Long Island

Long Island

Stony Brook University

A  B  C  D  E  F  G  H  I  J  K  L  M  N  O  P  R  S  T  V  W

A

Donald AmbroseDonald Ambrose

Three Village Central School District

Donald Ambrose earned his B.S. in Accounting from Albany University, and his B.S. in Teaching Mathematics and M.A. in Mathematics from Stony Brook University. Mr. Ambrose teaches Algebra 2 and Advanced Placement Calculus BC at Ward Melville High School. A strong proponent of inquiry-based learning, Mr. Ambrose believes in providing students with engaging activities to promote their thinking and learning. Mr. Ambrose is currently the lead teacher of the Math Department at his high school. He was the Math Team coordinator for ten years, prepared questions for the annual Suffolk County Senior Tournament, and coached soccer for four years. Mr. Ambrose was extremely honored to have the Yearbook dedicated to him by the graduating class of 2014. Prior to his teaching career, Donald was a Certified Public Accountant for six years. This experience allowed him to be the Treasurer of the extra-curricular clubs for six years at his high school. As a NYS Master Teacher, Mr. Ambrose looks forward to collaborating with other teachers in the program, learning new teaching strategies, and sharing his ideas with other teachers in an overall effort to improve instruction.

Sonja Anderson

Sayville School District

Sonja Anderson earned her BS in Environmental Science from Binghamton University and Master of Arts in Teaching from Stony Brook University. In the classroom for nine years, she teaches Advanced Placement Environmental Science and Regents Living Environment at Sayville High School.  A strong advocate for inquiry based hands-on learning, she involves her students with a variety of community service, problem-solving, and technology infused activities. Mrs. Anderson’s professional interests focus on cooperative learning and incorporating technology into everyday learning. Her current project includes a pilot program to integrate personal tablets into the classroom.  In addition to her teaching responsibilities, she serves as a co-advisor for the SWEEP (Students Working for Enhanced Environmental Protection) Club and is the Director at Large for Environmental Educators for the Science Teachers Association of NYS. She was recently honored with the Bright Lights Award from Suffolk ASSET (Association of Suffolk County Supervisors for Educational Technology) for her contributions to improving technology in the classroom.  A life-long collaborative learner, Mrs. Anderson is inspired by the words of Albert Einstein:  “Any fool can know. The point is to understand.”

∧ Back To Top

B

Charles BewickCharles Bewick

Sewanhaka Central High School District

Charles Bewick earned his B.S. in Chemistry and Secondary Education from the University of Scranton where he simultaneously worked at the Center for Teaching and Learning Excellence. He continued his education at Dowling College where he earned his M.S. in Adolescent Education. Mr. Bewick teaches Advanced Chemistry and coordinates the Science Research Program at H. Frank Carey High School. He is dedicated to providing unique opportunities for his students to experience the rigor and rewards of genuine scientific inquiry that relates foreign content knowledge to common life experiences. His professional interests focus on engaging students by utilizing local issues, such as discussions about the Bethpage Plume in relation to Long Island water quality and authentic readings about toxic algal blooms in the Great South Bay. In addition to his teaching responsibilities, Mr. Bewick is a member of the district’s Talented and Gifted Committee and Schoolwide Enrichment Leadership Team, which focus on incorporating gifted pedagogies into classrooms across the district. As a NYS Master Teacher, Mr. Bewick looks forward to opportunities to further hone his teaching skills by working with fellow Master Teachers in Professional Learning Teams.

Claire BironeClaire Birone

Babylon Union Free School District

Claire Birone earned her BS in biology from Siena College and her Master of Arts in Teaching Biology from Stony Brook University. In the classroom for eight years, Ms. Birone founded and now coordinates the Science Research Program at Babylon High School.  She is a strong advocate for providing her students with the opportunity to participate in authentic scientific research to facilitate the application of content knowledge to general life experiences, thus demonstrating how science reaches well beyond the classroom walls. In addition to her teaching responsibilities, Ms. Birone and her students collaborate with both professional scientists and other local schools to conduct research at Brookhaven National Laboratory in the field of structural biology. The results of this research were published in a peer-reviewed scientific journal. Ms. Birone’s view on education is best explained in the words of Albert Einstein, “Education is not the learning of facts, but the training of the mind to think.” Within the NYS Master Teacher Program, she is most looking forward to collaborating with like-minded teachers to deepen her content knowledge and expand her pedagogical practices. She intends to join the High School Research Teachers and Biology Teachers Professional Learning Teams.

Ashley BlochAshley Bloch

Islip School District

Ashley Bloch earned her BS in General Biology from SUNY Stony Brook, MS in Science Education from Dowling College and teaches 8th grade accelerated Earth Science and 8th grade General Science at Islip Middle School. A teacher for 11 years, Ms. Bloch is a strong advocate for educating the whole child, and strives to spark an interest in science through hands-on labs and real world curricular connections. Valuing professional collaborations, she serves as the Subject Area Representative in Intermediate Level Science and Vice President of Programs for the Suffolk County Section of the Science Teachers Association of NYS. Ms. Bloch is active in various educational programs at Brookhaven National Laboratory.  She was honored with the Science Teacher’s Association of New York State’s Intermediate Level Science Teacher of the Year for Suffolk County. Within the NYS Master Teacher Program, Ms. Bloch participates in the Earth Science Professional Learning Team. Mrs. Bloch says that her students’ questions motivate her to learn more, and she is inspired by the words of theoretical physicist Michio Kaku: “Humans are natural-born scientists. When we’re born, we want to know why the stars shine. We want to know why the sun rises.”

Mary BlondrageMary Alexis Blondrage

Sewanhaka School District

Mary Alexis Blondrage earned her BS and MS in Environmental Science and Engineering from Rochester Institute of Technology, and Master of Arts in Teaching in Biology from Stony Brook University.  In the classroom six years, Ms. Blondrage runs the science research program and teaches Living Environment at The Wheatley School.  She is a strong supporter of interdisciplinary learning and advocate for providing high-quality education to all students. She supports her students’ individual learning styles in order to enhance engagement and mastery of content.  In addition to her teaching responsibilities, Ms. Blondrage is a district turnkey trainer for the Common Core Learning Standards and is on the board of trustees for the NYS Science and Engineering Fair, a state-wide science project competition for 6th-12th grades. Ms. Blondrage is inspired by the words of African-American twentieth century author, Zora Neale Hurston: “Research is formalized curiosity.  It is poking and prying with a purpose.” Within the NYS Master Teacher Program, she is a member of the Research Teacher Professional Learning Team, which is dedicated to a review of research program initiatives within various schools.

Elisa BogenElisa Bogen

Smithtown Central School District

Elisa Bogen earned a B.S. in Biochemistry and M.S. in Educational Technology from Stony Brook University. Mrs. Bogen has extensive experience working with special education students in STEM classes. She teaches Regents Biology, Inclusion Regents Biology, and Environmental Science at Smithtown High School West. She is dual-certified in Biology and Special Education, trained in Applied Behavioral Analysis for children with autism, and is earning certification in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages. She is also a member of the district's Equity Team, advocating for students with disabilities and English Language Learners, and worked to create an Integrated English as a New Language Biology class for which she facilitated curriculum development. Elisa’s professional activities have included serving as union representative and advisor to Ecology Club, Science Olympiad and Honor Society. She was a research assistant in Genetics at Stony Brook University and is a certified diver. Mrs. Bogen sponsored fundraisers for the Developmental Disabilities Institute for children with autism and is a member of the Asperger's Syndrome and High Functioning Autism Association. Mrs. Bogen is inspired by the Ole Ivar Lovaas quote: “If they can't learn the way we teach, we teach the way they learn.” She looks forward to the collaborative nature of the NYS Master Teacher Program.

Robert BolenRobert Bolen

Eastport-South Manor Central School District

Robert Bolen is a proud alumnus of Hofstra University where he earned his B.A. in Biology and M.S. in Secondary Education. He earned an Advanced Graduate Certificate in Educational Administration from Stony Brook University and holds a School District Administrator certification. Mr. Bolen teaches Advanced Placement Biology and Science Research at Eastport South Manor Junior-Senior High School. He has been the Science Department Chairperson and a class advisor, and is currently chess club advisor. Mr. Bolen is a member of several committees including Principal’s Advisory and School Safety. He is also the District Mentor Coordinator for the New Teacher Mentor Program. Mr. Bolen founded the science research program through which he has garnered support from scientists and educators at Brookhaven National Laboratory. Mr. Bolen is an advocate for bringing students and scientists together through authentic research experiences. Robert is an active member of his parish church and enjoys fishing and kayaking with his wife and two daughters. Mr. Bolen’s views on education are best captured by the words of Sir Francis Bacon: “Knowledge is power”. As a NYS Master Teacher, Mr. Bolen plans to collaborate with other science research teachers to provide greater opportunities for students.

Maria Brown

Sayville School District

Maria Brown earned her MS in Environmental Science from Long Island University (LIU), BA in Biology and BS in Geology from City University of New York at Queens College.  She is a Certified Professional Wetland Scientist, and a candidate for the Advanced Graduate Certificate in Geospatial Science from Stony Brook University where she is a Permanent Lecturer in the Sustainability Studies Department.  Prior to becoming a teacher, Mrs. Brown worked as a senior Environmental Scientist in the private sector. In the classroom 16 years, Mrs. Brown teaches Research in Science & Engineering (RISE) Tiers 1-4 and RISE Tech at Sayville High School.  She has also designed and implemented Advanced Placement Environmental and Inclusion Earth Science courses in the high school.  Mrs. Brown enjoys innovative, hands-on experiential teaching where students are engaged in activities to find solutions to a meaningful problem.  Her classes engage students in state-of-the-art technology including the use of environmental probes, software applications, robotics, or coding.  Mrs. Brown is active in various professional organizations, and is the Vice President for the Coastal Research & Education Society of Long Island.  She received numerous teaching awards and was recognized as the 2013 Long Island’s High School Teacher of the Year from LIU.

Stephanie BurnsStephanie Burns

Connetquot Central School District

Raised in Clinton, NY, Stephanie Burns earned her BS in Meteorology from SUNY College at Oneonta. She worked as an on-air meteorologist for WKTV, an NBC affiliate in Utica, before moving to Long Island and earning her Master of Arts Teaching Earth Science degree from Stony Brook University. Mrs. Burns teaches Earth Science and Astronomy at Connetquot High School in Bohemia. An educator with nine years experience, Mrs. Burns is a strong advocate of hands-on, well-rounded learning, and enjoys fostering a love of geoscience and space science in her high school students. At Connetquot HS, she co-created the elective courses in Astronomy & Environmental Science and Preservation. Recent projects include her students’ research into terrestrial impact craters in cooperation with NASA and the astronauts onboard the International Space Station. Mrs. Burns is a National Weather Service SKYWARN Spotter, and a member of the Science Teachers Association of NYS.  Mrs. Burns credits her participation in the NYS Master Teacher Annual Professional Development Conference for the new “research symposium” project in her classes.  The project has been quite successful supporting students’ reading of very high-level research to learn more about topics that interests them.

∧ Back To Top

C

Susan CampbellSusan Campbell

Brentwood Union Free School District

Susan Campbell earned her B.S. in Biology and M.S. in Science Education from the University at Albany. While she was getting her teacher certification, she spent three years working as a Medical Technologist in several hospitals and one year at Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory.  Ms. Campbell teaches AP Biology and Living Environment at Brentwood High School where she established the Advanced Placement (AP) Biology program more than 20 years ago. She brings her laboratory experience into the classroom to provide students with the opportunity to utilize laboratory techniques and equipment to enhance their understanding of biology.  Susan feels that as a science teacher her job is not only to encourage dreams, but to instill the practical skills necessary to attain them.  Ms. Campbell reinforces this concept by referring to a quote by Michelangelo that hangs in the front of her room, “ The greater danger for most of us lies not in setting our aim too high and falling short; but in setting our aim too low, and achieving our mark.” As a NYS Master Teacher, Ms. Campbell looks forward to learning and collaborating with other members of the program.

