Meet Our Coaches

Click on the names below for more information about our professional development coaches.

Patricia Barry


Barry, Ed.D., Patricia

Dr. Patty Barry is an educational consultant who has worked as a teacher and literacy coach in elementary and secondary settings.
 Robert Becker
Rob Becker has over thirty years experience as a building and district level administrative leader. His positions as Principal and Director of Special Education for Eastern Suffolk BOCES offer:

Amy Benjamin

Benjamin, Amy

Amy Benjamin is a nationally recognized consultant specializing in literacy on the secondary level. She has extensive experience as a high school and middle school English teacher and literacy coach for reading and writing informational text.  

Lauren Benjamin

Benjamin, Lauren

Lauren Benjamin has taught at the Manhattan New School, P.S. 165 and most recently at Dobbs Ferry School District in Westchester County. Throughout her classroom experience, she has worked with various populations of students and taught primary and upper grades.  

Audrey Bernard

Bernard, Audrey

Audrey Bernard, former Eastern Suffolk BOCES Special Education Administrator, brings a talent for leading teachers of special needs students to develop sound academic programs tailored to their students’ behavioral and learning needs.

Richard Bernato

Bernato, Richard

Dr. Richard Bernato has served in a number of administrative positions that include assistant superintendent for educational instruction. He is presently an associate professor of educational leadership, administration, and technology for the doctorate in education and professional certificate programs at St. John's University.  

Elliot Bird

Bird, Elliot   

Elliott Bird is Professor of Mathematics, Emeritus, from Long Island University, holding a Ph.D. in mathematics and a Master's degree in education. Besides publishing several articles on the teaching of mathematics, he has given many talks and workshops on Long Island, in New York, and throughout the country, most recently in Hawaii.  

Patricia Bossert

Bossert, Patricia

Dr. Bossert taught biology at Northport High School for thirty-five years. She has developed the first Science Research Program at Northport and her students won local, state, national and international awards – many doing their work entirely “in-house” at the high school.  

Georgette Bowling

Bowling, Georgette

Georgette Bowling is a retired teacher from the Three Village Central School District where she was an elementary classroom teacher. In her last six years in Three Village she served as the project coordinator for New York State’s MTIP (Mentor Teacher Intern Program) as well as one of the district’s full time mentors.  
 Aaron Braun
Aaron Braun is the Community Educator at the LGBT Network.  He is responsible for delivering a sundry of trainings to different organizations across Long Island and in Queens which focus on creating safer and more supportive and affirming spaces for LGBT individuals. 
 Bob Budd
Bob Budd began teaching English in the New York City Public School system.  Enjoying approximately thirty-five years in public education, Bob continues to be innovative in his motivational approach to learning.  Currently employed as an adjunct instructor of English at Briarcliffe College, Mr. Budd strives to enable students to reach and achieve

Phyllis Caffaro

Caffaro, Phyllis

Phyllis Caffaro recently retired after thirty-four years teaching in the Hauppauge School District and has taught third, fifth and sixth grades and was an elementary science specialist for seven years. Phyllis has administered, scored and analyzed the New York Science Assessments for nine years.  

Sanja Cale

Cale, Sanja

Dr. Sanja Cale is an assistant professor and assistant director of education at Long Island University-Riverhead Campus. She received her Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology from the University at Stony Brook.

Gina Castaldo

Castaldo, Gina

Gina Castaldo is a Literacy Consultant who works in elementary, middle and high schools across Long Island supporting administrators, literacy coaches, and teachers in effective practices and instruction for reading, writing and the content areas that meet the demands and expectations of the Common Core State Standards.

Wendell Chu

Chu, Wendell

Wendell Chu is a retired teacher, building administrator, and superintendent.  He was an original member of the ESBOCES RTTT network team and has trained principal and teacher evaluators.   
 Glen Cochrane
Glen Cochrane retired from Half Hollow Hills after 37 years where he taught all levels of high school science.  He has served as an Educational Specialist for NYSED since 2004 participating in multiple phases of developing the Living Environment Regents.

