Our Team of Instructors

Richard Acritelli has been a social studies teacher for 15 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, respect, family issues, and violence in 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 five military history articles published in the Long Island Historical Journal and has written several American history stories, is an advocate for veterans affairs, and writes film reviews on history, sports, and social films 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 served in the Army Reserves and Air National Guard for almost nine years. For the last five years, this teacher is also an adjunct professor at a local community college where he has taught Early and Modern American History classes. Over the last several years, he has worked with his former service members to organize and help run one of the largest Wounded Warrior Golf Outings in the Tri-State area. These efforts have collected over $100,000 for our local veterans that have been hurt over seas during the War on Terror. Rich has also been busy writing a book on the military life of General Ulysses S. Grant

Amy Adkins 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 been teaching for fifteen years. 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 teaching Italian during the summer months. Patricia takes pleasure in integrating new resources to enhance reading instruction and enjoys sharing her ideas with others. She currently is an instructor for three classes through NYCTD: Emotional Literacy, Enhancing Your Reading Instruction and Enhancing Your Writing Instruction.

Gary Bodenburg began working as a Special Education Teacher for the South Huntington School District after graduating from St. Joseph's College in Patchogue in 2002. He has taught at all levels in the elementary, middle, and high school during his experiences. Gary is also an ABA therapist and a Behavior Intervention Specialists for students with Autism. He is currently finishing his doctorate in Educational Supervision and Leadership through St. John's 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 has been a School Psychologist for the Special Education Division of Western Suffolk BOCES for 31 years. Carol has extensive experience with the various student populations that Western Suffolk BOCES services, from preschool through age 21. She is trained in TEACCH , has trained staff 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 has provided numerous staff and parent workshops.

Steven Bromberg I have been an elementary classroom teacher in the Glen Cove City School Distric for more than 9 years. Throughout my career I have been in the Deasy Elementary School, all of those years in first grade. I have been an instructor for two classes through NYCTD: Integrating an Interactive Whiteboard to Enhance your Lessons and Advanced IWB I am also a varsity level coach for the Jericho School District I earned my Master's Degree from Hosftra University in Elementary Education, and I am certified in grades 1-6. Many of my lessons feature differentiation, modification, and the use of technology to greater enhance understanding throug utilizing different learning styles.

Laura Cafarella is a Math Intervention Teacher in the Greece Central School District. She was an adjunct professor in the Education Department at SUNY Brockport for six years, and worked as a special education teacher in a variety of settings. She has also facilitated parent workshops and teacher training. Laura is certified in elementary education, special education and literacy.

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.

Denise Ebersole, PhD is an experienced school counselor, independent educational consultant, and adjunct instructor for a graduate school counseling program. Denise earned a PhD in Counselor Education and Supervision from Regent University, an M.Ed. in School Counseling from Millersville University, and a B.A. in Psychology from Bloomsburg University. She holds certifications in elementary school counseling (K-6), secondary school counseling (7-12), and as a supervisor of school guidance services (K-12) in the state of Pennsylvania. She is a Nationally Certified Counselor (NCC), a Nationally Certified School Counselor (NCSC), and she is currently working towards becoming a licensed professional counselor (LPC). Previous professional positions have also included serving as a school counseling department coordinator (K-12) and middle school counselor.

Danielle Greenbaum is currently an elementary school teacher in the Longwood School District since 2000. 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 25 years. She has experience working with pre-school through secondary levels. The last fifteen 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 14th 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 has sat 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 eighteen years teaching experience using Character Education as her basic foundation towards educating children. She is currently completing her thirteenth year as a first grade teacher with 4 years experience in fourth grade in the West Islip School District. Amanda has completed her administrative SDA & SAS from C.W. Post University.

Rene Hickey 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 eight years, Rene has taught for NYCTD to share a wealth of resources that are valuable to educators, as well as to keep herself updated with the latest techniques in classroom management and methods of teaching.

Barry Kaufman Barry is currently with the Long Island Rail Road as Senior Manager Operations Support and Analysis. He has over 30 years of management experience. Barry was on the Smithtown Central School District Board of Education for nine years. He has been teaching management development and leadership courses at Dowling College since 2003 and is a member of the Delta Mu Delta Honor Society.

