Educator Resources

Member Biographies

Dr. Julius Gregg Adams
Membership Category: Educator
Executive Director of the Educational Opportunity Center, University at Buffalo, SUNY


Julius Gregg Adams, Ph.D., is currently the Executive Director of the University at Buffalo's Educational Opportunity Center (EOC). The Buffalo EOC delivers comprehensive community-based academic and workforce development programs, wrap-around supportive services and access to further education and employment to those who are economically eligible.  Dr. Adams began his professional career as a school psychologist for the Buffalo Public Schools in 1982. In this role he worked with students with educational handicaps ranging in age from 4 to 22 years of age. In 1987 he accepted a position as a Psychologist II for the Mobile Mental Health Team (MMHT). MMHT was an outpatient unit of the New York State Children’s Psychiatric Center that provided services for children and adolescents involved with the New York State Division for Youth (DFY).

Dr. Adams began his association with the State University of New York in 1988 as an Assistant Professor  at Fredonia College in the Department of Education where he taught psychological foundations courses. Dr. Adams has been nominated several times for Discretionary Merit Awards and in 1993 he received the SUNY Chancellor’s Award for Excellence in Teaching. He was promoted to Associate Professor and received tenure in 1994. Dr. Adams was appointed the Director of the School of Education in July, 1997.

Dr. Adams served as Associate Dean for Teacher Education and Director of the Teacher Education Institute in the University at Buffalo’s Graduate School of Education from 2002-06. During that time, he was also appointed as the Interim Executive Director of the Office for University Preparatory Programs (OUPP), an organization that works to enrich the education provided to local children and teenagers.

He previously held teaching and administrative positions at St. John Fisher College in Rochester, NY and Daemen College in Amherst, NY where he was Associate Dean for Special Programs, Director of Accreditation and Chair of the Education Department .

Dr. Adams has presented nationally and internationally in the areas of school-based mental health programs and teacher knowledge and attitudes towards HIV/AIDS. He has a B.A. degree in Psychology, an M.A. in Educational Psychology, and a Ph.D. in Educational Psychology (major in development, minor in learning theory) all from the University at Buffalo, State University of New York. 

He is the Immediate Past President of the New York State Association of Teacher Educators (NYSATE) and has worked with members of the NYSED in the area of teacher and leader preparation. 

Dr. Jane Ashdown
Membership Category: Higher Education

Dean and Professor

Ruth S. Ammon School of Education

Adelphi University

Garden City, New York


Jane Ashdown currently serves as Dean of the Ruth S. Ammon School of Education at Adelphi University. During her five years at Adelphi she has guided the School to meet initial and re-accreditation standards in several professional fields and has been active regionally in the development of the Long Island Deans for Educator Preparation (LIDEP). The Ammon School has been the facilitating institution for the regional professional development initiative funded through a partnership between cIcu and NYSED. Prior to accepting her Adelphi appointment, Dr. Ashdown served as university dean of academic affairs for teacher education at The City University of New York (CUNY) and oversaw system-wide teacher education including cross-campus collaborations and partnerships with public schools.
Dr. Ashdown spent 16 years at New York University’s (NYU) Steinhardt School of Culture, Education, and Human Development from 1991 to 2007. She served as director of Reading Recovery, an early literacy intervention, which was implemented in public schools across New York City and the metropolitan area. From 2004 to 2007, she was vice chair of the Department of Teaching and Learning, the major teacher preparation department at Steinhardt with 56 faculty and more than 1,200 students.

Dr. Ashdown earned her Ph.D. degree in interdisciplinary studies in human development from the University of Pennsylvania and completed her undergraduate degree in modern history and her advanced certificate programs in teacher education in England. She is active in presenting and publishing on critical issues in teacher education and is co-author of an upcoming article to be published in the online Journal of Curriculum and Instruction entitled, “A new approach to educator preparation evaluation: Evidence for continuous improvement?”


Mr. David Babikian
Membership Category: Teacher
Social Studies Teacher
North Syracuse Central School District
North Syracuse, New York

David Babikian

David Babikian has taught social studies at Cicero-North Syracuse High School for 15 years.  Prior to that he was a social studies and ELL teacher at Proctor High School in Utica, New York.  He has taught nearly every social studies course from seventh through twelfth grade including Global Studies, American History, Participation in Government, and Modern European History.  Babikian created the Modern European History elective to fill a void in traditional social studies curricula.  The course views history through the eyes of the Europeans who lived it by integrating history, film, and other primary sources.  He has served on multiple committees and has been selected for various initiatives throughout the district.  Babikian has participated in curriculum mapping and data analysis of Regents tests for the district.  He has dedicated time to students outside of school by becoming a coach for both Mock Trial and Lacrosse.  A dedicated Union member, Babikian also has been involved in raising awareness through Vote Cope and negotiating fair contracts. 
As part of Babikian’s work with NYSUT’s Innovation Fund, he has helped to shape the way that teachers are evaluated and supported throughout the state.   When North Syracuse was chosen as one of five New York State districts to pilot the new teacher evaluation system, he was selected as just one of five teachers to serve on the district’s PAR (Peer Assisted Review) panel.  The PAR panel, a group of administrators and teachers, is committed to supporting and nurturing new and developing teachers throughout the district, recommending teachers for tenure, and supervising the consultant teacher program.  Babikian has traveled to districts throughout the country to research the best possible programs while supporting this new and exciting initiative. 
Babikian has a B.S. from Butler University in Indiana in Secondary Education and a M.A. from Oswego State University in History. 


