Our Team of Instructors

Richard Acritelli has been a social studies teacher for 11 years. He is currently teaching at Rocky Point High School where he is active in bringing history alive to his students through assemblies on 9/11, Veterans Day, Long Island History and the Holocaust. For this educator, history has been large part of his life. He teaches all on-line and on-site courses on the different aspects of global, American, Long Island and New York State history, science field experiences and the social concerns of our society and schools. Rich has been recognized as the 2008 Teacher of the Year by the North Shore Times Beacon Record, North Shore Sun and the Veterans of Foreign Wars, 9-12 for New York State. He has four military history articles published in the Long Island Historical Journal and has written several American history stories for his local town papers. Rich has conducted massive research on General George S. Patton in the Modern Military Archives in College Park, Maryland and at the United States Military Academy at West Point. In 2009, he completed his second masters degree through Norwich University on military history studies. Outside of the classroom, Rich is his school's varsity club advisor, coached wrestling, baseball, cross country was a senior class advisor. This educator has also served in the Army Reserves and Air National Guard for almost nine years.

Amy Adkins Wachholder is currently a special education teacher for the Connetquot School District. She has experience teaching in a variety of special education programs: inclusion, special class and resource. Amy has experience on the elementary and secondary levels and is certified in elementary education, special education, and reading.

Patricia Anzalone-Fuerst is currently a reading teacher in the Commack School District. She has taught reading at the intermediate, middle school and high school levels. Patricia is certified in elementary education and special education and holds a masters degree in reading. She is also certified in the Wilson Reading Program to help struggling readers. In addition Patricia has had experience working as a resource room teacher and has also enjoyed teaching Italian during the summer months.

Gary Bodenburg began working as a Special Education Teacher for the South Huntington School District after graduating from St. Joseph's College in Patchogue 8 years ago. He has taught at all levels in the elementary, middle, and high school during his experiences. Gary is also an ABA therapist for students with Autism. He is currently working on his Educational Leadership certification for Administration through Stony Brook University. Most recently, Gary had been invited as a guest speaker for the senior class of Zephyrhills High School in Tampa, Florida on the topic "Overcoming Adversity" through his experiences and scholarship work for the school.

Carol Bottstein is a School Psychologist for the Special Education Division of Western Suffolk BOCES since 1983. Carol has extensive experience with the various student populations that Western Suffolk BOCES services, from preschool through age 21. She is trained in TEACCH , is a staff trainer in Non Violent Crisis Intervention through the Crisis Prevention Institute (including Autism Spectrum and Applied Physical Training) and is also a facilitator for STEP (Systematic Training for Effective Parenting) . Carol is responsible for numerous staff and parent workshops through out the school year.

Steven Bromberg has been teaching for five years as a first grade teacher in the Glencove School District. He attended Hofstra University for his Undergraduate and Masters degrees and is certified in elementary education. Many of the lessons that he delivers incorporate an interactive whiteboard and other forms of technology.

Laura Cafarella is currently an adjunct professor in the Education Department at SUNY Brockport. She has also tutored and taught in a variety of special education settings in the Greece Central School District. Laura is certified in elementary education, special education and literacy. In addition, she has served in a teacher leadership position and facilitated parent workshops and teacher training.

Margaret Conover, Ph.D. teaches Botany at the New York Botanical Garden and has taught classes for teachers at Stony Brook University and St. Joseph's College. She was an invited participant at the first congress of the Partnership for Plant Based Learning, April 2004.

Danielle Greenbaum is currently an elementary school teacher in the Longwood School District. Her teaching experiences include second and third grades. She holds degrees in elementary education, English, and literacy. She has facilitated many parent/student workshops for reading, math and science.

Tina Grippa has been a special educator for over 20 years. She has experience working with pre-school through secondary levels. The last ten years have been devoted to working with the PDD (Pervasive Developmental Disorder) spectrum student. This includes Autistic and Asperger’s youngsters. She currently teaches middle school at Western Suffolk BOCES, 5th-8th grade PDD students.

Carmela Gustafson has been a general educator in the Connetquot School District for 15 years with experience teaching at both the elementary and middle school levels. Certified K-6, as well as English 7-12, her focus has been in the teaching of language arts as it is expressed in the context of both the English and Social Studies content areas. Carmela has also been involved for the past ten years in private tutoring for the verbal sections of the SAT, and in helping college-bound students develop applications essays. Currently a doctoral candidate in the Department of Curriculum and Teaching at Teachers College, Columbia University, Carmela is working on a dissertation proposal that examines the aesthetics of teaching.