Jessica Canale

Deer Park Union Free School District

Jessica Canale earned her BS in Biology, Chemistry and Education from Saint Josephs College-Suffolk Campus, and MS in Biology and Education from Dowling College. In the classroom for nine years, Ms. Canale teaches Regents Living Environment, Anatomy 1 & 2, Living Environment Enrichment, Applied Living Environment at Deer Park High School.

Amy Cappiello

Commack Union Free School District

Amy Cappiello earned her MA in Mathematics Education from Stony Brook University, and BA in Mathematics and Education from St. Joseph’s College.  In the classroom for 16 years, Mrs. Cappiello teaches Algebra 2 & Trigonometry and Advanced Placement Calculus AB at Commack High School.  She is a strong advocate for improving student understanding and appreciation of mathematics and problem solving and her classes involve students in meaningful discussions, discovery learning and math fairs.  Mrs. Cappiello loves teaching math because she is always learning; she still becomes excited when her students connect the various branches of mathematics using different techniques.  Her professional interests focus on curriculum writing, mentoring pre-service teachers, and participation in professional activities with her colleagues such as lesson study, a professional development practice championed by Japanese educators. Mrs. Cappiello is a member of the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics, the Association of Mathematics Teachers of NYS, the Suffolk County Mathematics Teachers Association, and the NYS Master Teacher Program Delegation to the TeachNY Advisory Council.

John ChaeJohn Chae

Syosset Central School District

John Chae earned his B.A. and M.A. in Mathematics and Secondary Education from CUNY Queens College through the full scholarship program TIME2000. He was honored with the Excellence in Mathematics Teaching Award and the Inspirational Teacher of the Year Award. He is currently pursuing his Ed.D. in Math Education from Teachers College at Columbia University. Mr. Chae teaches Math Research, Intro to Programming, and SySTEM Robotics at Syosset High School and previously taught at Baldwin Senior High School. He advises Robotics, Girls Who Code and BASIC clubs. He served Long Island Math Conference (LIMACON) as a conference chair for two years and continues to serve as executive board member for the conference and scholarship committee. His recent interest in robotics has been consuming his time. As a NYS Master Teacher, he looks forward to participating in workshops on MakerSpace and Computer Science.

Jeanette ColletteJeanette Collette

Commack Union Free School District

Jeanette Collette earned her BS in Medical Technology from Daemen College and MSEd in Secondary Science Education from SUNY at Buffalo. Prior to teaching, Ms. Collette worked as a Clinical Laboratory Scientist in the Hematology Lab at Roswell Park Cancer Institute where she was appointed the Clinical Education Coordinator.  In the classroom for nine years, Ms. Collette teaches International Baccalaureate Biology and Science Research at Commack High School. She is a member of her School-Based Management Team and also serves on the Long Island Science and Engineering Fair Scientific Review Committee and Commack’s Scientific Review Committee. She is actively involved in local science competitions and the regional Science Olympiads. Ms. Collette recently taught forensics at Farmingdale State College for the Science & Technology Entry Program/Collegiate Science & Technology Entry Program.  Ms. Collette is a member of several professional organizations and past presenter at the National Association of Biology Teachers Conference. As a New York State Master Teacher, she is looking forward to participating in the upcoming mini-course on Evolution and Health, joining a Professional Learning Team, and providing high quality professional development to other teachers.

Daniel ConcannonDaniel Concannon

Hauppauge School District

Daniel Concannon earned his BA in Economics and MS in Secondary Mathematics Education from Stony Brook University.  In the classroom for 20 years, Mr. Concannon teaches Calculus, Statistics and Standard Level Mathematics in the International Baccalaureate Program at Hauppauge High School.  He is a strong advocate for fostering a learning environment in which students are encouraged to be principled, reflective, and caring thinkers who are willing to take risks to advance their goals as global learners.  Mr. Concannon involves his students with high-level, student-centered inquiries which aim to create motivated and curious lifelong learners.  His professional interests focus on technological advances in education.  In addition to his teaching responsibilities, Mr. Concannon serves as a Seasonal Police Officer for the Town of Southampton Police Department.  Within the NYS Master Teacher Program, he has participated in the Climate Change and Fractals mini-courses, and considers his discussions with fellow math Master Teachers to be a highlight because they afford him to opportunity to learn new perspectives and ideas.

Jessica ConradJessica Conrad

Connetquot Central School District

Jessica Conrad earned her BS in Environmental Geology and her Master of Arts in Teaching in Earth Science from Stony Brook University. While earning her degrees, Mrs. Conrad researched techniques used to obtain radiometric dates on carbonates in the Department of Geosciences. Mrs. Conrad also conducted research on the local geology of Long Island. After Mrs. Conrad began her teaching career, she devoted several summers assisting professors, college and high school students in various research endeavors in the field of geosciences. Currently, Mrs. Conrad is teaching earth science, Natural Hazards and Environmental Science and Preservation at Connetquot High School. The Environmental Science and Preservation curriculum was developed by Mrs. Conrad. Mrs. Conrad believes the classroom should be student-lead in order to create an environment that encourages students to become engaged in their learning. To help students connect with the natural environment, Mrs. Conrad works with students in the Connetquot High School Wildlife Garden. Mrs. Conrad is excited to be working with the other NYS Master Teachers to enhance her science knowledge and improve the quality of her students’ learning.

Jean Ann CrespoJean Ann Crespo

Copiague Union Free School District

Jean Ann Crespo earned her B.A. in Child Study with a concentration in Science from St. Joseph’s College and her M.S. in Adolescent Education – Chemistry from Dowling College. She is currently pursuing her Educational Leadership Certificate from Stony Brook University. Mrs. Crespo teaches Inclusion and Self-Contained Living Environment and a course she developed: Environmental Science for the Self-Contained setting at Walter G. O’Connell Copiague High School where she is very active in extracurricular activities, serving as the Student Activities Coordinator, Student Council Co-Advisor, Yearbook Advisor and Varsity Cheerleading Coach.
She is also the Teacher/Community Liaison and continues to improve the home-school connection within her district.  Mrs. Crespo is an active member of the Science Teachers Association of NYS (STANYS) and serves as the first Director-at-Large for Special Education & English Language Learners.  Jean Ann was the recipient of the Suffolk STANYS Service Award in 2016 for her dedicated service.  As a member of the National Science Teachers Association (NSTA), she holds a seat on the Special Needs Advisory Board. As a NYS Master Teacher, Mrs. Crespo looks forward to collaborating to improve her instruction to meet the needs of her special education population.

Olga CrnosijaOlga Crnosija

Smithtown School District

Olga Crnosija earned her BA from Brooklyn College in Language, MA in Teaching Earth Science and Biology and an Advanced Graduate Certificate in School Administration from Stony Brook University.  In the classroom 13 years, Mrs. Crnosija teaches Honors and Regents Earth Science at Smithtown High School West.  A strong advocate of students continuing their science education and engaging in science research, Mrs. Crnosija involves her students in a variety of problem-solving activities, allowing them to practice the persistence necessary to pursue scientific questions.  Mrs. Crnosija strives to instill the principles of lifelong learning in her students by giving her students many opportunities to think about and solve Earth Science-related problems, activities that she believes will help prepare students for college and career.  Within the NYS Master Teacher Program, she participated in the Professional Learning Team Facilitator Workshop and the Measuring Global Climate Change” mini-course. Mrs. Crnosija also organized a NYS Master Teacher Geology Exploration of Central Park with Stony Brook University’s Center for Earth and Space Science Education.  She is an active member of the National Science Teacher Association and Science Teachers’ Association of New York State.

∧ Back To Top

D

Lisa Daniels

Roslyn School District

Lisa Daniels earned her BS in Biology Education from the University of Pittsburgh and MS in Environmental Science from Long Island University (LIU).  In the classroom 22 years, she teaches Living Environment Honors and Advanced Placement Environmental Science at Roslyn High School.  A strong advocate for hands-on, inquiry based learning, Ms. Daniels involves her students in investigations of local pollution problems.  Students are encouraged to work with their peers to evaluate environmental problems in their communities, and plan possible solutions.  Ms. Daniels’ professional interests focus on environmental research topics such as hydro fracturing and global climate change.  She also writes curriculum and teaches for LIU’s Center for Gifted Youth Program.  In addition to her teaching duties, she serves as the advisor for the Gay Straight Alliance and is a member of the National Science Teachers Association.  Ms. Daniels received the Woodrow Wilson Fellowship to attend a summer institute on environmental issues at Princeton University as well as a fellowship through Queens College to do research on apoptosis, a process of cell self-destruction.  She is inspired by the words of Albert Einstein, "Learn from yesterday, live for today, and hope for tomorrow.  The important thing is not to stop questioning."

Sandra DeckerSandra Decker

Port Washington Union Free School District

Sandra Decker earned her B.S. in Biology from Binghamton University and her M.S. in TESOL (Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages) from Hofstra University. Prior to teaching, Sandra was a lab technician at Mercy Medical Center. Mrs. Decker teaches Living Environment to English Language Learners at Paul D. Schreiber High School where she serves on the Curriculum Committee for the review of new courses, runs a before and after school Regents review class, and mentors new teachers. Mrs. Decker is always interested in learning new technology to continually engage students in learning. Sandra is a member of the National Science Teachers Association and a certified Brain and Body Yoga instructor. She shares her practice with her students to help them decrease stress while increasing happiness and overall quality of life. As a NYS Mater Teacher, Mrs. Decker looks forward to participating in a wide range of STEM activities to advance her own knowledge and the knowledge of others in the field.

Matthew DeMarinisMatthew DeMarinis

Jericho Union Free School District

Matthew DeMarinis earned his undergraduate and master’s degrees in Mathematics from Stony Brook University and his Ed.D. in Mathematics Education from Columbia University. Dr. DeMarinis teaches Multivariable Calculus, Advanced Placement Statistics, and PreCalculus Research at Jericho High School where he co-advises the High School Mathletes and Chess Program.  Dr. DeMarinis created and teaches an online Multi-Variable Calculus course through the Center for Online Learning at Nassau BOCES that can be taken by any student in New York State.  In 2015, Matthew was a speaker at the Long Island Mathematics Conference (LIMACON) and at the TIME 2000 Conference at Queens College.  Since 2008, he has been an instructor for the Institute for Creative Problem Solving at SUNY Old Westbury where he gets the chance to teach students who are looking to be challenged mathematically.  Matthew has also provided staff development in his own district on their Superintendent's conference days.  He firmly believes that asking the right questions can lead students to make great discoveries.  As a NYS Master Teacher, Dr. DeMarinis looks forward to being part of a group of professionals that love learning and want to continually grow by sharing ideas with others.

Kathleen Dinota

East Islip School District

Kathleen Dinota earned her BS in Marine Science from Southampton College of Long Island University and MS in Secondary Education from Dowling College.  In the classroom for 27 years, she teaches Science Research, Honors and Advanced Placement Chemistry at East Islip High School.  Mrs. Dinota is a strong advocate of increasing science literacy and helping students see the relevance of science in their daily lives.  Her classroom environment encourages collaboration and cooperation between her students by fostering a spirit of teamwork.  Mrs. Dinota uses technology and social media to help her students see how what they are learning extends beyond their classroom.  Mrs. Dinota is an item writer for the NYS Education Department in test development for the Regents Exam in Physical Setting/Chemistry.  She is working toward a PhD in Science Education at Stony Brook University with a research interest in high school preparation for STEM majors.  Within the NYS Master Teacher Program, Mrs. Dinota participated in The Safety of Genetically Engineered Food and Measuring Climate Change mini-courses.