Ms. Trudy Bantle
Membership Category: Educator/Teacher 
Social Studies Teacher
Fairport Central Schools
Fairport, New York

Gertrude Bantle

Ms. Bantle has been teaching social studies for 40 years, 34 of them at Fairport High School in Rochester, NY. She is currently co-teaching in a mainstreamed classroom with students with multiple disabilities, preparing them for the New York State Regents Examination. She voluntarily works with students who failed the Global History or U.S. History Regents to help them successfully meet the graduation requirement. Ms. Bantle is a National Board Certified Teacher and is a Candidate Support Provider Trainer for the National Board of Professional Teaching Standards. She created a candidate support group in the Greater Rochester area to help teachers understand standards based assessment. She also has certifications in Social Studies, K-12 Special Education, School Building and School District Administration.

She challenged herself professionally to keep up with technology in order to better integrate technology in the classroom to help her students. Along the way she completed the Google Apps certification exams to become a master trainer. To continue her own professional growth in technology, she developed and taught on-line courses as a part time faculty member at Penn State: World Campus. She also taught a Capstone Portfolio course and a course on Differentiation in the Classroom while an adjunct faculty member at Nazereth College.

Ms. Bantle has a B.S. from SUNY at Geneseo, a Master of Science from Nazareth College and an Advanced Certificate in School District Administration from SUNY Brockport.


Ms. Grace Barrett
Membership Category: Teacher
Art Teacher
Commack Middle School
Commack, New York

Grace Barrett

For the past 19 years, Ms. Barrett has been an art teacher with the Commack School District. Her school is a Middle Year Program school (the developmental predecessor for the International Baccalaureate Program) and in this capacity she has been practicing literacy in the visual arts in preparation to transition naturally into the Common Core Learning Standards.

Ms. Barrett has been on the NYSUT Subject Area Committee for the Arts since its inception. This group’s purview has included putting forth recommendations to SED such as calling for all instruction in the arts be delivered sequentially and by certified teachers of the arts. Another charge of the Committee has been to develop teacher workshops for state organizations such as New York State Art Teachers Association NYSATA. Currently, they are developing an exemplar lesson in literacy.

Ms. Barrett, a finalist for the New York State 2013 Teacher of the Year, is currently the President of the Suffolk County Art Leaders Association, where she oversees professional development opportunities for art teachers in her county. In this capacity, Ms. Barrett makes sure that the offerings for teachers maintain a balance between current pedagogical issues, special needs training, and innovative technology for the art room.


Dr. April Bedford                       
Membership Category: Higher Education
Dean, School of Education
CUNY, Brooklyn College
Brooklyn, New York


Before her recent arrival to Brooklyn College in July 2014, Dr. Bedford was a full professor in the Department of Curriculum and Instruction in the College of Education and Human Development (COEHD) at the University of New Orleans (UNO) in Louisiana. From 2010 through 2013, Dr. Bedford served as interim dean of the College of Education and Human Development at UNO.

Dr. Bedford received her B.S. Ed. in Curriculum and Instruction, Elementary Education with Reading Specialist certification and a Kindergarten Endorsement from Texas A&M University, and from there she went on to Baylor University, where she received her M.S. Ed. in Curriculum and Instruction with an endorsement in Gifted Education. Dr. Bedford returned to Texas A&M to obtain her Ph.D. in Curriculum and Instruction with a certification in Women's Studies.

An author of over 20 publications and several edited books, Dr. Bedford's scholarly interests include children's literature, teacher education, and literacy development. She has presented at national and international professional conferences and has served as an elected board member of a number of educational associations. Currently, she is a member of the Editorial Review Board of Urban Education and the co-editor of the Journal of Research in Childhood Education.

While Dr. Bedford served at UNO as interim dean, the university suffered the devastating effects of Hurricane Katrina, including significant infrastructure challenges and near-debilitating budget cuts. With the support and commitment of the COEHD faculty, her college continued to maintain the quality of its programs in spite of the loss of human and financial capital, and maintained its record of NCATE and CACREP accreditation as well as having more nationally recognized programs than any other university in Louisiana.



Mr. Jack Boak            
Membership Category: Public
Retired District Superintendent                                                    
Jefferson-Lewis-Hamilton-Herkimer-Oneida BOCES
Watertown, New York


In July, 2014 Mr. Jack (Jay) Boak retired from the position of District Superintendent of the Jefferson- Lewis- Hamilton- Herkimer- Oneida Board of Cooperative Services following forty four (44) years of service in public education.  In his role as District Superintendent and the regional representative of the Commissioner of Education he collaborated with parents, students, teachers, administrators, Boards of Education and business/industry leaders throughout Northern New York to create and enhance educational opportunities in the region.