Regina Cohn

Cohn, Regina

Regina Cohn has worked with teachers and administrators on Long Island as a teacher, curriculum director, principal, assistant superintendent, and superintendent. Her focus has been professional development for school and district administrators for the advancement of teacher effectiveness to improve student achievement including such concepts as: walk-throughs, instructional rounds, teacher evaluation, and the development of professional learning communities.
 Linda Conroy
Linda Conroy is a former administrator for Eastern Suffolk BOCES, whose experience in education includes that of teacher, Coordinator, Assistant Principal and Principal.  Her professional profile, as an instructional leader, has focused on providing Best Practices in curriculum and behavioral strategies to a highly diverse student population, as well a, working closely with the school community to accomplish the high expectations and rigor necessary to ready student for a successful future.

Sarah Cordova

Cordova, Sarah

Sarah Cordova is a literacy consultant who works in elementary and middle school classrooms throughout Long Island, New York City and across the country supporting administrators, literacy coaches and classroom teachers in developing and implementing the most effective and engaging reading and writing practices aligned with the Common Core State Standards. Ms Cordova received a Master of Arts Degree in Education from New York University and worked as a classroom teacher for many years in the Smithtown School District.

Kate Corkery

Corkery, Kate 

Kate Corkery retired from the Brentwood School district with thirty-eight years of diverse educational experiences as a teacher and administrator. Her career includes elementary teacher, high school English teacher, reading consultant, ELA staff developer, and coordinator of language arts and social studies K-12. 

Joan Daly-Lewis

Daly-Lewis, Joan

Dr. Daly-Lewis works with districts to strengthen teaching and learning, especially through enhancement of instructional and supervisory practices.  As an experienced teacher, principal, assistant superintendent, staff developer, university professor and regional school improvement specialist, districts seek Joan's assistance in administrator professional development, collaborative professional development planning, teacher coaching, and meeting facilitating.

Ann Davidian

Davidian, Ann

Ann Davidian worked in the Levittown School District for thirty-eight years, both as a teacher and as a mathematics chairperson. During that time, she taught students on the secondary level from seventh grade mathematics through AP Calculus BC.

Ann Delehant

Delehant, Ann

Ann Delehant is an experienced facilitator, learning leader and agent of system-wide change.
Teresa serves as the Director of Professional Development with the Educational Service Center of Central Ohio. Although she coordinates numerous professional learning options, PBL is her true passion. Teresa and her team has worked with BIE since 2010 in providing PBL capacity building support to numerous districts and schools in central Ohio. Since that time, she has witnessed an awakening in teacher efficacy to design authentic learning and believes that PBL has made a transformational impact on classroom practice and student learning.

Erica Denman

Denman, Erica

Erica Denman is a literacy consultant who works with teachers and administrators to help them develop and build their reading and writing workshops and strengthen their teaching of reading and writing across the curriculum. Erica received her Bachelor of Arts from George Washington University and her Master of Arts in Education from Teachers College, Columbia University.

Nancy Doda

Doda, Nancy

Nancy Doda is an internationally renowned speaker, workshop leader and author. Regarded as one of the world’s foremost experts on middle grades education, she is passionate about reaching adolescents, creating caring school cultures, providing students with learning that is engaging, and relevant and, insuring that we find ways to reach and teach each and every child.

Judy Dodge

Dodge, Judy

            Judy Dodge is a former teacher, an educational consultant, and a national presenter. The author of several articles and books, including, Differentiation in Action (Scholastic, 2005), Core Instructional Routines K-5 (Heinemann, 2014), Core Instructional Routines 6-12 (Heinemann, 2015), and 25 Quick Formative Assessment for a Differentiated Classroom 2nd Edition, Scholastic, 2017), Judy was chosen as an “expert” contributor to Instructor Magazine on the topic of differentiating instruction.  


Ruth Donlin

Donlin, Ruth

Ruth Donlin is a consultant whose private practice is based in New York. She has provided consultation to schools, agencies, and home programs that serve children and adults on the autism spectrum for 19 years.

Maria Dove

Dove, Maria

Maria G. Dove, Ed. D. is Assistant Professor in the division of education at Molloy College, Rockville Centre, NY where she teaches courses to preservice and inservice teachers in the graduate education TESOL program. Having worked as an English as a Second Language teacher for over thirty years, she has provided instruction to English language learners in public school settings (Grades K-12) and in adult English Language programs in Nassau County, NY.
 Brian Dowd
Brian Dowd is retired from the Massapequa Public Schools after 37 years, where he taught Middle and High School Social Studies and served as the District Curriculum Associate for Social Studies K-12, for the last 14 years.