Joseph DispignoJoseph Dispigno

Roslyn Union Free School District

Joseph Dispigno earned his B.S. in Biology from SUNY New Paltz and his M.S. in Science Education from Dowling University. He is currently completing an M.S. in Molecular Biology at Adelphi University. Joseph’s research interests are focused on the interactions of the intestinal microbiome with the human immune system. Mr. Dispigno teaches Living Environment Honors and Advanced Placement Biology at Roslyn High School where his classroom is focused on problem-based learning and student-driven inquiry. He emphasizes the implementation of 21st century skills with a focus on preparing his students for success at the next level. Additionally, he coaches wrestling and is the chairperson of the National Science Honor Society. Mr. Dispigno is a member of the National Science Teachers Organization. Outside of school, he is a competitive billiards player and coaches youth football and baseball. As a NYS Master Teacher, Mr. Dispigno looks forward to sharing content knowledge and pedagogy with the other master teachers and participating in everything the program has to offer. His favorite quote is by Neil deGrasse Tyson: “The good thing about science is that it’s true whether or not you believe in it.”

Kristen DruryKristen Drury

William Floyd School District

Kristen Drury earned her BA and MA in Chemistry and Education from Stony Brook University.  In the classroom 10 years, Ms. Drury teaches Advanced Placement and Regents Chemistry at William Floyd High School.  A strong advocate for student centered classrooms and hands-on activities pertaining to real world problems, she educates her students using a flipped classroom model and multidisciplinary lab lessons.  She enjoys exploring concepts that are relevant to everyday lives with her students. Ms. Drury’s professional interests focus on green chemistry and related current class projects include solar cells and recycling plastics.  Ms. Drury is involved with the science symposia organized by the William Floyd School District to inspire young minds and encourage them to pursue a future in STEM.  Within the NYS Master Teacher Program, Ms. Drury has taken mini-courses on hydrofracturing and genetically engineered food.  With fellow NYS Master Teachers, she is co-creating a Long Island chemistry teachers group that will help teachers share ideas with each other.

∧ Back To Top

E

Donna EngelDonna Engel

Brookhaven-Comsewogue School District

Donna Engel earned her BS in Computer Science and Mathematics from SUNY Oswego, and MBA from Adelphi University. Teaching Advanced Placement (AP) courses for more than 20 years in both Mathematics and Computer Science, Mrs. Engel has taught every level of math from seventh grade through AP calculus BC. Prior to her teaching career, Mrs. Engel was a Software Engineer for ten years. Given her background, Mrs. Engel introduced her students to the world of computers and computer programming, and created the AP Computer Science program first offered in 1998 for Comsewogue High School, where she continues to teach AP Computer Science, AP Calculus BC, and Pre-Calculus. Mrs. Engel’s experience in both the public and private sectors, engineering and education, brings a unique set of skills into the classroom bridging the practice and theory and providing students with a real world perspective. Mrs. Engel is a member of the Association of Math Teachers of NYS, Association for Computing Machinery, and the Computer Science Teachers Association. Within the NYS Master Teacher Program, Mrs. Engel is looking forward to collaborating with peer Master Teachers, participating in Professional Learning Teams and continuing to inspire students to pursue careers in STEM fields.

∧ Back To Top

F

Michael FoleyMichael Foley

Hauppauge School District

Michael Foley earned his BS in Biology and his MA in Liberal Studies from SUNY Stony Brook.  Mr. Foley has been teaching for 27 years in various districts on Long Island, and currently teaches chemistry, Earth Science, and Forensic Science at Hauppauge High School.  He also teaches on-campus and online graduate courses for the Teacher Education Institute and the College of St. Rose, including a class he created entitled, "Bringing Excitement to the Science Classroom".  As a NYS Master Teacher, Mr. Foley is looking forward to the next chapter in his teaching career collaborating with new teachers and veteran colleagues. He is most interested in developing professional development programs for elementary education teachers that support deeper content and pedagogical knowledge for teaching science to future middle school and high school STEM students.  Mr. Foley is inspired by the words of Isaac Asimov, “the most exciting phrase to hear in science, the one that heralds new discoveries, is not 'Eureka!' but 'that's funny...'.

Ellen FraserEllen Fraser

Shoreham-Wading River School District

Ellen Fraser earned her BA in Mathematics and English with a minor in Computer Science from Boston College, and MA in Mathematics Teaching from Stony Brook University.  In the classroom for more than 23 years, Mrs. Fraser teaches Honors Geometry and Honors Pre-Calculus at Shoreham-Wading River High School.  A strong advocate of rigor and relevance, Mrs. Fraser provides her students with opportunities to stretch their thinking with thought-provoking classroom activities and outside competitions, such as the Suffolk County Math Teachers Association contests.  Within the NYS Master Teacher Program, she has attended two statewide conferences, the Annual NYS Master Teacher Program Professional Development Conference and the Ashokan Retreat (sponsored by the NYC region), and participated in the Fractals mini-course.  In addition to her teaching responsibilities, Mrs. Fraser is the coach of the school’s Mathletes team and provides both before school and Regents tutorials.  Mrs. Fraser is a member of the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics, Suffolk County Mathematics Teachers Association and Association of Math Teacher of NYS.  She also is a volunteer scorer at the Suffolk County Math Teachers Association Senior Tournament.

∧ Back To Top

G

Erin GarlandErin Garland

Bay Shore Union Free School District

Erin Garland earned her B.A. in Biology from St. Joseph’s College and M.A. in Liberal Studies from Stony Brook University. Mrs. Garland teaches Regents Review classes and AIS classes after school at Bay Shore High School (BSHS) and has taught Living Environment, ESL Science and Science Research classes. She co-advised the Gay-Straight Alliance club and facilitates BSHS Awareness Weekends. Erin has been recognized by “Who’s Who of American Teachers” and received the “Magnet Moment Award for Commitment in Education” and the “Community Summit Volunteer Award”. One year, she and astrophysicist Dr. Kevin Manning collaborated to teach students about astrophysics research while building a Newtonian Telescope from scratch, which is used today for bi-annual “Star Parties”. Mrs. Garland’s students attend field trips to Custer Observatory for evening stargazing and participate in the Open Space Stewardship Program through Brookhaven National Laboratory. Erin has raced in the local Judi Shesh 5K run and, in the summer of 2016, swam The Maggie Fisher Memorial Cross Bay Swim. Her mantra for her students and for herself as a swimmer and a teacher is, as Dory says, “Just Keep Swimming!” Mrs. Garland looks forward to meeting and being inspired by other Master Teachers in the coming years.

Richard GearnsRichard Gearns

Sachem School District

Richard Gearns earned his MS in Physics Education from Buffalo State College, and is a Doctoral student in Science Education at Stony Brook, researching socioeconomic inequality and its implications on science education in secondary schools.  In the classroom 10 years, Mr. Gearns teaches Regents and Advanced Placement Physics at Sachem High School East in Farmingville. Mr. Gearns specializes in making demonstrations from inexpensive materials, and his classroom is affectionately called “the junkyard” by his colleagues. Mr. Gearns strives to create “Aha!” learning moments with his students by facilitating student-centered inquiry learning experiences. He is the founder and organizer of the “Teslamania Teachers’ Conference,” where classroom teachers present, with flair and showmanship, their best physical science demonstrations to other teachers in the field. As a member of the board of directors for the nonprofit Tesla Museum and Science Center at Wardenclyffe, Mr. Gearns seeks to preserve the last standing laboratory building of Nikola Tesla by advocating for a memorial science center with museum, archive, and research facilities.

Gloria GillGloria Gill-Klesaris

Port Washington School District

Gloria Gill-Klesaris earned her BA in Earth and Space Sciences with a minor in Environmental Studies and her Masters of Art in Teaching Earth Science from Stony Brook University (SBU). In the classroom for four years, Mrs. Gill-Klesaris teaches Earth Science at Weber Middle school in Port Washington.  In addition to her teaching responsibilities, she advises the yearbook club, belongs to the school’s Humanitarian Committee, and serves as a College Pioneer mentor, supporting students who are the first in their family to attend college.  Mrs. Gill-Klesaris has participated in various Earth Science research summer projects with faculty at SBU, and is active in professional associations including the Pine Barrens Society, the NYS Education Department and the Science Teachers Association of NYS. She has presented her research, “Documenting Carolina Bay Formations on Long Island,” at the Geology of Long Island and Metropolitan NY Annual Conference in 2012, and selected as a poster presenter at the Pine Barrens Research Forum in 2013.  As a NYS Master Teacher, Mrs. Gill-Klesaris aspires to deepen and broaden her content and pedagogical knowledge across the STEM disciplines, devoting herself to excel as a professional educator and leader.

Jason GutlaizerJason Gutlaizer

Sewanhaka School District

Jason Gutlaizer received a BS in Chemistry Education from Boston University, a MA in Gifted Education from Teachers College, and teaches 10th grade Advanced Chemistry and Advanced Placement Chemistry at H. Frank Carey High School in Franklin Square.  A strong advocate for high academic expectations and inquiry-based learning for all students, Mr. Gutlaizer involves his students in challenging problems in which they are called on to arrive at a solution. His professional interests focus on science literacy and making chemistry a real-life, tangible subject matter.  In addition to his teaching responsibilities, he serves as co-advisor for the Class of 2016.  Past accolades include the Staff Member of the Month from the Carey Dads’ Club and the H. Frank Carey Award from the Parent Teacher Student Association, both in recognition of his contributions to H. Frank Carey High School community and his commitment to the student body. Mr. Gutlaizer has been inspired by the discussions with his fellow Master Teachers in the Long Island cohort, noticing a renewed creative energy in himself by becoming part of a network for sharing teaching resources. The Mole Day Project was one resource that his students thoroughly enjoyed!

∧ Back To Top

H

Joseph HanleyJoseph Hanley

Bay Shore Union Free School District

Joseph Hanley earned his B.S. in Physics from the University of Richmond and M.A. from Stony Brook University. Hanley has taught Conceptual Physics (100-level), College Physics (200-level), Honors Physics (300-level) and currently teaches Advanced Placement (AP) Physics 1, AP Physics C and International Baccalaureate (IB) Higher Level Physics at Bay Shore High School.  Inside the classroom, he has developed the annual “Physics Olympics”, a series of laboratory building events, created to keep his graduating seniors engaged in STEM after their AP and IB exams. Additionally, Mr. Hanley has been a co-advisor for the high school’s Science Olympiad Team helping to grow interest from one team of 15 students in 2008, to its current three teams of more than 50 students. He has attended AP College Board and IB Workshops, as well as regional IB GUILD Round Tables to remain current with curriculum changes. Joseph is an avid fisherman and enjoys spending time outdoors with his family. As a NYS Master Teacher, Mr. Hanley looks forward to working with his peer Master Teachers locally and across the state to benefit classroom experiences for future physics students.

Catherine HantzCatherine Hantz

Mount Sinai School District

Catherine Hantz earned her BS in Geography from Cortland State University, MS in Geosciences from Stony Brook University, and is currently a doctoral candidate in Science Education at Stony Brook University.  In the classroom 16 years, Ms. Hantz teaches Earth Science at Mt. Sinai High School.  She began teaching after a 10 year career as an environmental specialist in private industry. Her teaching philosophy stresses cross-disciplinary and inquiry-based learning opportunities where students can engage in technology-infused, problem-solving activities that cultivate scientific literacy.  Ms. Hantz’s professional interests focus on developing science literacy to better prepare students for a STEM college or career path.  To achieve this, she developed a freshman transition team to address the requisite skills and abilities needed by incoming freshman to ensure a successful and meaningful high school experience.  In addition to her teaching responsibilities, Ms. Hantz was selected to participate in a National Science Foundation grant designed to provide students opportunities for independent science research, and to create a series of earth and environmental science lab exercises.  These lab exercises use geospatial technologies and experiential multimedia to introduce students to Antarctica within the context of existing curricula.

‌Kristin Holmes

Commack Union Free School District

Kristin Holmes earned her BA in Mathematics and Computer Science from Vassar College and MA in Education from Stony Brook University.  In the classroom nine years, Mrs. Holmes teaches Precalculus and Introductory, Advanced Placement and International Baccalaureate Computer Science at Commack High School.  She is a strong advocate for educational equity and a proponent of developing students’ understanding through their application of concepts and skills to real-world situations.  Mrs. Holmes engages her students in active learning through peer mentoring, problem‑based learning, and learning groups.  Her professional interests focus on the integration of technology in the classroom, professional learning teams for teachers, and expanding participation in higher-level STEM courses to under-represented student populations.  In addition to her teaching responsibilities, Mrs. Holmes is a member of National Council of Teachers of Mathematics, Association of Mathematics Teachers of NYS, the Suffolk County Mathematics Teachers Association, and the Computer Science Teachers Association. Before joining the NYS Master Teacher Program, Mrs. Holmes was an artificial intelligence and robotics researcher and a developer of real-time trading systems for foreign currency markets.