Mr. Boak began his career in education as a secondary English teacher in the Holland Patent Central School District.  His work as an administrator began as an Assistant Principal in the Cazenovia Central School District followed by his appointment as the Senior High School Principal in the Fayetteville-Manlius District.  Prior to his tenure at BOCES he served as the Field Coordinator for the State Education Departments' Futuring Project which resulted in the restructuring of the curricula for Industrial Arts, Business and Agriculture Programs across the state.  In his role as District Superintendent, he served as an evaluation team leader assigned to districts throughout the state designated as Schools Under Registration Review by the State Education Department.

Mr. Boak holds a B.S. in Secondary Education- English from the State University of New York at Oneonta and a M.S. in Educational Administration from Syracuse University.  Throughout the course of his career Mr. Boak has served on numerous educational and civic Boards including Chairperson of the WPBS-DT Public Television Board of Trustees, the Executive Committee of the Syracuse University Study Council, Jefferson- Lewis Teacher Center Governing Board and the Fort Drum Regional Liaison Organization.


Ms. Debra Calvino
Membership Category: Administrator
Director of Curriculum, Instruction, & Data
Valley Central School District
Montgomery, NY

Debra Calvino

Ms. Calvino is the 2010 New York State Teacher of the Year and the Director of
Curriculum, Instruction, and Data. She began her teaching career as a high school special education teacher in 1981. She has been teaching high school mathematics since 1984 and in 2004 was appointed Mathematics Department Supervisor, grades 7-12. She was responsible for supervising, observing and mentoring 30 mathematics teachers in the Valley Central School District. She was the liaison between her school’s administration, mathematics teachers and district parents. She developed curriculum and coordinates Academic Intervention Services for the mathematics department. She conducted, organized and planned mathematics professional learning communities within her district.

Ms. Calvino is a certified trainer in Decision Making for Results and Data Teams and has conducted several training sessions for her school district. She also conducted mathematics workshops for professional development and induction. She is the Coordinator of the District Mathematics Leadership Team for the New York State Math Resource Center. In addition to being awarded N.Y.S. Teacher of the Year for 2010 she has received the SUNY New Paltz Dean’s Award of Excellence, and is a Rotary International Paul Harris Fellow. She has presented at numerous private and public colleges and universities as well as to the N.Y.S. United Teachers, Representative Assembly.

Ms. Calvino has a B.A. Degree in Mathematics from Mount Saint Mary’s College, a M.S. Degree in Special Education from SUNY New Paltz, and a Certificate of Advanced Study in School District Administration from SUNY New Paltz.


Dr. Kathleen M. DaBoll-Lavoie
Membership Category: Educator
Professor/ Department Chair
Nazareth College
Rochester, New York

Kathleen M. DaBoll-Lavoie

Kathleen DaBoll-Lavoie has served as Professor in the School of Education at Nazareth College for the past five years, and has been teaching at Nazareth since 1991. She is currently the Chair of the Department of Inclusive Childhood Education, overseeing one of the largest undergraduate majors at the institution, seven graduate teacher education programs and one extension program. She currently is the co-director of the Robert Noyce Scholar Program, funded through the National Science Foundation. She has also served as Associate Chair of the School of Education, the Director of Graduate Inclusive Early Childhood and Childhood Education Programs, and the Director of the Undergraduate Inclusive Childhood/Middle Childhood Education Program.  Prior to her tenure at Nazareth, Dr. DaBoll-Lavoie taught at Syracuse University.  She began her career in education as a high school social studies teacher at South Jefferson Central School and Lowville Academy.

Dr. DaBoll-Lavoie is President of the New York Association of Colleges for Teacher Education, and serves on the Teacher Education Advisory Group to the New York State Education Department.  She is past president of the New York State Association of Teacher Educators, and was a member of the New York State Higher Education Task Force on Quality Inclusive Schooling/ New York State Partnership for Statewide Systems Change 2000.  She was also a member of the planning group for “Building a New York State P-16 Educational Quality Information System.”  She was an invited member of the New York State Teacher Standards Development Working Group, and currently serves on the New York Assessments for Initial Teacher and School Building Leader Certification Work Group.  Dr. DaBoll-Lavoie has presented extensively at state and national conferences; her work has focused on the development of inclusive teacher education programs, school/college partnerships, and assessment.

Dr. DaBoll-Lavoie has a B.A. in history, art history and secondary education from the State University of New York College at Potsdam; an M.S.Ed. in secondary education from the State University of New York University Center at Binghamton; and a Ph.D. in Curriculum and Instruction from Syracuse University. 