Daniel Drance

Drance, Daniel

Dan Drance has been an active participant, innovator and leader in mathematics education on Long Island for over thirty years. As a teacher, he has taught the gamut of secondary courses, ranging from remedial middle school labs to BC Calculus, as well as being an adjunct professor of mathematics at two local colleges. As an administrator, he has overseen curriculum implementation (from the Sequential Mathematics program to Common Core Learning Standards) and specialized in teacher training, support and mentoring at the elementary, middle and high school levels for over twenty-five years.

Cheryl Durant

Durant, Cheryl

Cheryl Durant is an energetic recent retiree with over thirty years of extensive experience as a classroom teacher and assistant principal in the Half Hollow Hills School District. During her many years in the field of education, she remained committed to child centered practices.

Jennifer Eddy

Eddy, Jennifer

Dr. Jennifer Eddy is Assistant Professor of World Language Education in the department of Secondary Education and Youth Services (SEYS) at Queens College of the City University of New York. Dr. Eddy teaches undergraduate and graduate courses as well as directs workshops and seminars for pre, in-service teachers, and post secondary faculty.

Larry Farrell

Farrell, Larry

Lawrence Farrell gained experience teaching mathematics in the Brentwood School District, Long Island, New York. He spent thirty years teaching mathematics in grades seven to twelve, all subjects, all levels, all abilities.

Kathleen Feeley

Feeley, Kathleen

Dr. Feeley, Associate Professor in the Department of Special Education and Literacy is the Director of the Center for Community Inclusion at the C.W. Post Campus of L.I.U. Having completed her graduate work at the University of Minnesota, Dr. Feeley has extensive experience working in inclusive schools and has developed state of the art early intervention and preschool programs here in Suffolk County.

Sharon Funk

Funk, Sharon

Sharon Funk, teacher, staff developer, facilitator, coordinator, Supervisor, and Professional Development Specialist, has focused her career on improving mathematics instruction and restructuring education programs. Her career included positions as the NYC Chancellor’s Office District Liaison to the Urban Systemic Initiative for Math/Science, Chancellor’s Designee for the Division of Instruction and Professional Development, Instructional Specialist for Title I Schoolwide Projects, SURR, and Corrective Action schools, Mathematics Instructional Specialist for Manhasset UFSD, Supervisor of Comprehensive District Education Planning and NYSED CDEP steering committee member under Nassau BOCES, and Mathematics and Professional Development Specialist with The Princeton Review.

Vicky Giouroukakis

Giouroukakis, Vicky

Vicky Giouroukakis, Ph.D. is an Associate Professor in the Division of Education at Molloy College, Rockville Centre, New York. She teaches undergraduate and graduate courses related to literacy, English content and methods, and TESOL.
 Cindy Goldrich

Goldrich, Cindy

Cindy Goldrich, Ed.M., ACAC received her Master’s in Counseling Psychology from Columbia Univ., Teachers College and her ADHD Coach Certification from the Institute for the Advancement of ADHD Coaching.

Patrice Gould-Hatwood

Gould-Hatwood, Patrice

Patrice Gould-Hatwood recently retired after twenty-seven years in education. She has served on many local and state educational committees to facilitate building and district administrators hone their skills and understanding of school reform and current best practices.

Alice Grant

Grant, Alice

Alice D. Grant was Social Studies Department Chair (6-12) at Pelham Memorial High School in Pelham, New York. A consultant to the College Board in AP United States and European History and Pre AP Social Studies instruction, Alice has taught graduate level courses for AP history teachers and methods courses for pre-service teachers and has presented numerous workshops on pre AP, AP, and Regents teaching strategies throughout the region.

Beatrice Gravino

Gravino, Beatrice

Beatrice Gravino and Gretchen Oldrin Mones work together as a team to improve class instruction, infuse the standards of the Common Core, and facilitate workshops. Bea taught secondary ELA in the Middle Country School District for thirty-one years.
Andy Greene is the retired Principal from Candlewood Middle School in the Half Hollow Hills School District in Dix Hills, N. Y.  He is a past president of the Long Island Association of Curriculum Development and was also past president of Suffolk County Middle Level Principal Association. More>

Sue Gubing

Gubing, Sue

As principal of her consulting firm, CareerSmarts, Sue has been instrumental in guiding educators in creating dynamic career and workforce development programs. She is passionate about 21st Century Skills, financial literacy, career planning and creating partnerships between industry and education.
Virginia has served as a Social Studies educator for 30 years, first as a High School Social Studies teacher and later as a Social Studies Administrator, with experience in Queens, Nassau and Suffolk Counties.