Bryan HoranBryan Horan

Northport-East Northport School District

Bryan Horan earned his BA in Biology and MS in Liberal Studies from Stony Brook University (SBU) and has permanent certifications in Biology and Chemistry. Prior to teaching, Mr. Horan worked as a scientist at Brookhaven National Laboratory conducting investigations in neuropharmacology. In the classroom for 17 years, Mr. Horan is the Science Research Program Coordinator at Northport High School and serves as co-advisor to the Science Olympiad team. Mr. Horan also recently acted as Science Research Program Director and Philanthropy Center Director to A Midwinter Night's Dream, Inc., a Northport High School student-run non-profit organization that has raised over $3 million for amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) patients and research. In addition to his school responsibilities, Mr. Horan is co-director to the Long Island Science & Engineering Fair Broadcom MASTERS Middle School Science Fair, and an instructor at SBU where he co-teaches Chemical Demonstrations and Science Pedagogy and Methods I. Mr. Horan finds inspiration in the words of science fiction author Isaac Asimov, "There is a single light of science, and to brighten it anywhere is to brighten it everywhere." As a NYS Master Teacher, Mr. Horan is looking forward to creating meaningful professional development opportunities to share with K-12 teachers.

∧ Back To Top

I

Anne IppolitoAnne Ippolito

William Floyd School District

Anne Ippolito earned her BA in Environmental Earth Sciences from Boston University and her Master of Arts in Teaching Earth Science from Stony Brook University.  Ms. Ippolito studied estuarine environments, beach evolution, and glacial geology while completing fieldwork at sites such as Crane Beach and Martha’s Vineyard in Massachusetts and the Hartford Basin in Connecticut.  In the classroom for six years, Ms. Ippolito teaches Earth Science, Advanced Placement Environmental Science and Astronomy at William Floyd High School. In addition to her teaching responsibilities, she coordinates the high school’s annual Gown Giveaway event.  Previous professional projects include work with the Central Pine Barrens Commission, Brookhaven National Laboratory, the NYS Department of Environmental Conservation, and the Wertheim national Wildlife Refuge, facilitating students’ analysis of local water shed through “A Day in the Life of the Carmines River.”  Ms. Ippolito enjoys hiking, birding and playing tennis, and as an educator, is inspired by the words of the astronomer, Carl Sagan: "Science is more than a body of knowledge. It is a way of thinking."  As a NYS Master Teacher, Ms. Ippolito looks forward to the professional development opportunities to deepen and broaden her content and pedagogical knowledge and to establish new educational partnerships.

∧ Back To Top

J

Daniel JantzenDaniel Jantzen

Bellmore-Merrick Central High School District

Daniel Jantzen earned his B.A. in Biology from Binghamton University and his Masters in Teaching from Stony Brook University.  He is also certified in Earth Science and Adolescent Education.  Mr. Jantzen teaches Earth Science, Marine Science, and Forensics at John F. Kennedy High School in the Bellmore-Merrick Central High School District.  He has advised students in a variety of activities including Northwell Health’s Medical Marvel Challenge and the NYS Science Olympiad.  Currently, the high school’s Science Olympiad is looking to go to the state level competition for the third year running.  Mr. Jantzen is a member of the National Science Teachers Association and the Science Teachers Association of New York State.  He is also pursuing an administrative certification in efforts to expand his knowledge of collaboration of faculty members in schools and districts.  During his free time, Daniel loves to hike and recently completed a 75-mile hike in Colorado with 75 people from all over the country in an effort to raise money for charity.  As a NYS Master Teacher, Mr. Jantzen looks forward to learning about new teacher development and induction programs and sharing his knowledge on the use of technology in the classroom.

Michael JantzenMichael Jantzen

Three Village School District

Michael Jantzen earned his BA in Biology with a minor in Geology from Binghamton University and Master of Arts in Teaching in Biology at Stony Brook University.  In the classroom 11 years, Mr. Jantzen teaches Earth Science and Living Environment at Robert Cushman Murphy Junior High School.  A strong advocate for a challenging student-centered classroom, he consistently engages his young scientists in discovery based lessons.  Mr. Jantzen’s students learn how to conduct an investigation by collecting evidence from a variety of sources, developing an explanation from the data, and defending their conclusions.  His professional interests focus on the study of near-Earth objects, and he is a contributor to the B612 Foundation, a private foundation dedicated to protecting the Earth from asteroid strikes.  In addition to his teaching responsibilities, he is a member of the Science Teachers Association of NYS and is the head coach of the R.C. Murphy Junior High School soccer team. Within the NYS Master Teacher Program, Mr. Jantzen is a member of the Flipping the Classroom Professional Learning Team, and participated in the Measuring Global Climate Change and the Safety of Genetically Engineered Food mini-courses. 

∧ Back To Top

K

Janet KaczmarekJanet Kaczmarek

Sayville School District

Janet Kaczmarek earned her BS in Geology, MS in Geosciences from Stony Brook University (SBU), and is certified in Earth Science and Chemistry.  During her graduate study, Mrs. Kaczmarek worked as a beamline user at the National Synchrotron Light Source at Brookhaven National Lab. Mrs. Kaczmarek has been a science teacher at Sayville High School since 2000. Outside of the classroom, Mrs. Kaczmarek is a Science Research Mentor for high school students enrolled in SBU Principles of Geology and Geographic Information Systems Mapping I, a course she team teaches with another NYS Master Teacher. Mrs. Kaczmarek is an active member of the Science Teachers Association of NYS, and plans to present at the Annual Conference in Rochester. Mrs. Kaczmarek spends time boating in the Great South Bay, has volunteered to help rebuild an oyster population in Bellport Bay, and plays the flute for Sunday Service, weddings and holiday musicals. As a NYS Master Teacher, Mrs. Kaczmarek has enjoyed and learned from the mini-course “Physics in the Earth Sciences,” and believes Professional Learning Teams (PLT), such as the Inquiry Labs PLT of which she is a member, are most beneficial because they are engaging professionally and socially.

Elizabeth KamererElizabeth Kamerer

Port Washington School District

Elizabeth Kamerer earned her BA in Mathematics from Adelphi University, and MS in Computers in Education from Long Island University. In the classroom for 20 years, Mrs. Kamerer started her career teaching middle school math and transferred to the high school after she participated in the Institute of Leadership Training for Teachers of Mathematics at SUNY Old Westbury, which sparked her desire to teach higher level math. She currently teaches Common Core Algebra, AP Calculus AB, AP Calculus BC at Schreiber High School. She believes it is vital to believe in students, even when they don't believe in themselves, and strives to help her students understand that setbacks are an integral part of learning. In addition to her teaching responsibilities, Mrs. Kamerer has coached a Math Counts team and mentored students for the Long Island Al Kalfus Math fair. Mrs. Kamerer is a member of the Pi Mu Epsilon National Honorary Mathematics Society in recognition of superior achievement in the field of mathematics. Mrs. Kamerer is an active member of the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics and Nassau County Mathematics Teachers Association, a recipient of several grants from the Port Washington Educational Foundation, and workshop presenter at several teaching conferences throughout the years, including the LIMACON Long Island Mathematics Conference.  Elizabeth looks forward to the NYS Master Teacher Program professional development opportunities because she wants to learn collaboratively with other motivated teachers.

Jennifer KellerJennifer Keller

Southampton Union Free School District

Jennifer Keller earned her M.S. in Marine Biology from Southampton College and her Master of Arts in Teaching in Earth Science from SUNY Stony Brook. Ms. Keller teaches Advanced Placement Environmental Science and Earth Science at Southampton High School and is Southampton’s Professional Learning Community Coordinator for 5-12 Science. Ms. Keller also serves on the Southampton Town’s Sustainability Committee, ensuring that Southampton integrates climate change resiliency, groundwater protection, and best practices for land use. She is passionate about empowering students, teachers, and community members through knowledge and support, and integrates the local natural environment into all of her classes. As a Mindfulness Instructor, Jennifer encourages students and teachers to be curious and to closely observe themselves, others, and the world around them. As a Certified International Permaculture Designer, she encourages students in school and community members through workshops to look at the natural environment for models of functional, resilient system design. As a NYS Master Teacher, Ms. Keller looks forward to sharing her passion for learning from the natural world with her peers and developing passion for this unique aspect of STEM in new teachers.

Justin KingJustin King

Commack Union Free School District

Justin King earned his BS in Physics from Union College and Master of Arts in Teaching from Stony Brook University. He has been teaching physics at Commack High School for the past seven years. In addition to teaching, Mr. King coaches the Science Olympiad team and the Science Quiz Bowl team. Mr. King has adopted the Flipped Classroom model of teaching and has begun to implement a Flipped Mastery model, in which students work at their own pace to complete units of instruction within an environment that encourages true understanding and synthesis of knowledge. As a NYS Master Teacher, Mr. King is looking forward to working with like-minded colleagues across science and mathematics disciplines to find interesting and innovative ways to educate and inspire his students.

Theresa Kraycar

East Hampton School District

Theresa Kraycar earned her MS in Applied Math and Statistics from Stony Brook University.  In the classroom for 20 years, Mrs. Kraycar teaches advanced level algebra, trigonometry and statistics at East Hampton High School.  A strong advocate of student-centered learning, Mrs. Kraycar provides opportunities for students to productively struggle, collaborate, and learn mathematics through the processes of modeling, analysis, and hands-on activities.  Her favorite part about teaching STEM is helping students see how mathematics is integrated into science and nature.  Her professional interests include teacher learning, instructional improvement and research on the Autism Spectrum.  Mrs. Kraycar was a contributing author in an article on Sex Ratios in the Autism Spectrum.  In addition to her teaching responsibilities, Mrs. Kraycar leads “lesson studies,” a professional development practice championed by Japanese educators, and is an active member of the Police Activity League.  Her favorite quote is from Galileo Galilei “If I were again beginning my studies, I would follow the advice of Plato and start with mathematics.”

∧ Back To Top

L

William LeacockWilliam Leacock

Bellmore-Merrick Central High School District

William Leacock earned a B.S. from Clarkson University and an M.S. in Education from Hofstra University. Mr. Leacock teaches Advanced Placement Physics 1, 2 and C and Honors Regents Physics at Wellington C. Mepham High School where he is the school’s Chemical Specialist, Physics Olympics Team coach and mentor of four Intel Semifinalists. He was a writer of the Physics Core Curriculum and is a Subject Area Expert for NY State. Mr. Leacock has served as First Vice President of the Long Island Physics Teachers Association since 1993 and as the Science Teacher Association of NY State’s (STANYS) Nassau County Section Area Representative for Physics. He is a life member of the National Eagle Scout Association and has received several professional awards including the Presidential Award in Mathematics and Science Teaching, Tandy Technology Scholar, and the STANYS - Excellence in Science Teaching Award. During his free time, William enjoys playing the saxophone, riding his motorcycles, and woodworking, and has given many make-n-take and demonstration workshops. Mr. Leacock also enjoys photography and is the STANYS conference photographer. Mr. Leacock has attended several hands-on workshops given by the Master Teachers, and is looking forward to contributing to their efforts.

Soowook LeeSoowook Lee

Roslyn School District

Soowook Lee earned his BE in Civil Engineering from Cooper Union, and MEd in Math Education in Lehman College.  In the classroom for 15 years, Mr. Lee teaches Geometry and Multivariable Calculus at Roslyn High School.  A strong advocate for student-centered discovery lessons, Mr. Lee involves his students in problem-based learning, pattern seeking challenges, and high level mathematical inquiries.  Mr. Lee’s professional interests focus on math research and math team coaching.  His current projects include creating video resources for students and developing effective strategies for teaching Common Core Mathematics.  In addition to his teaching duties, he serves as the Math Team coach for Roslyn High School.  Mr. Lee was recently honored as a state finalist for the Presidential Awards for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching (PAEMST), the nation’s highest honor for math and science teachers.  Mr. Lee was a Master Teacher with Math for America before joining the Long Island Region of the NYS Master Teacher Program.

