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SUNY Potsdam Education Alumni Honor Jean Lemieux Pottle '68 with 2016 St. Lawrence Academy Medal

Photo of recipient of St. Lawrence Academy Medal
L to R: SUNY Potsdam President Kristin Esterberg, St. Lawrence Academy Medal recipient Jean Lemieux Pottle ’68 and School of Education Alumni Board President David Vroman ’83.

The SUNY Potsdam School of Education Alumni Association recently honored Jean Lemieux Pottle, a member of the Class of 1968, with the 2016 St. Lawrence Academy Medal, at the College’s Bicentennial Reunion Weekend.

The St. Lawrence Academy Medal is presented to a SUNY Potsdam graduate who has made significant contributions to the field of professional education or related fields. The Alumni Association recognized Pottle for her commitment to excellence in education and her selfless dedication to students.

Pottle has had a long and distinguished career, not only as a gifted teacher, but as a prolific writer and skilled administrator of a federal grant program that has positively impacted math and science education in North Country schools for 10 years. She was a non-traditional student at SUNY Potsdam when she earned her bachelor’s degree in 1968 and master’s degree in 1972. She began her career teaching seventh and eighth grades at St. Lawrence Central Schools in Brasher Falls, N.Y. Later, she taught at SUNY Potsdam’s Campus School, where she designed innovative curricula for grades five through eight, including multi-graded, open and self-contained classrooms.

In 1989, Pottle became a consultant educator for the Research Foundation of New York, overseeing the administration of several Dwight D. Eisenhower Grants. For the next decade, she was responsible for the team of educators that provided summer professional development programs for math and science teachers in schools throughout the North Country. The team designed and presented one- and two-week workshops for elementary, middle and high school teachers, using campus resources as well as field activities designed to highlight the Adirondack region’s natural and cultural resources. She also wrote curricular materials that were distributed to participants and area schools. Pottle’s work was well ahead of its time, providing modeling and interdisciplinary approaches to teaching in language arts, the physical and life sciences and technology.

Pottle’s career also included eight years as a librarian and English instructor at Mid-State College in Auburn, Maine. In addition to her teaching, she is the author of 11 books and numerous journal articles on teaching and writing across the curriculum, and integrating science and language arts in the classroom. Throughout her career, Pottle has always been extremely supportive of her colleagues, with boundless enthusiasm, energy and creativity. One of her campus colleagues said that “she possesses those qualities we all value in teachers – a passion for her subject, the ability to see beyond boundaries, and the energy and enthusiasm to always move forward with her ideas and commitment.” Another praised her spirit of congeniality and ability to build effective working relationships with her fellow educators.

The St. Lawrence Academy Medal is named for the predecessor institution to The State University of New York at Potsdam. Founded in 1816, the Academy focused on teacher training from its founding—a tradition that continues to the present day with the rigorous liberal arts and sciences foundation offered at SUNY Potsdam.

To find out more about education at SUNY Potsdam, visit

Founded in 1816, The State University of New York at Potsdam is one of America’s first 50 colleges—and the oldest institution within SUNY. As the College marks its bicentennial in 2016, SUNY Potsdam will celebrate a 200-year legacy of pioneering programs and educational excellence. The College currently enrolls approximately 4,100 undergraduate and graduate students. Home to the world-renowned Crane School of Music, SUNY Potsdam is known for its challenging liberal arts and sciences core, distinction in teacher training and leadership in the arts. Empowered by a culture of creativity, the campus community is nearing the completion of Take the Lead: The Campaign for Potsdam, which has raised $33.5 million for scholarships and programs.

Media contact:

Alexandra Jacobs Wilke, Office of Public Affairs,
(315) 267-2918