Elizabeth Haupt

Haupt, Elizabeth

Elizabeth Haupt recently retired from the Eastport/South Manor school district after thirty-three years of teaching where she taught intermediate level and high school level sciences. During that time she was instrumental in designing new science curricula and mentored novice teachers in classroom management and instructional strategies.

Janet Hiller

Hiller, Janet

Dr. Janet Hiller taught Spanish, French and ESL and was an administrator-assistant principal, director of reading, foreign languages and ESL for the East Islip Public Schools during her twenty years there. She is currently teaching methods for Foreign Language teachers and supervising Foreign Language Student teachers at the LIU CW Post Campus.

Andrea Honingsfeld

Honingsfeld, Andrea

Dr. Andrea Honigsfeld is Associate Dean and Director of the Doctoral Program in Educational Leadership for Diverse Learning Communities at Molly College.

Victor Jaccarino

Jaccarino, Victor

Would you like to develop a common core culture in your school?  Recognized throughout New York State as an expert on the Common Core State Standards, Victor Jaccarino has presented numerous workshops on literacy, and best practices in both the ELA and content area classrooms, conducting workshops throughout the state and country.

Jerry Jackson

Jackson, Jerry

Dr. Jerry L. Jackson has thirty-four years of experience as an educator which cuts across all levels. Most recently he has joined the Educational Leadership Department at Kean University as an assistant professor.

Shawyn Jackson

Jackson, Shawyn

Shawyn Jackson began her career as a classroom teacher. After earning her Masters in Instructional Curriculum Design, she became a teacher trainer in the educational publishing industry working with reputable companies such as Houghton Mifflin, Rigby, Great Source, Scott Foresman, McDougal Littell and Prentice Hall.

Julia Johnson

Johnson, Julia

Mrs. Julia Johnson graduated from Adelphi University in 2006 with a BA in English and Master's in Education. She currently coordinates the Gifted and Talented EXCEL Program at Islip School District, is the co-founder of the Gifted Education Network and the Educational Director.

Raymond Jorgenson

Jorgenson, Raymond

Raymond D. Jorgensen, Ph.D. has spent the past thirty years leading while studying organizations and the concepts of organizational learning and change. In the past fifteen years, he parlayed this practical knowledge into the concept of Conversational Leadership, an insightful, theory-based method of conducting more effective meetings which taps into the collective wisdom of a group and leads to higher quality relationships for higher quality results.

Michael Joseph

Joseph, Michael

Michael Joseph has nearly twenty years K-8 math experience with a specialty in grades K-5. He has been a 4th grade classroom teacher, a 6th grade math teacher and an AIS Math Specialist.

Bobbi Kabuto

Kabuto, Bobbi

Dr. Bobbi Kabuto is a professor of Literacy Education at Queens College, CUNY. She holds a Ph.D. in Language, Reading, and Cognition from Hofstra University and New York State Certification as a birth-12 reading teacher.
 Linda Karman
Linda has 30 years experience in education.  Her experiences include teacher assistant, science teacher, school counselor at all levels including Career & Technical education at Eastern Suffolk BOCES, Assistant Principal, Supervisor of Adult Education, Principal of Special Education Elementary and Secondary summer school programs, Assistant Director of Pupil Personnel Services, and Director of Guidance & Student Data
 Michael Keany
Michael Keany is a former principal with over twenty-one years of experience at the middle and high school level.  

Susan Kelly

Kelly, Susan

Dr. Susan Kelly's experience includes Director of Curriculum and Instruction K-12, District Coordinator of English, Department Chairperson of English, teacher of English and Math, and Assistant Principal and Principal of a district-wide summer school program. As Director of Curriculum and Instruction, she spearheaded the K-12 curriculum mapping of English, Math, Social Studies, Science, Music, Art, Physical Education, and Foreign Language.

Alisty Keneth

Keneth, Alisty

Alisty Keneth has been working in the anti-bias field on Long Island since 1999. She created, implemented, facilitated and directed Hate Crime 101: The Continuum of Prejudicial Behavior in every segment of Long Island’s community including: for seventy-eight of Long Island’s school districts for personnel and student training.