Richard Haase teaches 8th grade English at Candlewood Middle School in Half Hollow Hills. Presently in his eighth year in the district, he is a national grant recipient, Disney’s American Teacher and New England League of Middle Schools’ Promising Practitioner nominee, and has received two independent awards for his class website. He sits on five district and Teachers’ Association committees, including staff development, technology, and three on the Achievement Gap. He has also led such curriculum initiatives as English/SS integration and Backwards Design, sat on the Newspapers in Education Advisory Board, and is currently the Technology and Curriculum Coordinator here at NYCTD.

Amanda Harvey has twelve years teaching experience using Character Education as her basic foundation towards educating children. She is currently completing her eleventh year as a first grade teacher in the West Islip School District. Amanda has recently completed her administrative SDA & SAS from C.W. Post University.

Rene Hickey is currently a general education teacher in second grade in the Three Village School District. She has also taught first and sixth grades. Over the past six years, Rene has enjoyed integrating technology, sign language, and multiculturism into the curriculum.

Barry Kaufman is currently with the Long Island Rail Road as Senior Manager Administration. He has 25 years of management experience. Barry was on the Smithtown Central School District Board of Education for nine years. He currently teaches leadership courses for Dowling College.

Christopher Kauter is a certified NYS Social Studies Teacher (7-12), AP Board Certified, and a Google Qualified Trainer. He is currently an AP Government teacher, Senior Internship Coordinator and professional development instructor from Deer Park Union Free School District. He believes in focusing on 21st century skills and utilizing technology in the classroom to prepare students for their post secondary education careers. He is a connected educator, who uses social media and mobile application learning for all his classes.

Aimee Keller began her career teaching 11th Grade Inclusion at Three Village CSD five years ago. She has experience co-teaching in all core academic areas of the 11th grade curriculum. Aimee has experience within the Resource Room setting as well, supporting students in grades 10-12. She also has experience with Multi-sensory Reading techniques and programs for students with special learning needs. Aimee is currently pursuing her School District Leadership Certificate at Stony Brook University.

Kevin Keller began his career teaching Earth Science in Connetquot seven years ago. He also has experience teaching Life and Physical Science to 7th and 8th grade students. He helped develop and currently teaches a Natural Hazards class to 11th and 12th grade students as well. For the past three years he has been involved with the special education department as the inclusion Earth Science teacher. In addition, he has been the boy’s freshman basketball coach for the past seven years.

Andrea Kempster has been a special educator in the Connetquot School District since 1982. She is currently a Special Education Coordinator and has taught on both the elementary and secondary levels. She has experience in special class, inclusion, resource,and Academic Intervention Services. Andrea is certified in elementary education, special education, and as a school counselor.

Jean Marie Kempster has been a foreign language educator on both elementary and secondary levels since 2006. Over the past two years she has additionally taught a study skills prep course for incoming high school students. Jean Marie recently received her Master of Science in Adolescence Education from Long Island University at C.W. Post. She also has a Bachelor of Arts in both Spanish and History from Hofstra University. Jean Marie enjoys teaching Spanish, Italian, and study skills, as well as coaching the Junior Varsity and Varsity Badminton teams.

Loree Lazzaro-Alu is currently a fifth grade teacher in the Three Village School District. Her teaching experiences include kindergarten, first grade, second grade inclusion and reading. She has been trained in literacy and has conducted parent workshops to promote reading at home.

Peggy Lenti is a certified Computer, Mathematics and French teacher with a Masters in Mathematics Education. She recently retired from the Connetquot Central School District where she served as Computer Lab Supervisor and Computer Software Specialist, in addition to previously teaching Mathematics, BASIC Computer Programming and Software Applications. She was responsible for implementing technology in the classrooms and computer labs, with the suggestion of suitable software for its execution and curriculum development for computer-related courses. She is also an in-service instructor for all district staff, designing courses and instructing district personnel in all aspects of computer and software use. Additionally, Peggy will be starting her 30th year as a Connetquot Cheerleading Coach. She is currently a BOCES Model Schools computer instructor and works part-time at Brunswick Psychiatric Center, teaching Mathematics and Electives to resident students.

Bryan Mandracchia is currently a second grade teacher in the Three Village Central School District. He has been teaching second grade for 9 years and has also taught 5th grade. Besides having extensive experience working with children in a school setting, he has been a musician since the age of 6 and has been a private music instructor teaching chidlren and adults for 20 years.