Dr. Stephen Danna                                 Membership Category: Higher Education
Dean, Queensbury Campus
SUNY Plattsburgh
Queensbury, New York

Dr. Stephen Danna is Dean of the SUNY Plattsburgh at Queensbury Branch Campus.
He has 25 years experience in teaching and administration, and prior to that, worked
with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and U.S. Naval
Oceanographic Office as an oceanographer. A middle school guest lecture at a school
assembly in Bay St. Louis, MS., led him to discover a hidden passion for education. A
year later, he was teaching physics and chemistry to high school students in Glens
Falls, N.Y. A native of Long Island, Dr. Danna earned his Bachelor’s Degree in Biology
in 1980 at Maryville College, Maryville, TN., and his Master’s in Oceanography in 1982
from Old Dominion University, Norfolk, VA. He earned a Certificate of Advanced Study
in Educational Administration from SUNY Plattsburgh in 1997 and another CAS in Brain
Research in Education in 2006 from the University of Washington. Dr. Danna received
his Ed.D. in Education Leadership in 2011 from Sage Graduate School, Albany.
Dr. Danna facilitated the North Country Support Group for teachers pursuing National
Board certification, and co-founded the New Principals’ Academy with Queensbury
Central School District. Dr. Danna has received teaching fellowships from Princeton
University, University of Wisconsin-Madison, and Drew University, and was honored in
1997 with the National Science Teachers Association’s Exemplary High School Science
Teaching Award. He maintains an active blog on education and leadership topics
(, and has published papers with the National
Staff Development Council, National Science Teachers Association, Journal of School Leadership, and Phi Delta Kappan.


Ms. Maria DeWald
Membership Category: Public Member
New York State PTA
Immediate Past President
Maria DeWald

As immediate past President of the NYS Parent Teacher Association Ms. DeWald is presently focusing on large family engagement initiatives in New York City in conjunction with the United Federation of Teachers. She is also co-chairing a large initiative in partnership with New York State Parent Information Resource Center and NYSED regarding the implementation of the Regents Family Engagement Policy.

Maria has been extremely involved in the planning and execution of three Family Engagement Summits working with Chancellor Emeritus Bennett, EPIC, PIIRCS and the Cornell Cooperative Extension. She also serves on the NYS Association for Arts Education and the National PTA Legislation Committee. She has helped to guide public policy formation on Family Engagement issues in the reauthorization of ESEA/NCLB, the Juvenile Justice Act and IDEA.

Ms. DeWald is currently Arts in Education Coordinator for the Dutchess County BOCES where she: facilitates SED aid reimbursement for arts in Education program in the schools of Dutchess County, identifies and oversees resources for participating schools, and works with statewide coordinators to advocate for the arts integration in the schools.
Ms. DeWald is recipient of the NYS PTA Honorary Life Distinguished Service and Diamond Awards, the National PTA Lifetime Achievement Award the Pleasant Valley Lions Club of the Blind Award and the Dutchess County Executives Arts in Education Award.


Ms. Sharon Eghigian
Membership Category: Educator/ Teacher
English as a Second Language Teacher
Columbus School
Utica, New York


Ms. Eghigian began her teaching career serving in the Peace Corps as a Biology teacher on the Fiji Islands. She holds New York State and National Board Certification in English as a New or Second Language. She has been teaching in the Utica City School District for the past 20 years. In addition to classroom teaching, Ms. Eghigian has taught college level content in Puerto Rico and English as a Second Language (ESL) in Malaysia. She is also an ESL teacher at Mohawk Valley Community College and the Mohawk Valley Resource Center for Refugees.

Ms. Eghigian facilitated the development of the K-5 ESL curriculum for the Utica City School District. She is a trainer in Sheltered Instruction and has developed ESL workshops for the elementary teachers in her district. She has mentored new teachers and teacher candidates in her district. She has served on the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE) Board of Examiners and has worked with the State Education Department to assess teacher preparation exams and the New York State English as a Second Language Achievement Test.

Ms. Eghigian has a B.A. in Biology from St. Lawrence University and a Master’s in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages from the School for International Training.


Ms. Andrea Fortin-Nossavage
Membership Category: Teacher

Social Studies

Niagara Falls City School District
Niagara Falls, New York

Andrea Fortin-Nossavage is a native of Western New York. She is proud to have returned to teach in the same public school system, which she credits for her strong educational foundation. After graduating from high school, she went on to attend SUNY Cortland and SUNY College at Buffalo; receiving a B.S. Degree in Social Studies Education in 1991. Andrea has acquired three Master’s Degrees from Niagara University:  Foundations and Teaching, 1996; School Counseling, 2006; and most recently, Educational Leadership- School District and School Building Leadership, 2012. In her final semester, she was awarded the honor of a full tuition scholarship sponsored by the Department of Professional Studies at Niagara University. She currently holds valid certifications in the areas of Social Studies, School Counseling, School District Leadership and School Building Leadership. Andrea has amassed a wide range of experiences at the classroom, building, and district level.