Kimberly A. LibertiniKimberly Libertini

Valley Stream School District

Kimberly A. Libertini earned her BS in Biology from SUNY New Paltz, MS in Biology Education from Long Island University (LIU) and certificates for School Building Leadership and School District Leadership in Educational Administration from Stony Brook University. In the classroom 15 years, Ms. Libertini teaches Living Environment and Authentic Science Research at Valley Stream North High School.  A strong advocate for effective communication, problem-solving skills, data interpretation and hands-on learning, she involves her students in reading and understanding cutting-edge scientific research articles that encourage them to develop their own research projects, utilize appropriate methodologies, and apply effective written and oral communication skills to report findings.  Ms. Libertini is a proponent for workshops that focus on the development of effective, active and cooperative learning techniques with her local Board of Cooperative Educational Services (BOCES) and the Science Teachers Association of NYS.  Her research interests focus on gene expression profiling and cancer, topics she examined in work for the Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory.  In addition to her high school teaching responsibilities, Ms. Libertini has taught as an adjunct professor for graduate and undergraduate classes at LIU.

Caryl LorandiniCaryl Lorandini

Carle Place School District

Caryl Lorandini earned her BS in Elementary Education from SUNY College at Old Westbury, and MS from Long Island University-CW Post. Mrs. Lorandini holds certification in both Elementary and Mathematics Education. Throughout Mrs. Lorandini’s over 20 years of teaching, Mrs. Lorandini has found inspiration in her family, students and coworkers, and has a deep love of teaching and learning. In Carle Place Middle/High School for 16 years, Mrs. Lorandini teaches 8th grade Mathematics and Algebra, and serves as the Advisor to the National Junior Honor Society and Mathematics Honor Society. Mrs. Lorandini is an active member of her professional community serving on the Executive Boards of the Nassau County Mathematics Teachers Association, Nassau County Association of Mathematics Supervisors and Association of Mathematics Teachers of NYS (AMTNYS). Recently, Mrs. Lorandini was honored with the AMTNYS Distinguished Service Award and Long Island Mathematics Conference Educator award. In November, Mrs. Lorandini will be inducted into the Long Island Mathematics Teacher Hall of Fame for her dedication and service to mathematics education. This honor is reserved for educators who have had lifetime impact on education at all levels: classroom, district, county, state and national. As a NYS Master Teacher, Mrs. Lorandini enjoys to the opportunity to be part of professional learning teams to deepen and expand her knowledge of mathematics.

Keith LundquistKeith Lundquist

South Huntington Union Free School District

Keith Lundquist earned his BA in Physics and Math from SUNY Oswego, MA in Science Education from New York University and is currently a PhD student in Science Education at Stony Brook University.  Even after 15 years in the classroom, Mr. Lundquist is dedicated to developing his skills as an educator in order to be the best possible instructor for his students, and enjoys collaborating with his colleagues on new course materials and implementation. He teaches Advanced Placement (AP) and Honors Physics and Astronomy at Walt Whitman High School.   A longtime proponent of student-centered teaching, Mr. Lundquist incorporates his students’ interests and goals into lesson planning. Within the NYS Master Teacher Program, he led a workshop for his peer AP Physics Teachers, focusing on various topics related to the course content and structure, and co-organized Teslamania, a physics demonstration competition between teachers. Mr. Lundquist loves teaching STEM for its creativity. He can often be quoted saying, “To actually do science is to do something that has never been done before.  Creativity is at the heart of every discovery.”

∧ Back To Top

M

Lawrence MaggioLawrence Maggio

Plainedge School District

Lawrence Maggio earned his BA from SUNY College at Oswego in Marketing and Mathematics, MS in Education from Molloy College, and National Board Certification.  In the classroom for 14 years, he teaches Advanced Placement AB & BC Calculus and Geometry at Plainedge High School. Mr. Maggio regularly reflects on how lessons are perceived by students, adjusting his teaching skills to better meet their needs and integrating multiple forms of technology. A lifelong learner himself, he seeks new pedagogical methods to improve student’s appreciation for mathematics. Mr. Maggio has served as the cooperating teacher for student teachers and enjoys sharing his love of teaching with anyone who will listen! Outside of the classroom he is advisor for the Sophomore Student Council, Math Honor Society, Yearbook, and Lights and Sound Crew for the Fall Play and Spring Musical.  With the NYS State Master Teacher Program, Mr. Maggio participates in discussions about Common Core teaching strategies, Integrated Algebra Regents, and AP Calculus Free response questions.

Jacque McCormackJacque McCormack

Brentwood Union Free School District

Jacque McCormack is a proud alumnus of James Madison University, earning both her BS in mathematics and her MEd in Secondary Education down in the Blue Ridge Mountains in Harrisonburg, VA. With 15 years of teaching experience in a wide variety of geographical locations, she has been delighted to teach at Brentwood High School (BHS) for the past decade.  During her time at BHS, Ms. McCormack has written curriculum for the Math Department, served as an advisor to the National Honor Society, and been a member of the Literacy Team.  Currently teaching Common Core Geometry and Introduction to Calculus, Ms. McCormack runs her classroom with a student-centered metacognitive approach, encouraging students to embrace their own individual learning styles.  Ms. McCormack believes that Mr. Nelson Mandela was accurate when saying, "Education is the most powerful weapon with which you can use to change the world," and Ms. McCormack looks forward to strengthening her arsenal through her work with the NYS Master Teacher Program.

Luisa McHughLuisa McHugh

William Floyd School District

Luisa McHugh earned her BS in Biology, Masters in Teaching and PhD in Science Education at Stony Brook University. Dr. McHugh’s thesis focused on an integrated STEM curriculum at the middle school level. She is in tenth year teaching Living Environment to 8th grade students in the William Floyd School District. In addition to her teaching responsibilities, Dr. McHugh serves as the Student Council Advisor, the Science and Technology Club Advisor, and is a Collegial Facilitator spearheading “Staff Chats” on empowering female adolescents. In addition to her variety of academic interests, Dr. McHugh loves traveling and bringing her personal experiences back to the classroom to share with her students. With the Master Teacher Program, Dr. McHugh has learned innovative, research-based teaching strategies that she has utilized both in and out of the classroom. Of particular note has been learning the art of mentoring; she has been honored to support pre-service teachers as they begin their careers. Dr. McHugh believes mentoring is a transformative experience that provides optimism and hope for both the mentor and the mentee. Dedicated to mastering her teaching craft she is guided by the principles of Carl Sagan’s quote: “Somewhere, something incredible is waiting to be known.”

Keith MillmanKeith Millman

Brentwood Union Free School District

Keith Millman earned his BS in biology and a Master of Arts in teaching biology from Stony Brook University (SBU). A teacher for ten years, Mr. Millman was adjunct professor at SBU for two years and currently teaches Intermediate Level Science at Brentwood East Middle School. A strong advocate for inquiry-based learning, differentiated instruction, and teaching with multiple modalities he involves his students in collaborative inquiry style project and problem-based instruction with daily kinesthetic and multisensory activities that engage every learner. His professional interests focus on the challenges English Language Learners experience in the science classroom, and he provides ample cross-curricular English Language Arts opportunities using research based strategies. Mr. Millman serves as a National Science Foundation Robert Noyce Master Teacher Fellow at SBU, and is a member of Science Teachers Association of NYS, National Science Teachers Association, the Phi Beta Kappa Honor Society, and the Golden Key International Honor Society.  Mr. Millman believes that STEM teachers are blessed with the most exciting forever-changing curriculum and countless opportunities to engage young minds in the mysteries of the world around them. For him, the most rewarding component of teaching STEM is inspiring young minds to pursue a career in the sciences.

Kimberly MiltonKimberly Milton

Southampton School District

Kimberly Milton earned her BS in biology­ from Union College, Master of Arts in Teaching from Stony Brook University, and National Board Certification in Science.  In her 17 years of teaching, Mrs. Milton has taught Regents Biology, chemistry, Earth Science, International Baccalaureate (IB) Biology, Advance Placement Biology, Marine Science, and Forensics. In addition to her classroom responsibilities, Mrs. Milton has served as the IB Theory of Knowledge and Creativity, Action, and Service (CAS) Coordinator.  Mrs. Milton is an active member of her department and school community; she designs and coordinates the Community Science Nights at her school, making science fun and accessible to the community.  As a Peer Mentor, she has worked with many first year teachers and veteran teachers acclimating to the school setting.  Mrs. Milton also leads the National Board Cohort through the Peconic Teacher Center.  Galileo Galilei is believed to have said, “You cannot teach a man anything; you can only help him find it within himself.” As so, she continually searches for innovative and engaging ways to lead students to learning.  As a NYS Master Teacher, Mrs. Milton is looking forward to participating in upcoming mini-courses and working with Master Teachers in her region and across the state in meaningful professional development.

Jessica MintzJessica Mintz

Bay Shore Union Free School District

Jessica Mintz earned her BS in biology and Master of the Arts in Teaching from Stony Brook University. She is currently working on her Ph.D. in Science Education at Stony Brook University focusing her research on the “Patterns and Perceptions in Science Teacher Evaluations with the Annual Professional Performance Review in Suffolk County”. Mrs. Mintz was awarded the Howard Hughes Doctoral Student Fellowship and the Robert Noyce Fellowship for graduate work. In the classroom eight years, she has taught 7th grade Life Science, Regents Living Environment and is currently a Regents Chemistry teacher at Bay Shore High School. Mrs. Mintz coached the middle school girl’s lacrosse team, is a certified NYS Emergency Medical Technician for the last 13 years, and is an avid New York Ranger’s Fan. As a NYS Master Teacher, she is a member of the Long Island Association for Chemistry Teacher Support (LIACTS), a group formed by the LI chemistry Master Teachers in response to the need for a local discipline-specific professional community, which meets monthly to facilitate the collaboration of chemistry teachers across Long Island. She looks forward to working with her peer Master Teachers in LI and across the state to deepen her content and pedagogical knowledge and to continue as a life-long learner.

Ed MoloneyEdward Moloney

Sag Harbor Union Free School District

Ed Moloney earned his B.A. and Masters in Business Administration from Dowling College with additional teaching credits from NY Institute of Technology. Mr. Moloney previously worked as a certified Project Management Professional at the Intel Corporation with Fortune 100 companies. Ed has multiple teaching certifications including Students with Disabilities. He currently teaches Engineering in the Sag Harbor School District and previously at the STEM High School for Eastern Suffolk BOCES at the Academy of Applied Technology. He has experience using Project Lead the Way curriculum and is certified to teach Introduction to Engineering, Principles of Engineering, Digital Electronics, Civil Engineering and Architecture, Computer Integrated Manufacturing, and Engineering Design and Development Capstone. He is also a certified Robotics instructor from Carnegie Mellon University. Mr. Moloney is an active member of the New York State and Long Island Technology and Engineering Associations. He has assembled a state of the art fabrication lab and also participates in the Vex Robotics competitions with students. He is an avid woodworker, preferring woodturning. Ed’s love of woodworking and being a member of the Long Island Woodworkers club helped him make the connection to teaching. Mr. Moloney looks forward to collaborating with other Master Teachers.

