President Obama Announces Mercy College Alumnus Tony Mullen '02 As National Teacher of the Year
Published on Wednesday, April 29, 2009

President Barack Obama Announces Mercy College Alumnus Tony Mullen '02 As National Teacher of the Year - Watch VideoApril 29, 2009, Dobbs Ferry, NY- Anthony Mullen, a 2002 graduate of Mercy College, was named 2009 National Teacher of the Year and honored by President Obama at a White House Ceremony on April 28, 2009. The full text of the event can be found here.

Mr. Mullen currently teaches special education at the ARCH School, an alternative education branch of Greenwich High School (Greenwich, CT). He learned to be an educator at Mercy College, where he earned M.S. degrees in both Elementary Education and Special Education.

"The road to this honor began with my teaching degree at Mercy College," says Anthony Mullen, a member of the Mercy College School of Education Advisory Council. "The College provided me with the opportunity to develop my passion to be an educator, my professionalism, and also my perseverance—which is the key to teaching students with behavioral and emotional disabilities."

The 49-year-old teacher has taken an unusual path to this high honor. Born in the Bronx, he served as a New York City Police Officer for 20 years. Working with troubled teenagers, he realized that many were destined for prison unless they received the benefits of a quality education and positive role models. Determined to provide troubled young people with the crucial help they need, he enrolled in Mercy College to study education. He earned his two master's degrees in education there in 2002.

"A hallmark of Mercy College is the distinctive quality of its School of Education and successful outcomes for graduates," says Dr. Kimberly Cline, president of Mercy College. “We are very proud that our alumnus, Tony Mullen, has been recognized with this honor of the highest magnitude on a national stage. He exemplifies our goal to provide each of our students with the capabilities needed to excel in their chosen fields."

Dr. Andrew Peiser, Interim Dean of Mercy College's School of Education, says, "Receiving this award from President Obama is the ultimate recognition that a teacher can achieve—and it validates the efforts of all the dedicated teachers who make an impact on their students on a daily basis. We are thrilled to have provided the foundation for him to achieve his dreams of helping students succeed."

"Anthony is an inspiring role model, not only to his students but to everyone in the field of education." Upon completing his degrees, Anthony sought the most challenging teaching positions, working with students with severe behavioral and emotional problems. After a year at the Northern Westchester Board of Cooperative Educational Services in Yorktown Heights, he went to the ARCH School in Greenwich Connecticut, where he has taught for the past seven years. He resides with his wife, Susan and their three children in New York.

The National Teacher of the Year Program, a project of the Council of Chief State School Officers (CCSSO), is one of the oldest and most prestigious national honors program that focuses public attention on excellence in teaching. ING, a global financial services leader, is in its fifth consecutive year as title sponsor of the program. Anthony Mullen is the 59th National Teacher of the Year, and will serve as a national and international spokesperson for education.

About Mercy College:

Mercy College is a private, nonprofit institution, providing motivated students with the opportunity to earn degrees in more than 90 undergraduate and graduate programs. An engaging learning experience is offered at Dobbs Ferry (main campus), plus Bronx, Manhattan, Yorktown Heights and White Plains 1-877-MERCY-GO.

Contact: Christine Baker, Director of Public Relations and Marketing at 914-674-7596 or email: cbaker@mercy.edu.