From 2003 to 2012, Andrea served as a Teacher on Special Assignment and Coordinator of the Mentor Program (NYS-MTIP).During that time, Andrea has also worked out of the Teacher Resource Center, serving as a member of the Policy Board. Additional duties in the District Curriculum Office allowed for opportunities to support District and Building Level Initiatives in the areas of Curriculum, Instruction, Professional Development, and Technology Integration. Among other things, Andrea also served as Chairperson of the District’s Character Education Committee, Co-Facilitator of the District’s Shared Decision Making body- the Executive Quality Council, and maintained websites for District homepages in Social Studies, Curriculum and Instruction, Character Education, and Grants. Committee work also included collaboration on the District’s Professional Development Plan and Annual Professional Performance Review Plans.

In addition, from 2010-2012 Andrea was afforded the opportunity to support her colleagues at the Building Level as an Instructional Coach for Social Studies and ELA in anticipation of the Instructional Shifts necessary to implement the Common Core Standards. She served as an assistant to the Building Administrator for Assessment in Administering and Scoring Regents examinations, and served as the Building PSAT/AP Coordinator and liaison to the College Board.


Mr. Charles Giglio, 2015 NYS Teacher of the Year 
Membership Category: Teacher
Latin Teacher
Gloversville Enlarged School District
Gloversville, New York

Mr. Charles (Charlie) Giglio, the 2015 New York State Teacher of the Year, is the Latin teacher for grades eight through 12 in the Gloversville Enlarged School District. He came out of retirement to join the Gloversville district in January 2006.

Mr. Giglio has permanent New York state certifications in elementary education, secondary English and Latin. He's certified as a school building administrator and school district administrator. He is a past president and vice president of the Learning Disabilities Association of America. He's a member of several professional organizations, including the National Association of State Mental Health Program Directors, Phi Delta Kappa - Professional Fraternity to Education, the National Association of Pastoral Musicians and the American Guild of Organists. He’s a member of the American Classical Association and the Classical Association of New York State.

From 1979-81, Mr. Giglio was an adjunct instructor and director of Special Academic Programs (Correctional Education) at Marist College. He taught English at Westfield Junior High School in Westfield, N.J., and was chairman of the English Department. He also taught at Msgr. Farrell High School in Staten Island, N.Y. He taught Latin, theology and typing at Queen of Peace High School in North Arlington, N.J., and math, English and theology at Good Shepherd School in New York City. Mr. Giglio was principal of the New York City (Chinatown) Transfiguration Bilingual School for pre-K through eighth grade from 1971-77. He was principal of the Pomona, N.Y., Woodycrest Residential School (PINS) from 1977-79.

He is a graduate of Long Island University in New York City, where he earned a master's degree in bilingual and urban education; Fordham University in New York City, where he received a diploma in administration and supervision; Richmond College on Staten Island, N.Y., where he earned a master's degree in secondary education; and the Catholic University of America in Washington, where he received a bachelor's degree in Latin and Greek.


Dr. Charles Khoury
Membership Category: Administrator
District Superintendent
Ulster BOCES
New Paltz, New York

Dr. Charles V. Khoury has served as District Superintendent of Ulster BOCES since 2011. In addition to his role as Chief Executive Officer, he is the New York State Education Commissioner’s representative in the field, the major liaison between local districts and the State Education Department, as well as the spokesperson for regional education issues. Working closely with his administrative team, Dr. Khoury oversees collaborative opportunities for districts to increase their capacity, provide support, and create possibilities for students to meet the changing requirements for graduation.

Dr. Khoury began his career in education as a Social Studies teacher at Ridgewood High School, where he served as the Director of Guidance, Chairperson of the Child Study Team, and was an athletic coach, among other duties during his 19 year tenure. Thereafter, Dr. Khoury was the principal of two high schools, served as the Assistant Superintendent of Fair Lawn Public Schools, the Superintendent of Cresskill Public Schools, as well as the Superintendent of Ardsley Union Free School District.

Dr. Khoury holds an Ed.D. in Educational Policy and Administration from Rutgers University, an M.A. in Student Personnel Services from Montclair State University and a B.A. in Social Studies from Wagner College.


Dr. Margaret Madden
Membership Category: Higher Education
Vice President for Academic Affairs
Siena College
Loudonville, New York
Margaret Madden

Dr. Margaret E. Madden is Vice President for Academic Affairs at Siena College.  A social psychologist specializing in gender issues, she was the Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs at SUNY Potsdam from 2002 to 2015 and previously was Dean at Long Island University (NY), Associate Dean of Faculty at Lawrence University (WI), and Professor of Psychology and Assistant to the Academic Vice President at Franklin Pierce College (NH).

In prior positions, she taught Feminist Research Methods in the Women's and Gender Studies Program and courses in gender, social, developmental, personality, and research methods in psychology. She was awarded a Sears Foundation Teaching Excellence Award and was voted Faculty Member of the Year at Franklin Pierce College and the Distinguished Teaching Associate Award in the Psychology Department of the University of Massachusetts, Amherst.