Natasha MurrayNatasha Murray

Copiague Union Free School District

Natasha Murray earned her BA in English and Education from City College of New York, MSEd in Education from Queens College, and PhD in Mathematics Education from the University of Pennsylvania.  In the classroom for more than ten years, she has taught elementary, secondary, and post-secondary levels, and currently teaches 8th grade Accelerated Algebra in the Copiague School District. Dr. Murray’s dedication to the field of mathematics education through research and practice are evidenced in her presentations at national conferences including the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics and the American Educational Research Association.  Her professional interests include differentiated instruction in mathematics classrooms, instructional technology, culturally relevant pedagogy, curriculum development, and teacher education programs for mathematics teachers.  She is a member of Phi Delta Kappa International and Mensa.  Dr. Murray also serves on the editorial panel of Mathematics Teaching in the Middle School, a peer-reviewed journal of the NCTM. As a NYS Master Teacher, she has participated in several mini-courses including Measuring Global Climate Change, and is a member of the Homework and the Tape Diagrams Professional Learning Teams.

∧ Back To Top

N

Dawn Nachtigall

Three Village School District

Dawn Nachtigall earned her BA in Chemistry and Education, and Master of Arts in Teaching from Stony Brook University.  She is presently working towards a PhD in Science Education at Stony Brook University.  In the classroom for 17 years, Mrs. Nachtigall teaches 7th grade Life and Physical Science at R.C. Murphy Junior High School in Stony Brook.   A strong advocate for differentiated instruction, Mrs. Nachtigall motivates her students by providing them with choices on how to master in-class activities and projects.  To share her passion for differentiated instruction, she currently teaches courses on this pedagogical topic to in-service teachers and is a regular speaker for Stony Brook University pre-service teachers.   In addition to her teaching duties, Mrs. Nachtigall serves on the junior high school’s Positive Behavior Interventions and Supports (PBIS) committee, planning anti-bullying events. She also organizes a yearly Science Awareness event showcasing student research projects.  Mrs. Nachtigall is a member of the National Science Teachers Association and was recently inducted as a member of the local American Legion Ladies Auxiliary Unit.  Mrs. Nachtigall is inspired by the following words of Claude Lévi-Strauss: “The scientist is not a person who gives the right answers; he's one who asks the right questions.”

∧ Back To Top

O

Pamela O'BrienPamela O'Brien

Three Village School District

Pamela O’Brien earned her BA in mathematics at SUNY Binghamton and MSEd from Dowling College.  In the classroom 26 years, Ms. O’Brien teaches Advanced Placement (AP) Statistics, and Calculus Honors at Ward Melville High School.  Ms. O’Brien’s goal is to create a classroom environment where students are engaged in meaningful activities, discovering new concepts, and able to see how the mathematics they are learning can be applied to their lives.  Over the years, Ms. O’Brien has collaborated with colleagues to create math trails where students solve challenging math problems in the community.  She is most proud of her role in helping to grow the AP Statistics Program at her high school.  Ms. O’Brien would like to see as many students take statistics during their high school careers because of the data driven world we live in where statistical literacy is becoming more important.  For the past two years, her statistics students have completed a portfolio project using data collected from a class trip to Lazerland.  Ms. O’Brien has been a reader for College Board’s AP Statistics grading which is a week where fellow statistics teachers share their ideas and love of all things mathematical. Within the NYS Master Teacher Program, she is looking forward to the opportunities to keep learning and growing, as well as the chance to collaborate with other Master Teachers to create dynamic curriculum.

Stephanie O'Brien

Commack Union Free School District

Stephanie O’Brien earned her BS in Chemistry and Master of Arts in Teaching in Chemistry from Stony Brook University and is pursuing her doctorate in science education.  Her professional interests focus on Pre-Service and in-Service teachers’ development of Pedagogical Content Knowledge (PCK) in Chemistry.  In the classroom seven years, Mrs. O’Brien teaches Regents, Honors, and introductory level chemistry courses at Commack High School.  A strong advocate for inquiry based learning, she involves her students in collaborative activities that allow for self-directed exploration of the content.  She has embraced the “Understanding by Design” teaching philosophy which focuses on the use of essential questions to facilitate student learning and the design of assessments that show true mastery of knowledge.  At her school, Mrs. O’Brien serves as the advisor to the Science Honor Society and is the science representative on the Secondary Education Literacy Committee.  She is a member of the National Science Teachers Association and Science Teachers Association of NYS.  Mrs. O’Brien mentored students in the local National Chemistry Olympiad Competition (sponsored by the American Chemical Society) and served as a judge for the NYS Science and Engineering Fair.

Cody OnufrockCody Onufrock

Long Beach School District

Cody Onufrock earned his BA in Environmental Science from Binghamton University and MS in Earth Science Education from Long Island University.  In the classroom 14 years, Mr. Onufrock teaches International Baccalaureate Environmental Science and Science Research at Long Beach High School.  Engaging students in a hands-on study of real world issues is at the core of his teaching practice, and Mr. Onufrock enjoys motivating to learn by helping them see connections between the STEM topics from their class and their lives.  For example, his classes examine and implement ways to reduce the environmental impact of students and the school on the local environment. His professional interests include the structure and functioning of ecosystems, and the interactions of humans and natural systems, and his recent projects focus on working with a civic organization to study relevant environmental issues with young residents in the community.  In addition to his teaching responsibilities, Mr. Onufrock serves as advisor to the “Adventuralists Club” and coordinator of the high school garden.  He is a member of the National Science Teachers Association.  Mr. Onufrock’s favorite quote is from Albert Einstein, “Look deep into nature, and then you will understand everything better.” 

∧ Back To Top

P

Martin PalermoMartin Palermo

William Floyd School District

Martin Palermo earned a BS in biology and a Master of Arts in Teaching from SUNY Stony Brook and is currently pursuing a PhD in Science Education at Curtin University’s Center for Science and Mathematics Education. Mr. Palermo has previously worked as an adjunct instructor at Stony Brook University teaching neurobiology laboratory focusing on physiology and neuromuscular function. In the classroom for eight years, Mr. Palermo currently teaches Regents and Honors level Chemistry at William Floyd High School. A strong advocate for flipped learning and peer instruction, he incorporates multiple technologies to engage students and assess understanding. In 2013 he was awarded Suffolk ASSET’s Bright Light Award for Technology Integration in the classroom. Mr. Palermo is on the STEM advisory Committee at his school, which developed the first STEM academy at William Floyd High School and is a mentor for new teachers in his district. He looks forward to collaborating with NYS Master Teachers from all STEM disciplines to develop interdisciplinary lessons for k-12 teachers.

Grace ParisiGrace Parisi

Long Beach City School District

Grace Parisi received her B.S. in Quantitative Analysis from St. John’s University and M.S. in Mathematics Education from Hofstra University.  Mrs. Parisi teaches sixth and seventh grade Mathematics at Long Beach Middle School and has served on numerous school-level and district-level committees.  She is a member of the Positive Behavior Interventions and Supports committee for her school and is also the Parent Teacher Association teacher liaison. She was the advisor of the Math Club for three years.  In addition to actively engaging in the mentor/mentee program, Mrs. Parisi works closely with the ELL (English Language Learners) student population as an afterschool advisor for the ELL program.  Grace serves as the current treasurer for the Nassau County Math Teachers Association and has active memberships in the Association of Math Teachers of New York State and the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics.  As a NYS Master Teacher, Mrs. Parisi looks forward to further collaboration with peers from other districts and to bringing a Middle School perspective to her cohort.

Christina PawlowskiChristina Pawlowski

Commack Union Free School District

Christina Pawlowski earned her BA in Mathematics and Secondary Education and a MS in Mathematics from Hofstra University. In the classroom for eight years, she teaches International Baccalaureate (IB) Mathematics Standard Level and IB Mathematics Higher Level/Advanced Placement Calculus BC at Commack High School. A strong advocate for teaching through modeling and “think aloud” questioning, Ms. Pawlowski integrates technology, group work and various problem solving strategies to engage her students in a variety of hands-on, inquiry-based lessons. In addition to her teaching responsibilities, Ms. Pawlowski is a member of the Secondary Level Literacy Committee and the “Understanding by Design” Instructional Committee at Commack High School.She is a member of the Suffolk County Math Teachers Association and recently presented workshops at the Long Island Language Arts Council Spring Conference and at the Annual Middle Level Conference sponsored by the NYS Middle School Association. Ms. Pawlowski was nominated for Teacher of the Year for her contributions to Commack High School.

Jordan PekorJordan Pekor

Plainview-Old Bethpage Central School District

Jordan Pekor earned his B.A. in Physics from Hofstra University and M.S. in Science Education from CUNY Queens College.  Mr. Pekor teaches AP Physics 1 and Aeronautics at Plainview-Old Bethpage JFK High School and has taught Advanced Placement (AP) Physics C, AP Physics B, Regents Physics, and Science Research. In addition to teaching science, Mr. Pekor coaches the Boys Varsity Cross Country, Winter Track, and Spring Track teams at JFK High School and is the head building representative for the Plainview Congress of Teachers.  Outside of school, Jordan enjoys running and spending as much time as possible boating on the south shore of Long Island.  As a NYS Master Teacher, Mr. Pekor looks forward to learning more science and teaching techniques with his fellow Master Teachers.

Elizabeth PhilpElizabeth Philp

Smithtown School District

Elizabeth Philp earned her BA in Mathematics from SUNY Geneseo and MS in Mathematics Education from Binghamton University.  In the classroom nine years, Mrs. Philp teaches Algebra, Geometry, Functions and Statistics, and Computer Science in Smithtown High School East.  An advocate for student-centered learning, she has incorporated group discussions, technology, experiments and alternative assessments into her teaching practice.  At Binghamton University, Mrs. Philp was a graduate assistant for the Teacher Leadership Quality Project and led workshops for teachers learning how to incorporate interactive geometry software into the classroom.  In addition to her teaching responsibilities, she has served as class advisor, prom chaperone, and has participated in various school events such as Homecoming and community service projects.  A passionate and knowledgeable supporter of the Common Core Learning Standards, Mrs. Philp has been part of the team to implement the Algebra and Geometry modules into her school’s curriculum, and has facilitated presentations at Smithtown School District’s “Parent University” and local Board of Education meetings.  She is a member of National Council of Teachers of Mathematics.  Within the NYS Master Teacher Program, Mrs. Philp participates in a Professional Learning Team that will present at the Long Island Mathematics Conference.

Derek PopeDerek Pope

Commack Union Free School District

Derek Pope earned his BS in Mathematics from Seton Hall University and Master of Arts in Teaching in Mathematics from Stony Brook University and was awarded National Board Certification in Math. In the classroom 10 years, Mr. Pope teaches Integrated Algebra and International Baccalaureate Precalculus at Commack High School.  A strong advocate for inquiry-based learning, Mr. Pope involves his students in engaging activities and thought-provoking discussions.  His professional interests include effective questioning techniques, technology integration to promote discovery learning, and “Lesson Study,” a professional development practice championed by Japanese educators.  Within the NYS Master Teacher Program, Mr. Pope participated in the Climate Change Mini-Course and is a member of three Professional Learning Teams (PLT): Mathematical Radian Measure PLT, Homework Policies PLT and the PLT Facilitator Training. Mr. Pope is a member of the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics and the Suffolk County Math Teachers Association, and is a Senior Fellow of the Knowles Science Teaching Foundation.  He was awarded the Joseph B. Whitehead Educator of Distinction Award, an award presented annually to 250 educators nationally, in conjunction with the Coca-Cola Scholars Program in recognition for work done to support students in the pursuit of their goals for higher education.

∧ Back To Top

R

Steven RoachSteven Roach

Bayport-Blue Point Union Free School District

Steven Roach earned his BA in Biological Sciences from the University at Buffalo and MSEd in Biology Education 7-12 at Buffalo State College. For his master’s project, he wrote a cell biology lab manual with a focus on inquiry-based exercises. Mr. Roach has taught science at Bayport-Blue Point High School for 14 years, teaching Living Environment, Marine Biology, and Current Issues in Science. He currently teaches Advanced Placement Biology and Science Research. With an emphasis on discovery learning, his focus is on making science visual and tangible in his classroom. It is his hope that students will view science as a process, rather than information in a textbook. He is inspired by the words from American Physicist, Frederick Seitz: “A good scientist is a person in whom the childhood quality of perennial curiosity lingers on.” In addition to teaching, Mr. Roach is co-advisor for the Interact Service Club, co-advisor for Science Olympiad and is a mentor for first-year teachers. As a NYS Master Teacher he has enjoyed the opportunity to work with other Master Teachers in the Inquiry Professional Learning Team (PLT) and the High School Research PLT, and looks forward to the “Evolution and Health” mini-course.