Lauren Mazur is currently an elementary school teacher in the Commack School District. Her career began eleven years ago as a middle school science teacher. Lauren has been teaching fourth grade for the past ten years. She earned her Masters Degree in elementary education from New York University. Lauren takes pleasure in incorporating new resources into her teaching, so as to make things most excitable for her students as well as herself. She finds science most favorable and always enjoys discovering new ways to teach traditional content areas.

Michele Milgrim is a graduate of Pace University. She holds a Bachelor’s degree in General Studies with a strong concentration in Elementary Education and Mathematics. She continued at Pace for most of a Master’s degree in Secondary Education, however was unable to finish due to a tragic change in her life at the time. Michelle finished her graduate work, at Grand Canyon University in Phoenix, Arizona. She has been a Senior High School Math teacher in an urban community, Ulster County for the past eight years. She also taught for two years at a high school in Monticello, NY. Prior to her public school teaching career, Michelle worked for 9+ years in the corporate industry in Organizational Development. She worked for some large New York City Law Firms, and other companies like Bloomberg, L.P., and CompUSA, to better enable the employees to meet the demands of a growing and competitive marketplace. Michele taught everything from Leadership and Management to Ergonomics, Interviewing and Hiring and PC Application Software. She taught these classes all around the US and in many other parts of the world including Hong Kong, and Brazil. Michele grew up on Long Island, New York and moved upstate to go to college . She now lives in Kingston, the first capital of NY State.

Dawn Nachtigall has been a science teacher for the Three Village School District for the last thirteen years. She has experience teaching life, physical and earth science to 7th and 8th grade students. For several years she has worked with the Inclusion program presenting differentiated instruction to students of all learning abilities. Dawn has been a guest speaker at Sony Brook University on the topic of differentiation.

Pamila Pahuja started her career ten years ago in Islip School District where she taught Regents Biology, Living Environment and Earth Science as well as General Chemistry and Marine Biology. She has been at the Three Village School District for the last seven years where she has taught 8th Grade Physical Science, Regents Earth Science and Honors Biology.

Jessica Rivera is currently an elementary school teacher in the Longwood School District. She has experience teaching first, second and third grade. She holds degrees in elementary education and literacy. She has facilitated many parent workshops and has sat on several committees that were set up to enhance instruction for technology and literacy.

Jessica Rowe is currently a special education teacher for the Connetquot School District. Her instruction experience in this area includes: severely mentally retarded, pre-school through 12th grade, children with autism, learning disabled and physically handicapped. In addition, she has been a varsity girl’s track coach.

Chryse Sacco is a Spanish teacher and coach in the Patchogue-Medford School District. She also serves as an interpreter, and is often called upon to translate for other teachers, parents, and administrators for a variety of educational issues.

Jeanne Schnupp started her career in education in 1991 and has taught in both private and public schools. She has a varied career background that includes both business and educational experience. She is a rtired member of the Business Education Department at the Three Village school district, and taught Computer & Career Applications on the secondary level. She holds an Advanced Graduate Certificate in Educational Computing.

Jennifer Schnuup has been a fifth and sixth grade inclusion teacher since 2005. She received her Bachelor of Science degree in Child Studies from St. Josephs College in Patchogue. She spent her first five years teaching in Hawaii where she helped to develop an environmental education program. She recently received her Master of Arts in Curriculum and Instruction.

Katherine Squires has been teaching at Garden City High School for six years. She is dually certified in Special Education and Social Studies. She attended the University of Scranton and Dowling College. In 2011 she was awarded a teacher fellowship for graduate study from the New York State PTA. Besides teaching course through NYCTD, Katherine is an Attendance Dean, Yearbook Advisor and Class Council Advisor at her school. Katherine is also the director of Successful Students Tutoring Service

Elizabeth Williams is an ASHA certified speech language pathologist. She also holds her Pennsylvania license in speech therapy and is a qualified as a teacher of the speech and language impaired. Elizabeth is employed by Blue Mountain Middle School in Orwigsburg, Pennsylvania. She was recently chosen to serve as a mentor teacher within her district. Elizabeth has experience working with the birth to three population, preschool and school age children. She also has experience working with adults in an acute care setting. Elizabeth has treated individuals with various speech and language impairments such as stuttering, language processing, articulation, language, grammar, pragmatics, feeding, and impairments resultant from hearing loss, traumatic brain injury, and strokes.

Carrie Yuli has been a second grade teacher in the West Islip School District for six years. She has enjoyed using reading and writing workshops as well as integrating technology in her classroom. Her instruction experience includes working as an ABA Teacher in the homes of autistic pre-school children, designing and maintaining her school’s website, and coaching girls’ soccer.

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