Christopher Kauter Christopher is a Google Apps for Education Certified Trainer, Google Certified Teacher and a Certified New York State Social Studies Teacher (7-12). Christopher was most recently selected as the 2014 NYSCATE Lee Bryant Outstanding Teacher Award recipient for technology implementation in the classroom. He was also recognized as a 2014 PBS Digital Innovator and is a recipient of the 2014 Teacher Technology Integration Grant, “Using Mobile Technology in the Classroom”, from Western Suffolk Boces. In July 2013, He was selected as 1 of 63 teachers worldwide into the Google Teacher Academy held in Chicago, IL. Currently, Christopher is the District Technology Integration Specialist, AP Government Teacher and Senior Internship Advisor in the Deer Park Union Free School District in Deer Park, New York. He believes in focusing on 21st century skills and using 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 Aimee has experience co-teaching in all core academic areas of the 11th grade curriculum. Aimee also has experience within the Resource Room setting at the elementary level as well, supporting students in grades K-12. She also has experience with Multi-sensory Reading techniques and individualizing programming for students with special needs. She has experience meeting the varying learning needs that special education students encounter in and out of the general classroom. Aimee is currently pursuing her School District Leadership Certificate at Stony Brook University.

Kevin Keller Mr. Keller began his career teaching Earth Science in the Connetquot School District fifteen years ago. He has been the lead inclusion Earth Science teacher for eleven years. In addition, Mr. Keller has taught Sports Science and helped develop and teach a Natural Hazards course. Mr. Keller has been an instructor with NYCTD for almost eight years. He previously taught the course, "Exploring National Parks Through Virtual Field Trips".

Andrea Kempster Andrea Kempster was a special educator in the Connetquot School District from 1982 - 2014. She recently retired as the Special Education Middle School Coordinator and Elementary CSE Teacher Member. Andrea taught on both the elementary and secondary levels. She has experience in special class, integrated co-teaching classes, and resource room 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 few years she has additionally taught a study skills prep course for incoming high school students. Jean Marie recently received her Advanced Certification in Administration on both the building and district level. She also has a Master of Science in Adolescence Education from Long Island University at C.W. Post, and a Bachelor of Arts in both Spanish and History from Hofstra University.

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 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 was 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 only recently retired from serving 32 years as a Connetquot Cheerleading Coach.

Bryan Mandracchia is currently a third grade teacher in the Three Village Central School District. This is his 15th year teaching and has previously taught 2nd and 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 guitar and bass to chidlren and adults since the age of 15.

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 Michele 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 eleven years. She also taught for two years at a high school in Monticello, NY. Prior to her public school teaching career, Michele 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 seventeen years. She graduated from Stony Brook University with both a Bachelor's and Master's degree and is certified to teach Chemistry, Biology and General Science. 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 recently been named a New York State Master Teacher and is currently working on her Ph.D. in Science Education at Stony Brook University.

Pamila Pahuja started her career sixteen 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 thirteen years where she has taught 8th Grade Physical Science, Regents and Honors 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 Jeanne started teaching in the mid-1990s, initially English then moving into Business and Computer Education at both the junior and senior high school level, and in both public and private schools. She has certifications in English, Business, Cooperative Work-Study Programs, N-6 and School District Administration. When at Three Village, she developed a school-community advisory alliance, bridging interactions and support among local businesses, community organizations and the district. After retirement, Jeanne worked part-time under a one-year grant with the William Floyd SD to facilitate Professional Development for K-12 Math teachers. She has also developed and grown her own business providing lectures on a variety of topics at local libraries and community centers.

Jennifer Schnupp 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 eight ears. 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. In addition, Katherine was nominated as a semi-finalist for 2017 NYS Teacher of The Year. 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 holds her license in Pennsylvania and is a qualified teacher of the speech and language impaired. Elizabeth was employed by Blue Mountain School District for 8 years, where she served elementary and secondary school-age children. During that time she also provided speech services to the birth to three population on a part time basis. Elizabeth is now employed by the Carbon-Lehigh Intermediate Unit and treats students in a specialized, private school program.

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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