Danielle RodriguesDanielle Rodrigues

South Huntington Union Free School District

Danielle Rodrigues earned her B.S. in Public Relations from Syracuse University from the Newhouse School. Pursuing her love for science, she worked in the pharmaceutical division of Porter Novelli for the Pfizer and Amgen teams on the release of new pharmaceutical technology. Then she decided to pursue her Masters in Biology Education from CW Post Long Island University. Ms. Rodrigues grew up in a bilingual home, speaking Portuguese with her family. Using this lifelong skill, she furthered her education following her graduation by pursuing her Bilingual extension, in Spanish, and her ENL extension. Ms. Rodrigues teaches the Bilingual/ENL Regents Living Environment course, sections of Bilingual Science Investigations, and ENL Science Investigations, a course for which she created the curriculum, at Walt Whitman High School. Ms. Rodrigues is currently a co-advisor for The Latino Heritage Club and a mentor and member of the Positive Partnership Program (PPP), part of the Natural Helpers program. She also teaches a staff and educator development course for skills and knowledge of the ELL (English Language Learner) student in her district. In her free time, Danielle is a member of the Fred Astaire Dance Studio. She is very excited to be a part of the NYS Master Teacher Program to gain new and exciting professional experiences, expand her knowledge base, improve her craft, and learn and share with all of her colleagues in the program.

Jaime RogersJaime Rogers

South Huntington Union Free School District

Jaime F. Rogers Jr. earned his BS in Respiratory Care and post-graduate certificate in School Building/District Administration from Stony Brook University, and MS in Secondary Education from Dowling College.  Mr. Rogers holds certifications in EMT-Critical Care, Registered Respiratory Therapy, Pulmonary Function, Neonatal Respiratory Specialty, and has earned his Professional Association Diving Instructors (PADI) Dive Master.   Prior to teaching, he worked as a Respiratory Therapist. In the classroom for over 13 years, Mr. Rogers teaches Honors Physics, Robotics (offered for college credit through SUNY Farmingdale), CPR and First Aid at Walt Whitman High School. In addition to his teaching responsibilities, Mr. Rogers started the Amateur Radio and FIRST/ VEX Robotics Clubs, and has raised over $140,000 for Childhood Cancer Research. In 2014, he was named the South Huntington Union Free School District “Teacher of the Year.” Outside of school, he serves as an Ex-Captain in the Terryville Fire Department, volunteering as a Firefighter and Emergency Medical Technician for Critical Care.  Mr. Rogers loves the outdoors—running obstacle races, and riding his motorcycle.  Yet his greatest achievement is becoming a father of Dorothy and James.  Mr. Rogers is looking forward to building camaraderie and sustaining the professional network established by the NYS Master Teacher Program.

Anthony RohmAnthony Rohm

Shoreham-Wading River School District

Anthony Rohm graduated Magna Cum Laude with a BS in biology and a Masters of Art in Teaching Biology from Stony Brook University. As a certified "Let Me Learn" Education Specialist™, Mr. Rohm integrates a unique set of learning tools into his classroom instruction based on the learning patterns of his students. He is an advocate for hands-on learning that is student-centered and science inquiry-based. Mr. Rohm has been teaching for 12 years, including forensic science, anatomy, and physiology at Shoreham-Wading River High School as well as life science and physical science at Albert G. Prodell Middle School. He was selected for a panel of Expert Cooperating Teachers for Stony Brook University’s Education Department and has supervised more than ten student teachers. Mr. Rohm is looking forward to working with the Long Island region’s summer 2015 professional development conference Real World Math and Science Professional Development for Master Teachers. Aside from his experience in education, he has presented a seminar entitled Effective Leadership Skills to management professionals at KPMG. Mr. Rohm teaches with the spirit of Steven Covey’s quote in mind:”People do not care about how much you know, until they know how much you care.”

∧ Back To Top

S

Marianne Schoepflin

Smithtown School District

Marianne Schoepflin earned her MS in Electrical Engineering from Polytechnic University and MA in Mathematics Teaching from Stony Brook University.  In the classroom nine years, Mrs. Schoepflin teaches algebra, Intermediate Algebra II, Introduction to Calculus and is involved in educating the community about the Common Core Learning Standards at Smithtown High School East.  Her favorite part about teaching STEM is using real world examples in the classroom, such as helping her students see the Fibonacci sequence in pinecones, flowers and shells.  Her current projects include coordinating an annual district-wide Math Fun Night where students from grades 4 – 12 discover and celebrate mathematics.  Mrs. Schoepflin was honored with the Smithtown Teacher’s Association Torch Award for her contributions to the professional development of her colleagues. In addition to her teaching responsibilities, Mrs. Schoepflin is the advisor for the Smithtown High School chapter of the NYS Math Honor Society and a member of the National Council for Teachers of Mathematics.  Within the NYS Master Teacher Program, she attended a mini course of on fractals, and following a training session for Professional Learning Teams, she joined two—one for Calculus and one for Inquiry Based Learning.

Peter SchuchmanPeter Schuchman

Three Village School District

Peter Schuchman earned his BS in Geological Sciences at the University of Oregon, MS in Hydrogeology, and an Advanced Graduate Certificate in Educational Leadership from Stony Brook University.  Prior to teaching, Mr. Schuchman worked as a Hydrologic and Biologic Technician with the Bureau of Land Management and US Forest Service in the national forests of Oregon and as a land surveyor in NYS.  In the classroom now for 14 years, Mr. Schuchman teaches Regents Earth Science and Earth SMART, an advanced Earth Science Research course that he developed 10 years ago.  Mr. Schuchman has also been involved with his school’s award winning Science Olympiad team, served as an advisor for Earth Science club, helped organize the schools Science Fair (Science Awareness Day), and developed a fishing club.  An avid fisherman and kayaker, Mr. Schuchman enjoys warmer days at the beach or on the water.  Also employed as an educational consultant by the NYS Educational Department, Mr. Schuchman has written, edited, and offered a “final eyes” review of NYS Regents examinations in the Physical Setting/Earth Science.  As a NYS Master Teacher, Mr. Schuchman looks forward to participating in the Chemistry and Physics in Earth Science mini-course, and becoming part of this statewide professional learning community.

Michael L. ShanzerMichael Shanzer

Bay Shore Union Free School District

Michael L. Shanzer earned his BA in Communications from SUNY Oswego, BS in Physical Therapy from SUNY Health Science Center at Brooklyn, MSEd in Secondary Education from Dowling College, and Doctorate in Physical Therapy from Utica College.  In the classroom 11 years, Dr. Shanzer teaches Regents and Honors Chemistry, Regents Living Environment, Anatomy and Physiology, and English as a Second Language Earth Science at Bay Shore High School.  Dr. Shanzer’s vision is to help students realize their dreams early in life through the practice of introspective and critical thinking.  Within the Master Teacher Program, Dr. Shanzer is active in two Professional Learning Teams (PLT): Creating Flipped Lessons PLT and Practical Strategies for Flipping Students’ Learning PLT.  He is also co-founder and co-facilitator of the Long Island Association for Chemistry Teacher Supports, a group composed of chemistry Master Teachers who meet monthly.  He is a certified Advanced Reiki practitioner and a licensed practicing physical therapist, providing physical therapy services for 19 years.  In his spare time, he enjoys running, exercising and silversmithing.

Thomas SheaThomas Shea

Commack Union Free School District

Thomas Shea earned Bachelor of Science degrees in both Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering from SUNY University at Buffalo, a Master of Science in Thermo-Fluid Dynamics from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, an MBA from CW Post, and a Master of Arts in Education from Hofstra University. Mr. Shea also holds teaching certifications in secondary Mathematics, Technology and Business. Prior to teaching, Mr. Shea worked as a thermal analyst and test engineer for Lockheed Martin, ATK and Northrop Grumman on various military aircraft including classified hypersonic flight vehicles. In his nine years in the classroom, Mr. Shea has taught at both the middle and high school levels and engaged students in all four of the STEM components through the use of VEX robotics in the Technology classroom and independent research and technical studies in advanced Mathematics and Science Research survey courses. Mr. Shea currently teaches Algebra II and Project Lead the Way (PLTW) Civil Engineering and Architecture in Commack High School. He has been Advisor for MathCounts and Research Advisor and mentor for regional math and science fairs and competitions. Mr. Shea is very excited about participating in the NYS Master Teacher Program, and looks forward to learning from the experiences and expertise of his cohort as well as the statewide network.

Nora SheppardNora Sheppard

Bellmore-Merrick Central High School District

Nora Sheppard earned her BS in Biology Education from SUNY Oneonta and MA in Biology from CUNY City College.  In the classroom for 20 years, Mrs. Sheppard teaches science at Merrick Avenue Middle School.  She was the coordinator of the Junior High School Natural Science Program at the American Museum of Natural History, and taught science in New York City and in Tanzania, Africa before her work at Merrick Avenue.  Mrs. Sheppard is a strong proponent of problem-based learning where students are engaged in solving problems in a practical real world context.  Accordingly, her teaching aims to engage students in the creative process of understanding the natural world.  With the NYS Master Teacher Program, she has participated in the Safety of Genetically Engineered Food mini-course and is a member of the Middle School Science Professional Learning Team.  Mrs. Sheppard is active in various professional communities and regularly teaches workshops in the Real World Science Program for Elementary teachers at Stony Brook University.

Michael SilveringMichael Silvering

Islip School District

Michael Silvering earned his BS in geology at Binghamton University where he researched sedimentology and groundwater remediation, and MS in Earth Science Education at Stony Brook University with studies focused on Long Island glacial features.  In the classroom for nine years, Mr. Silvering teaches 8th grade Honors Earth Science, 8th grade General Science, and 7th Grade General Science at Islip Middle School.  His fascination in Earth Science was sparked as a child while visiting caves, exploring beaches and state parks, and fossil hunting in upstate NY.  Mr. Silvering shares his passion for science with his students, encouraging them to relate each lesson to real-world applications.  He has served as mentor to the Islip Middle School Science Olympiad team, which has earned its way into the state competition in recent years.  An active member of the Science Teachers Association of NYS, Mr. Silvering collaborates regularly with other science teachers to develop curriculum and activities that promote inquiry and enthusiasm among students. As a NYS Master Teacher, Mr. Silvering looks forward to engaging in professional development to learn new ideas and techniques for teaching science, and sharing those ideas with other dedicated educators from across the state.

Richard SlesinskiRichard Slesinski

Syosset School District

Richard Slesinski earned his MS in Physics Education from SUNY New Paltz.  In the classroom 26 years, Mr. Slesinski teaches Advanced Placement Physics at Syosset High School.  His primary focus is to foster a classroom environment conducive to learning and promoting excellent collaboration between students, parents, and himself.  He enjoys engaging his students by creating cooperative learning opportunities which provide them with ownership in the lessons.  Mr. Slesinski continues to expand his knowledge through his participation with “Quarknet,” a national program sponsored by the National Science Foundation promoting collaboration between PhD physicists and high school physics teachers and students.  Mr. Slesinski combined his passion for playing the accordion and his love of physics by working as a full time research assistant at Bard College for four summers focusing on the physics of musical instruments.  He is an active member of the Science Teachers Association of NYS and the American Association of Physics Teachers.

Michael StanoMichael Stano

Garden City School District

Michael Stano earned his MS in Earth Science Education from Long Island University, BS in Biology from Stony Brook and is completing his Master of Professional Studies in Environmental Management from Stony Brook.  In the classroom 10 years, he teaches Advanced Placement Environmental Science and Regents Earth Science at Garden City High School.  Mr. Stano believes that technology can be a wonderful tool to reach students and lead them toward success and he strives to bring science into his students’ lives by showing them real world scenarios through his lesson. In addition to his teaching responsibilities, he helped create Garden City Middle School’s First Lego League Robotics Teams and had advised the high school’s stage crew.  Mr. Stano implemented a “flipped” classroom model for his Regents Earth Science curriculum, and presented to his colleagues about his experience at the National Council for Exceptional Children Conference in Philadelphia and at the first annual Long Island Connected Educators Conference.  With the NYS Master Teacher Program, Mr. Stano has led a workshop on inquiry based labs.