Emma Klimek

Klimek, Emma

Emma has experience as a classroom teacher, reading specialist, principal and assistant superintendent. She has provided districts guidance in using data to inform instruction, developing inquiry teams and facilitating data management in schools.
 Rhoda Koenig
Rhoda Koenig's long career in literacy learning and staff development, along with her talent for building trust and confidence, contribute to her unique expertise in providing cognitive coaching that empowers teachers with knowledge, skill and decision-making ability necessary for a high-level of teaching proficiency and student achievement.
 Diana Kolhoff
Diana's education and teaching career began in Utah.  she focused on integrating technology into the classroom, and the NCTM Standards for Mathematics.  She finished her Master's Degree in Mathematics in 2000 at the top of her class, and decided to move to the east coast.

Louisa Kramer-Vida

Kramer-Vida, Louisa

Dr. Louisa Kramer-Vida is Chair of the Department of Special Education and Literacy at LIU Post where she teaches undergraduate and master's level literacy and special education courses and interdisciplinary doctoral courses.  Dr. Kramer-Vida has been an elementary teacher, a K-12 reading specialist, a high school English teacher, and an administrator on both the building and district office levels. 

Steven Kussin

Kussin, Steven

Steven Kussin was a high school principal for 21 years. His expertise is in the area of scheduling and school organization. He wrote the manual “How To Build the Master Schedule in 10 Easy Steps” (Corwin) and has run a full-day workshop for educators with the same name for the past 34 years.

Beth Lakretz

Lakretz, Beth

Beth is the founder and president of Lakretz Creative Support Services. Since 1992, Beth has been developing and implementing dynamic workshops and technical assistance regarding topics such as inclusive education, co-teaching, differentiated instruction, community building, and transition with her team.

Jean Lapinski

Lapinski, Jean

Jean Lapinski is a retired teacher and administrator with over forty years of experience. She has taught students from the elementary through the college level. She served as a district language arts supervisor and finished her career as an assistant superintendent, overseeing curriculum and instruction, grant administration, assessment, personnel, and professional development.

Nancy Letts

Letts, Nancy

Nancy Letts consults with school districts, professional organizations and public sector agencies throughout the United States, Asia, and Australia. She received an M.A. degree in Integrated Mathematics and Science from Long Island University. Her areas of focus include differentiating curriculum and instruction, authentic teaching and learning strategies, Socratic Seminar training, and effective group dynamics.

Jonathon Lightfoot

Lightfoot, Jonathon

Dr. Jonathan Lightfoot is currently a professor at Hofstra University’s School of Education and Allied Human Services. He teaches courses in the Foundations, Leadership and Policy Studies Department. He received a Ph.D. from the University of Illinois, a master’s degree in Education from Harvard University and a bachelor’s degree from Cornell University.

No Picture Available

Lightstone, Barbara

Barbara Lightstone recently retired from the Connetquot School district after thirty-eight years of experience as a public school educator. Barbara has served as an elementary school principal for thirteen years and a classroom teacher in primary and intermediate grades for twenty-five years.

Susan Lipkins

Lipkins, Susan

Dr. Susan Lipkins is a psychologist specializing in bullying and hazing. She is the author of Preventing Hazing: How Parents, Teachers, and Coaches Can Stop the Violence, Harassment and Humiliation. She has presented on the topics to schools and colleges throughout the U.S.

Jean Lum

Lum, Jean

Jean’s educational accomplishments consist of a Ph.D. in Biomedical Sciences/Molecular Genetics, an MBA in Finance and NY State certification in School Business Leadership/Finance (SBA). Her work experience includes twenty- five years in education, curriculum/ program development and financial management.

Carol Masin

Masin, Carol

Carol's  thirty-five+ years of educational experience includes being a district Reading Specialist, Special Education Teacher, Administrator as well as a ESBOCES Building Coach and Regional Coach.  Carol designed and implemented the Language Arts Summer School K-4 program for her school district. 

Patricia Mastrandrea

Mastrandrea, Patricia

Patricia Mastrandrea is an educational specialist, author and recognized leader in the field of effective classroom instruction. Throughout her career, she has worked diligently with administrators and teachers designing pedagogical strategies to enhance student achievement. Her present achievements include acquiring expertise in RTI and how to utilize it as an educational framework for student access. Patricia's span of expertise includes curriculum mapping and unit planning.

Paul Mastrodonato

Mastrodonato, Paul

Paul Mastrodonato is the president of Nonprofit Works, a consulting firm established in 1999 that specializes in courses, training and coaching in the areas of grant seeking, strategic planning, logic models and board training. He has spent fifteen years working for and with nonprofit organizations, including eight years as the executive director of a job training organization in Rochester, NY.

