers in New York state,” Skura-Dreher said. “There really are thousands of dedicated, passionate teachers in New York. I feel very humbled and I’m very, very grateful for the opportunity.”
Skura-Dreher lives on Grand Island and is the mother of two daughters, Heavyn and Skye. One nominating mother called Lew-Port’s own Teacher of the Year a “miracle worker” for helping to unlock her autistic son’s mind and better engage him in learning. One of Dreher’s proudest accomplishments is a series of four dinners she organizes each year to allow students to prepare meals for their family members as a way to put into practice life skills they learn each day in her classroom. She also takes pride in helping her special needs students find internships with local businesses to better prepare them for the workplace.
Skura-Dreher earned national certification from the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards and, since 2004, has served as the Western New York coordinator for the New York State United Teachers’ Education and Learning Trust, which provides professional development courses to teachers across the state.
“New York’s teachers are among the best and most professional in the nation. Still, Ashli manages to stand out,” said Richard C. Iannuzzi, president of NYSUT. “In her classroom, students with special needs receive a mix of research-based instruction and innovative lessons. Her focus on community and volunteerism, and her close collaboration with parents, make her a sterling example of what happens when great teachers and concerned parents work together on behalf of our children. I join every member of NYSUT in congratulating her.”