Dr. Madden is a former chair of the Board of Educational Affairs of the American Psychological Association former president of the Society for the Psychology of Women (Division 35 of APA). A Fellow of the American Psychological Association, she received the 2008 Sue Rosenberg Zalk Award for Distinguished Service to the Society for the Psychology of Women.  She has been a member of the Canton Potsdam Hospital Board of Directors since 2004 and has chaired it since 2011 during a period of rapid growth and transition into a larger health care structure.

Dr. Madden holds a Ph.D. and M.S. in social psychology from the University of Massachusetts at Amherst and a B.A. in psychology from the University of Wisconsin at Madison.  She also completed Harvard’s Institute for Educational Management in 2012. She is the author of numerous articles, chapters, and presentation on higher education administration, gender and leadership in education, integrating diversity into the psychology curriculum, and attributions for various negative events.


Ms. Yvette Malavé Diaz                 
Membership Category: Public
New York State and Civil Service
Education Association Partnership for Education and Training
Albany, New York

Ms. Yvette Malavé Diaz has professional achievements in the fields of Educational Administration and Human Resources.  She has worked for the ASPIRA of New York, INC., NYC Board of Education, Port Authority of New York & New Jersey, New York State Education Department, Berkshire Farm Center and Services for Youth, and the New York State & Civil Service Education Association Partnership for Education and Training.  She earned a B.S. from SUNY New Paltz, MPA from CUNY Baruch College and credits towards doctoral studies in Educational Administration from SUNY Albany.  She competed for and was selected as a National Urban Fellow, NYS Regents Minority Fellow and CORO Fellow.  She also served as a member of the NYS Board of Social Work.  Ms. Malavé Diaz has worked for government for 25 years and spent 10 years working for a nonprofit child welfare organization.  Her understanding of education includes delivering services to underserved students at the local level and contributing to and implementing educational policy at the state level. 

Ms. Malavé Diaz pursed her studies in teaching as an undergraduate and holds permanent certification in teaching and administration. She is originally from NYC and attributes her strong sense of community and family to growing up in Spanish Harlem also known as “El Barrio” which was predominately Puerto Rican.   For the past 25 years she has lived in Albany, New York where she and her husband are actively involved in the Hispanic and greater Albany community.  She is a founding member of the Capital District 100 Hispanic Women and her husband is the co-founder of the Albany Latin Festival association.


Ms. Colleen McDonald
Membership Category: Teacher
English Teacher/ Grant Writer/ Professional Developer
Cambridge Central School District
Cambridge, New York


Colleen McDonald is a native of New York, educated in New York State public school
system from kindergarten through graduation. She then continued in NY with her
undergraduate and master’s degrees from the College of St. Rose. During her 29-year
NYS career, Colleen has worked as a special education teacher with BOCES and as
both a special educator and an English teacher in a small rural public school in upstate
New York. At one point, Colleen moved into administration as Director of Pupil Services
but was drawn, by the desire to interact more directly with students, back to the  
classroom. After, teaching in a middle school inclusionary special education model,
Colleen pursued National Board Certification in English Language Arts and moved into
a new stage of her career as a middle school and high school English teacher where
she has served as a classroom teacher, department chairperson, and professional

Colleen currently teaches both middle school and high school level English courses,
directs the Cambridge Central summer school program, writes competitive grants for
the district, and works with the Greater Capital Region Teacher Center on projects
related to professional development around the implementation of both the APPR and CCLS.


Dr. Lesli Myers
Membership Category: Administrator
Brockport Central School District
Brockport, New York


Dr. Myers became the Superintendent of the Brockport Central School District in June of 2012. She came to Brockport from the Ithaca City School District where she served as the assistant superintendent of student services since 2007.

Prior to her current position, Dr. Myers served in the Greece Central School District as director of student and career support and coordinator of student support and enrichment. While in this position, Dr. Myers implemented the NYS Comprehensive K-12 School Counseling Curriculum. She also held the titles of school counselor and house administrator for the Rochester City School District, where she worked for nine years.

Dr. Myers holds a Ph.D. in executive leadership from St. John Fisher College and M.A.s from St. John Fisher (educational administration) and the University of Rochester (counseling and human development).


Dr. Ruth Pagerey
Membership Category: Educator
Assistant Provost for Teacher Education
State University of New York
Albany, New York
Dr. Ruth L. Pagerey is Assistant Provost for Teacher Education at SUNY System Administration, where she provides leadership for the implementation of a comprehensive agenda of change in teacher and leader education and serves as liaison between/among teacher and leader education constituencies, including SUNY’s campuses offering teacher and leader preparation.

Prior to her position at SUNY System, Dr. Pagerey served as Assistant Dean for Professional Studies in the University at Albany’s School of Education, where she led the teacher and leader education program to continuing program accreditation with the Teacher Education Accreditation Council (TEAC).  Dr. Pagerey provided oversight of the School’s Educational Studies minor, as well as the Pathways Into Education Center, which disseminates information on degree programs, teacher certification, and educational careers. She came to the University from Siena College, where she was Director of Field Experiences and Accreditation. Previously Dr. Pagerey worked in the Office of Higher Education at the State Education Department where she supervised the registration and accreditation of New York State’s teacher preparation programs. She was Project Director of federal grants totaling $3.5 million for the preparation of new teachers for hard-to-staff schools. Prior to working at the State Education Department, she taught high school for eighteen years.