JoEllen McCarthy

McCarthy, JoEllen

JoEllen McCarthy, a former classroom teacher, is now a literacy coach, consultant and regional staff developer. As a consultant to many school districts, JoEllen conducts numerous literacy workshops and facilitates collegial conversations about best practices. JoEllen helps develop and support literacy environments.

Lawrence McCullough

McCullough, Lawrence

Lawrence McCullough is a founder, principal owner and Grant Service provider for the Nia Solutions Corporation. Nia Solutions is, among other things, an established Long Island leader in the development of successful grant applications for local governments; particularly local school districts, and supervisory districts.
 Candi McKay

Candi McKay is an author and national consultant, providing consultation, facilitation and training related to improving teacher quality and professional learning to school districts and state service agencies around the country.


Regina Melrose

Melrose, Regina

Clinical and school psychologist Dr. Regalena ‘Reggie’ Melrose is the creator of Brain Charge: The K-12 Curriculum and the author of the ground-breaking books, You Can Heal Your Child (Bush Street Press, 2009) and Why Students Underachieve (Rowman & Littlefield, 2006).

Kristen Memoli-Ruthkowski

Memoli-Ruthkowski, Kristen

Dr. Ruthkowski is a clinical psychologist who works with children, adolescents, and adults. She specializes in working with individuals and families affected by Autism Spectrum Disorders and anxiety disorders.

Gretchen Oldrin Mones

Mones, Gretchen Oldrin

Gretchen Oldrin Mones and Bea Gravino work together as a team to improve classroom instruction, infuse the standards of the Common Core, and facilitate staff development workshops in various districts. Gretchen taught secondary ELA in the Middle Country School District for 33 years as a classroom teacher and as an Academic Intervention Specialist.

Rose Montagnino

Montagnino, Rose

Rose Montagnino has been working in the field of Special Education for over thirty years starting as a self-contained classroom teacher for severely disabled students to Resource Room Teacher and finally as a Special Ed. Consultant pushing into co-teaching classrooms. She has developed and instructed many courses and workshops for the OWL Teacher Center in Lindenhurst, PTAs, SEPTA, The College of Saint Rose and Brooklyn College.
Alison Offerman-Celentano
 Dr. Alison Offerman-Celentano has been an educator for 20 years, starting her career teaching school groups in the parks of New York City. She has taught science in all secondary grade levels 6-12 and is currently the Director of Science, K-12 in the Commack School District. Alison has facilitated professional development workshops in her district as well as at technology conferences.

Jeff Olefson

Olefson, Jeff

Jeff Olefson has worked with Board of Education, share decision making, grade level and department teams on goals and instructional strategies that support effective teaching and learning. He has also consulted with districts on co-teaching, student management and using data to inform classroom instruction.

Philip Olynciw

Olynciw, Philip

Mr. Olynciw is the Manager of Products and Services for Nia Solutions Corporation. Prior to co-founding Nia he was the Director of Training and Technical Assistance for the Northeast Regional Center for the United States Department of Education.

Paul Paino

Paino, Paul

For thirty years Paul Paino directed a successful science research program at The Wheatley School in East Williston NY. He mentored hundreds of students as semifinalists and finalists in the Intel Science Talent Search, the Siemens Competition in Math, Science and Technology, the International Science and Engineering Fair and the Junior Science and Humanities Symposium.

Stanley Pappo

Pappo, Stanley

Stanley Pappo has taught high school math for thirty-five years, mostly in the Half Hollow Hills School District. He has taught all courses including A.P. Calculus and A.P. Statistics. He has been retired for six years, but has been very active in teaching teachers how to use their present technology.

Erica Pecorale

Pecorale, Erica

Erica Pecorale is an educator who has worked with hundreds of professionals across Long Island and Connecticut to help them in implementing effective literacy initiatives and goals within their classrooms and districts. She is a trained literacy coordinator, staff developer and literacy coach and is New York State certified in special education, math, elementary education and administration.
 Angela Peery
Dr. Angela Peery has been an educator for three decades and is the author or co-author of 10 books, including the bestselling Writing Matters in Every Classroom. She has collaborated with hundreds of teachers and administrators to design curriculum, create assessments, and improve instruction.