Dr. Pagerey earned her Ed.D. in Instructional Leadership from St. John’s University (Queens, NY) and her M.S. and B. S. in education from the University at Albany.


Ms. Annette Romano
Membership Category: Teacher

Special Education Teacher/National Board Certified

Niskayuna Central School

Niskayuna, New York

Annette Romano is a first grade teacher in the Niskayuna CSD. She has a B.S. Degree in Special Education from SUNY Plattsburgh and a M. S. Degree in Reading from University at Albany. Annette became a Nationally Board Certified Teacher, Early Childhood Generalist, in 2001. Annette has taught elementary and special education in the Capital Region of New York for over twenty-five years.

From 2007-20012, Annette was a Teacher on Special Assignment, as the National Board Coordinator for New York State. She established the National Board Council of New York Network in 2007. Through the National Board Council of New York State Network, Annette collaborates with Teacher Centers, school districts, higher education, New York State United Teachers (NYSUT), and the State Education Department to increase awareness about National Board Certification, provide candidate support, and promote teacher leadership throughout the state. She is currently the NBCT consultant on the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards-- Supporting Effective Educator Development Grant.
In 2010, Annette received the Bertha Brimmer Medal from the University at Albany Alumni Association and in 2013, she receive an Excellence in Education Award from NYSUT. Annette is also a member of the NBPTS Faculty and NYSUT. Teacher Leader Network, IRA, and ASCD. She has expertise in National Board Certification, Common Core Learning Standards, Teacher Leadership, edTPA, Teacher Evaluation, and CAEP.


Dr. Michael Rosenberg                           Membership Category: Higher Education
Dean, School of Education
SUNY New Paltz
New Paltz, New York

Michael S. Rosenberg was appointed as the new dean of the School of Education at the
State University of New York at New Paltz, effective Aug. 3, 2012.

As the Dean of the School of Education at New Paltz, Rosenberg serves as the chief
academic and administrative officer for the School. His responsibilities include
mentoring department chairs; recruiting and developing new faculty; supporting and
initiating regional partnerships; and coordinating with faculty to promote innovative
programs responsive to the needs of the region and to the State University of New York
(SUNY). Rosenberg also manages financial resources and external fundraising;
oversees accreditation procedures; and implements SUNY and State Education
Department policies.

Rosenberg previously served as the associate dean for research in the School of
Education and a professor in the Department of Special Education at Johns Hopkins
University in Baltimore, Md. Prior to his 26 years at Johns Hopkins (11 as department
chair), Rosenberg was an assistant professor for four years at Ball State University in
Muncie, Ind., and also a visiting scholar at Westminster College in Oxford, England.
Prior to his return to graduate study, Rosenberg taught secondary students with
learning and behavior disorders for the Orleans-Niagara Board of Cooperative
Educational Services in New York.

Rosenberg is the co-editor of Teacher Education and Special Education, the journal of
the Teacher Education Division of the Council for Exceptional Children. He also co-
authored five textbooks on various topics in special education. Rosenberg has authored
or co-authored more than 60 articles and chapters, and served as a field editor for a
number of special education journals.

Rosenberg completed a term as president of the Higher Education Consortium for
Special Education and has served as research committee chair, publications chair, and
secretary for the Council for Learning Disabilities. He was the first president of the
Maryland Council for Learning Disabilities and completed a term as PTA president for
Rodgers Forge Elementary School. He has advised over 30 doctoral graduates and was
a recipient of the 2007 Teacher Education Division of the Council for Exceptional
Children/Merrill Teacher of Excellence Award.

Rosenberg holds both his master’s and bachelor’s degrees in special education from
the State University College at Buffalo (Buffalo State). He earned his Ph.D. in special
education at Pennsylvania State University, and was recently a Fulbright Fellow at Saint
Patrick's College in Dublin, Ireland.


Ms. Pilar Sokol, Esq.          
Membership Category: Public
Deputy General Counsel
New York State School Boards Association
Albany, New York

Pilar Sokol, Esq. is deputy general counsel to the New York State School Boards Association.  She holds a B.A. Degree in History from the College of the Sacred Heart in Santurce, Puerto Rico and a J.D. degree from Albany Law School, Albany, New York where she was a member of the Albany Law Review.  First joining the Association in 1989, she returned following a two year absence to work in private practice representing school districts.  Prior to joining the Association, Ms. Sokol clerked for the New York State Supreme Court, Appellate Division, Third Department.  Before attending law school, she worked on Wall Street, primarily in the area of investor relations.

Ms. Sokol is the editor of the Association’s School Law publication, and a frequent lecturer for the Association and other organizations on legal issues related to public education.  She has been a member of the State Education Department’s NCLB committee of practitioners since its inception. Throughout the years, she also has served as a member of the Department’s ESEA Think Tank, APPR Task Force and Race to the Top Sustainability workgroup, among others.  Ms. Sokol is also a member of the Council of School Attorneys of the National School Boards Association where she serves as an officer of the Council’s board of directors, and as a member of the Council’s Special Education Task Force.  She sits, as well, on the board of directors of the New York State Association of School Attorneys.