Bob Plaia

Plaia, Bob

Robert Plaia is a career educator who began his career as a science teacher in the junior and senior high school arenas. He has taught biology, general science, chemistry, physics, earth science and health.
Hakeem Rahim
Hakeem Rahim, owner of Live Breathe LLC, is Harvard-and Columbia-trained mental health education and creative-thinking coach.  Hakeem's mental health education workshops are unique because he complements his professional expertise with experiences from his own mental health journey.

John Reid

Reid, John

John Reid has served as an unpaid coach to a middle school principal at Dawnwood Middle School from March 2007 – June 2007. He currently is serving as advisor to nine Brentwood teachers in Stony Brook University’s Educational Leadership program.
 Dana Reinecke
Dana Reinecke is a doctoral level Board-Certified Behavior Analyst (BCBA-D) and a New York State Licensed Behavior Analyst (LBA).  Dana provides training and consultation to school districts, private schools, agencies, and families for individuals with disabilities.  She has provided consultation and training throughout New York, as well as in Mexico, Australia, and Northern Ireland.

Diane Ripple

Ripple, Diane

Diane Ripple has been a professional developer on Long Island and the surrounding areas since 1996. In 1999 she started her own company, Consulting That Makes A Difference, Inc. CMDI is a small company that provides professional development in such areas as co-teaching, disability-specific coaching, inclusive practices, differentiated instruction, paraprofessional training and community building.

Sandra Rubin

Rubin, Sandra

Sandra Rubin recently retired from the Connetquot School District with thirty-eight years of experience as a public school educator. She served as an elementary school principal for thirteen years. Her diverse background includes experience as a classroom teacher grades second through six, and gifted and talented specialist grades four through six.

Yolanda Santiago

Santiago, Yolanda, EDS, SAS, MS ED, CPC

Yolanda Santaigo, EDS, SAS, MS ED, CPC. is professor of graduate and undergraduate education, an educational specialist and consultant, an experienced and certified academic professional coach in New York City and throughout the Northeastern United States. Professor Santiago completed a dual doctorate and received a Kappa Delta Pi award, among others.


Michael Schwenk

Schwenk, Michael

Michael Schwenk is beginning his 40th year as a recognized leader in the field of physical education. The experience is based on teaching elementary through college level physical education, as well as director responsibilities to plan, develop, and implement various curriculum models and co-curricular programs.
 Patti Scriffiny
Patti Scriffiny, ASCD author has been an educator for 24 years, with experience at the high school and college levels.   She has taught every math course at the high school level from pre-algebra to AP Calculus and AP Statistics.  Patricia is currently the mathematics department chair at Montrose High School in Montrose. 

Kristina Seeley

Seeley, Kristina

Kristina Seeley has taught at various grade levels both in NYC and in the Three Village Central School District. Additionally, she worked as a Literacy Coordinator under Fountas and Pinnell’s Literacy Collaborative model for five years. During this time, she and her fourth grade students were videotaped through Heinemann Publishers and their clips have appeared on the Fountas and Pinnell website (
Jeannette Senneca
Jeannette Senneca has thirty-eight years experience as a K-12 ELA director, elementary administrator and secondary classroom teacher.  In addition to administration and English, she holds certifications in special education and literacy. 

Karen Scharf

Scharf, Karen

Karen Scharf is retired from the Brentwood School District where she was an administrator and teacher for thirty-five years. During that time, Karen taught elementary grades and went on to become Assistant Coordinator of Language Arts and Staff Development. In addition, Karen taught Business Communications at Briarcliffe College which enabled her to expand literacy practices into the work environment.
 Patti Scriffiny  Patti Scriffiny

Richard Shear

Shear, Richard

APPR and Common Core implementation have created a new level of expectation.  School administrators and teachers must maximize their ability to improve instruction and the student experience.

Randy Simmons

Simmons, Randy

Randy Simmons, the Executive Director and founder of Bridges Data and Professional Development, has been a data analyst on Long Island for twenty-five years, studying educational achievement as well as youth and community needs. Since 2005, Bridges Data and Professional Development has partnered with districts to support their use of data to inform instruction.
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Yvonne Sinisgalli is the Bilingual Education Outreach Coordinator at the Long Island Parent Center at LIU, a facilitator of support to professionals & parents with concerns of educating children with disabilities, a collaborator with school districts, and a provider for outreach to high need communities. She is an adjunct professor in the Education Department at LIU.
 Karen Siris
Dr. Karen Siris, Professor of Educational Leadership at Adelphi University and retired Oceanside principal, served on the New York Dignity for All Students Task Force and currently serves on the New York Safe Schools Task Force.