Ms. Ellen Sullivan
Membership Category: Public Member
Board Member 
The Greater Capital Region Teacher Center
University at Albany
Albany, New York

Ellen Sullivan

Ellen Sullivan is a member of the board of education for the Greater Capital Region Teacher Center. The Center encompasses the 93 public school districts, four BOCES and 83 non-public schools in the Capital Region. Previous to her serving on the board for the center Ms. Sullivan was Center Director. She has also spent the last year working on the American Federation of Teachers i3 grant for teacher evaluation in New York and Rhode Island.

Ms. Sullivan first joined the teacher center staff in 1996 as a program assistant. Prior to this, she was the Education Director for the Junior Museum of Troy, Education Assistant for the Albany Institute of History and Art, and Instructor and Education Assistant at Hudson Valley Community College. She was an Adjunct Instructor at the College of St. Rose teaching Business Communication and she began her career in education as an elementary school teacher at St. Patrick’s School in Albany.

Ms. Sullivan has previously served the department as a member of the NYSED Career and Technology Task Force, and as a grant reviewer for the NYSED Comprehensive School Reform Program, the Learning Technology Grants program and Goals 2000 grants program.

Ms. Sullivan has presented for numerous conferences and committees including the NYS Teacher Center Higher Education Committee, New York State Union of Teachers, the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards Conference, Washington DC, and the NYS In-service Conference on Mentoring Programs.

Ms. Sullivan has her B.A in Education, magna cum laude, from the College of St.Rose, her M.S. in Education from SUNY Albany and an A.C. in Grant Making and Foundations from New York University. In 2008, she completed the Federal Policy Institute program at Teachers College, Columbia University.


Ms. Therese Torchon, NBCT                                       
Membership Category: Teacher
Science Teacher
Westbury Union Free School District
Westbury, New York


Ms. Therese Torchon started teaching at Springfield Gardens High School in Queens, New York and then moved on to the neighboring Susan B. Anthony Intermediate School 238 in the same district. There she taught Physical Science, Life Science, and Earth Science Regents classes for 17 years to a diverse student population from Asia, West Africa, Central America, and the Caribbean Region.  For the last eight years, Ms. Torchon has been at the Westbury Schools in Nassau County, Long Island, where she teaches a variety of science courses at the middle school level: Earth Science to Beginner ESL students from Haiti and Central America; Life Science; Intermediate Level Science to Inclusion Classes; Earth Science Regents and Living Environment Regents.
Ms. Torchon is currently pursuing a Doctorate in Instructional Leadership from St. John’s University.  In addition, Ms. Torchon is a National Board Certified Teacher and Candidate Support Provider for teachers seeking the nation’s highest teaching credential: National Board Certification.   She also served as a teacher consultant for the New York Geographic Alliance.  Ms. Torchon seeks to improve science teaching and learning by participating in many webinars and workshops; inviting guest speakers to her school; leading science workshops for teachers; mentoring new teachers; helping teachers infuse technology in the curriculum; serving as the Lab Assistant for the Science Department; and helping to revise the science curriculum at the middle school level.

She also holds permanent certifications in Science Education 7-12th grades and in School District Administration.  She obtained a B.A. from Frostburg State University, and a Master of Arts in Science Education from The City College of New York.


Mr. James Vasquez
Membership Category: Teacher
Social Studies Teacher
Newcomers High School
New York City Department of Education
Long Island City, New York

James Vasquez

For the last 15 years, Mr. Vasquez has taught United States History, Participation in Government and Economics at Newcomer’s High School in Long Island City. Newcomers High School’s mission is to provide new immigrant students with an instructional program that emphasizes the development of English language proficiency as well as helping students and their parents with the adaptation process to a new school system, a new city, and a new country.

Mr. Vasquez has embraced the challenge of teaching his academic subject and simultaneously teaching language and literacy skills to students that are primarily English language learners. He works in close collaboration with his colleagues trained in English as a Second Language to develop and adapt curriculum to meet the needs
of the schools unique population of students. He is recognized by the principal of Newcomers as being one of the reasons the high school has received an “A” grade by the New York City Department of Education.

Mr. Vasquez served as the Chairperson of the Newcomer’s School Leadership Team for seven years. This team fosters the initiative of shared leadership and bridges connections between parents, teachers, administrators and community organizations. He also served as district representative for the Queens High Schools.

He has taken on student teaching candidates and mentored new teachers. He has facilitated professional development sessions and has a leadership role in the High School’s Comprehensive Development Plan, conducting needs assessment, and framing goals and objectives to improve student performance.

Mr. Vasquez earned his B.A. in History and Philosophy and his Master’s in Secondary Education from The City University of New York Queens College.



Last Updated: September 15, 2015