Rita Stein

Stein, Rita

Dr. Rita Stein is an ASCD author and received her Ed.D from Teachers College of Columbia University. Her book Connecting Character to Conduct and her subsequent book for Corwin Press on Induction: From Recruitment to Retention have been used by educators and companies throughout the world.

Catherine Taldone

Taldone, Catherine

Catherine Taldone is currently the Director of School & Community Partnerships for the Three Village Central School District. She is an administrator with over twenty-five years experience in education and a leader in developing model programs. Ms. Taldone has developed many successful on-going programs in partnership with community agencies, businesses, institutions of higher education, and parents.
 Devin Thornburg
Devin Thornburg is a Professor of Education at Adelphi University, teaching courses in cognition, culture and learning, social justice, and human rights.  He has been involved in school reform and teacher education for three decades, writing about teacher-student relationships and roles in diverse settings.   
 Angelo Truglio
Angelo Truglio, a former teacher with the Connetquot School District has over thirty years of experience with professional development.  Angelo's teaching experiences include Pre-K, teaching four and five year olds at his private learning center and through library summer workshops, elementary, middle and high school, and as an adjunct professor at New York University.  

Carol Varsalona

Varsalona, Carol

Carol Varsalona, recently retired Director of Language Arts and Testing, has had extensive experience as a literacy specialist/reading teacher, grant writer, and staff developer. She has been a Network Team member since the inception of the NTI trainings.

Diane Vitale

Vitale, Diane

Ms. Vitale is a professional development expert and with over twenty five years of professional development experience.  Her expertise resides in assisting organizations and school districts in making transformations while addressing the inevitable dissonance that occurs when resources are limited and non-negotiable change is imposed.

Brian Vorwald

Vorwald, Brian

Brian Vorwald taught Earth Science for 35 years in Sayville Public Schools, was Science Department Chairperson for grades 6-12 for 14 years, and is an Adjunct Associate Professor of Earth and Space Sciences at Suffolk County Community College. During his career in Sayville Schools, Brian taught Earth Science and established an honors course that facilitates students earning college credits in geology.

Michelle Witman

Witman, Michelle

Michelle is an established educational consultant with over fourteen years of experience. With a bachelor’s degree from Brandeis University and master’s degree in Education in Curriculum & Development from Lesley University, Michelle went on to receive her training as a literacy coach & coordinator through the Literacy Collaborative at Lesley University.

Irene Witthoft

Witthoft, Irene

Irene is a retired school principal with 35 years of experience in the field of special education. As a teacher and administrator her experience has afforded her the opportunity to work with behavior and psychiatric disordered youngsters, as well as Asperger Syndrome and developmentally delayed children.

Cecile Wren

Wren, Cecile

Currently, Cecile Wren does consulting and is a certified test administrator and coach for the Mayer-Salovey-Caruso Emotional Intelligence Test (MSCEIT) coordinated through Yale Univeristy. The MSCEIT is a skills-based assessment that is an excellent resource tool for adults who want to utilize emotional literacy both in their personal and professional lives.
Jim Wright, M.S., is a highly-acclaimed national presenter, trainer and author on topics that cover the essentials and beyond of RTI.

Kim Yaris

Yaris, Kim

Kim Yaris, an educator for 19 years, specializes in working with schools to evaluate and improve their approaches to literacy instruction and implementation of the Common Core Standards. As a certified Reading Specialist trained at the University of New Hampshire and Columbia University’s Teacher College, Kim is committed to integrating reading, writing, speaking and listening, and language in ways that gradually release students to greater independence and proficiency.

Tamara Young

Young, Tamara

Ms. Young is the Chief Instructional Strategies Consultant for Nia Solutions Corporation. She has worked in the Glen Cove City School District since 1999. Ms Young has been an active member of the Teaching American History Grant for the past three school years, studying with the group in an effort to develop knowledge, curriculum, and strategies to improve student performance.

Dianne Youngblood

Youngblood, Dianne 

Dr. Dianne B. Youngblood is a retired school superintendent, who has dedicated thirty-nine years of her life to the field of education. In addition to working as school superintendent, she also has worked as principal, assistant principal, guidance director/counselor, teacher, caseworker, and day care center director.