Jon SteigerwaldJon Steigerwald

Deer Park Union Free School District

Jon Steigerwald earned his BA in biology and MA in secondary education from Dowling College, and an Advanced Certificate in school administration from Hofstra University.  In the classroom for ten years, Mr. Steigerwald teaches eighth grade general science at Robert Frost Middle School in Deer Park. He is a strong advocate for hands-on science, technology-infused activities, inquiry-based learning, and making science relevant to the students. He involves his students in science fair projects with topics of their choosing and human disease research projects. His professional interests focus on the use of data to drive instruction, cross curriculum projects and his current projects include building a class website, and the development of a modified flipped classroom. In addition to his teaching responsibilities, Mr. Steigerwald serves as the Science/Environmental Club advisor, a model classroom teacher, and is an active member of Science Teachers Association of NYS and the National Science Teachers Association. With the NYS Master Teacher Program, Mr. Steigerwald has participated in the Geo-Science of Hydraulic Fracturing and the 3-D Printing mini-courses. Mr. Steigerwald is inspired by the words of Albert Einstein, “Imagination is more important than knowledge.”

Carisa SteinbergCarisa Steinberg

Syosset School District

Carisa Steinberg earned her BS in Environmental Science at Cornell University and her MA in Secondary Education in Biology at Teachers College, Columbia University. In the classroom at Syosset High School for 18 years, Ms. Steinberg teaches Advanced Placement Biology, recently co-writing curriculum that incorporates the flipped classroom model and other technology tools. A strong advocate for improving diversity in STEM, she focuses on teaching biology through a multidisciplinary lens to encourage more students to visualize science as an integral component of their lives. Ms. Steinberg serves as a mentor to newly hired biology teachers and co-leader of Syosset’s Professional Development Committee, Teachers Actively Collaborating, which encourages educators to share their pedagogical strategies and engage in non-evaluative peer-to-peer observation. She also advises Interact, the Community Service Club, working to create opportunities for her students to give back to others. In the last decade, the Club has raised over $200,000 to fund myriad life-saving cardiac surgeries for children in need. In 2015, Long Island University-Post named Ms. Steinberg Long Island Teacher of the Year. She enthusiastically looks forward to collaborating with other dedicated Master Teachers to foster the next generation of STEM educators.

Jeanne SuttieJeanne Suttie

Commack Union Free School District

Jeanne Suttie earned her BS in Environmental and Forest Biology with a minor in Fisheries and Wildlife Biology and Management from SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry, MS in Educational Technology from C.W. Post, and Master of Arts in Teaching in Earth Science from SUNY Stony Brook. Prior to teaching she was an Environmental Interpreter for New York State Parks – Long Island Region. In the classroom for 15 years, Ms. Suttie currently teaches Regents Living Environment, and a STEM elective class at Commack Middle School. She has created interdisciplinary projects each year to engage students school-wide in environmental conservation issues. She is currently one of the advisors for the S.T.R.E.A.M. club (formerly Science Research), and as a member of the District Literacy Committee, is a leader in literacy professional development for the department and the building. As Dr. Jane Goodall said, “Every individual matters. Every individual has a role to play. Every individual makes a difference.” As a NYS Master Teacher, she is looking forward to continuing her growth as a teacher by collaborating with other Master Teachers and participating in professional development opportunities in order to bring best practices to her students.

∧ Back To Top

T

Robyn TornabeneRobyn Tornabene

Long Beach School District

Robyn Tornabene earned her BA in Biology from Hofstra University, MA in Liberal Studies from Stony Brook University, and is pursuing a PhD in Science Education focusing on student reasoning about genetics at Stony Brook University. In the classroom 14 years, Ms. Tornabene teaches International Baccalaureate Biology and Living Environment at Long Beach High School (LBHS). Beyond the classroom, Ms. Tornabene has been a Class Advisor, New Teacher Mentor, Saturday Enrichment “Creativity Camp” Instructor, and member of the District Curriculum Committee. Ms. Tornabene strives to ensure culturally relevant instruction while employing a mixture of constructivist, multisensory, and metacognitive approaches to help students make meaningful connections to course material and grow personally and academically. Ms. Tornabene is active in professional associations: She has presented her doctoral research on students’ understanding of genetics at the National Association for Research in Science Teaching, led workshops for her district about computer-based grading, and presented a poster about the history of biology education at the international Association for Science Teacher Education. As a NYS Master Teacher, Ms. Tornabene is a member of the Biology Professional Learning Team and is exploring opportunities to co-design workshops to address advances in genetics technology, and science content for elementary teachers in preparation for the implementation of the NYS Science Learning Standards.

∧ Back To Top

V

Michael VaccarielloMichael Vaccariello

Sachem Central School District

Michael Vaccariello earned his B.S. in Biology, Genetics Concentration, from Cornell University, M.S. in Secondary Science Education from Hofstra University, and Ph.D. in Cancer Studies from Stony Brook University. Prior to teaching, he performed research on Human Papilloma Virus. Dr. Vaccariello coordinates and teaches Science Research at Sachem High School East. The “Science Research Program” is a high-level elective, grades 9 through 12, for authentic, independent, student-mediated research. Unlike conventional science education, “failed experiments” provide learning opportunities, and surprising findings propagate unpredictable directions. His philosophy has been to allow students to foster their own interests and curiosities, and he makes every effort to not limit creativity and passion for science. Michael is a devoted organic gardener and he takes students on Amazon Rainforest expeditions. He has earned numerous awards, including the Department of Energy’s “Academies Creating Teacher Scientists” and two Synchrotron-based projects at Brookhaven National Laboratories. He is motivated by the words of visionary artist Alex Grey: “If we cannot envision a better world, we cannot create one.” As a NYS Master Teacher, Dr. Vaccariello is inspired to participate in Professional Learning Teams, both in and outside his area of expertise, to further promote “STEM” or “STREAM” education.

Alexis VandergootAlexis Vandergoot

Bellmore-Merrick Central High School District

Alexis Vandergoot earned her BS in biology with a minor in chemistry from SUNY Geneseo, and her Master of Arts in Teaching from Stony Brook University. She is a certified teacher in biology, chemistry, and General Science. Mrs. Vandergoot has been working in Bellmore-Merrick Central High School District for six years and has taught at both John F. Kennedy and Mepham High Schools. During this time she has taught Living Environment, chemistry, Marine Biology, Environmental Science, College Anatomy and Physiology, and Forensics.  In addition to her classroom responsibilities, she is the advisor of the Protein Folding Challenge Team that has been competing at Stony Brook University since 2009,  was the Varsity Girls Lacrosse Assistant Coach from 2010-2013, and is science club advisor, looking forward to taking her team to the NYS Science Olympiad competition this year at Le Moyne University of Syracuse.  Mrs. Vandergoot is an active member of various professional organizations including Chem Union, Science Teachers Association of NYS, National Science Teachers Association, and the Bellmore JFK Parent Teacher Association.  As a NYS Master Teacher, she is looking forward to collaborating with fellow Master Teachers to deepen her content and pedagogical knowledge, and to discuss best practices for helping students become passionate about the sciences.

Bobby VarugheseBobby Varughese

Commack Union Free School District

Bobby Varughese earned his BS in Mathematics from Stony Brook University and his MS in Secondary Education in Mathematics from Dowling College. Mr. Varughese is a life-long Commack resident and alumnus of Commack High School. He currently teaches International Baccalaureate Standard Level (Methods), College Calculus, and Intermediate Algebra at Commack High School, and has been an early adopter of collaborative learning software for his classes.  An avid and competitive pool-billiard player, he competes at the local and national levels. Mr. Varughese is excited to be part of the NYS Master Teacher Program and feels that being part of a group of teachers that will spend the extra time to discuss the art and science of teaching and instructional methods to help colleagues will only help him become a better teacher. Since joining the Long Island region, Mr. Varughese has participated in mini-courses on geometry and statistics, and plans on working with a pre-service teacher next year.

Charles VessalicoCharles Vessalico

Malverne School District

Charles Vessalico earned his BS in Biochemistry, Master of Arts in Teaching in Biology from Stony Brook University, and is a Robert Noyce Master Teacher fellow at Stony Brook University.  In the classroom for nine years, Mr. Vessalico teaches Advanced Placement Biology, Science Research, and Engineering Applications at Malverne High School.  A strong advocate for project-based learning and a technology-infused curriculum, he involves his students in hands-on research projects focused on solutions to real world problems.  His current work includes developing engineering courses in robotics and a biotechnology-based research program.  In addition to his teaching responsibilities, he serves as the F.I.R.S.T. robotics coach for the Malverne High School Team 884, is the lead instructor for the Biotechnology Summer Camp at Stony Brook’s Center for Math and Science Education, and is a Malverne Teacher Center Policy Board Member. Within the NYS Master Teacher Program, he has participated in a mini-course on Genetically Modified Foods, and is a member of the High School Research Teachers and Biology Teachers Professional Learning Teams.  He is a member of the National Science Teacher Association and Science Teachers Association of NYS, and was honored with the Teacher of the Year Award for his contributions to Malverne High School.

Gary Vorwald

Three Village School District

Gary Vorwald earned his BS in Earth Science and Secondary Education from SUNY Cortland, MS in Geology from the University of Kansas, and School District Administration Certificate from Dowling College. Before teaching, he worked for several years as an exploration petroleum geologist. In the classroom for 29 years, Mr. Vorwald has taught Earth Science, 8th grade Physical Science, Science Research, and 7th grade science at Paul J. Gelinas Junior High School since 1998. A hallmark of Mr. Vorwald’s approach in teaching science is providing his students with field experiences at Niagara Falls and astronomy nights. He integrates inquiry activities into his curriculum that utilize investigating features around the school and within the community. One of Mr. Vorwald’s most successful and rewarding experiences is his working as Head Coach of the Science Olympiad, which won the state title multiple times, and participated in the National Tournament over 12 times. Past accolades include being named NYS Earth Science Mentor and Science Teachers Association of NYS: Fellows Committee Chair. In his spare time, he enjoys researching fife and drum music from the Revolutionary War period, and has co-authored a book on the topic. As a NYS Master Teacher, Mr. Vorwald is looking forward to collaborating with other Master Teachers, and learning new techniques to inspire his students.

∧ Back To Top

W

Alicia WalshAlicia Walsh

Patchogue-Medford School District

Alicia Walsh earned her BA in Elementary Education from MidAmerica Nazarene University, MA in Education from Avila College, and MS in Educational Administration from St. John’s University.  In the classroom for 25 years, she teaches 7th grade science at Oregon Middle School in Medford.  A strong advocate of learner-centered, inquiry-based instruction, Mrs. Walsh engages her students in rigorous learning experiences that incorporate research activities.  Her professional interests focus on working collaboratively to develop interdisciplinary units of study that include higher-order thinking skills while attending to science standards.  Current projects include the organization of a school-wide “Water Day” fair and designing cross-curricular learning activities for use at the district’s outdoor learning lab, “Fish Thicket.”  She was a part of Pine Barrens Society's Long Island Groundwater Curriculum initiative, “Middle School Kids Go to College,” and MiSP (Math Infusion into Science Project), a program that created and implemented 8th grade STEM units of instruction. With the NYS Master Teacher Program, Mrs. Walsh has participated in the Safety of Genetically Modified Food mini-course and workshops including Professional Learning Team Facilitation and Flipping the Classroom.   One of her favorite STEM quotes is by Edwin Powell Hubble: "Equipped with his five senses, man explores the universe and calls the adventure science." 

Stephen WeferStephen Wefer

Sachem School District

Stephen Wefer earned his BS in Biology and Chemistry from SUNY Plattsburgh, MS in Biology Education, and PhD in Science Education from Teachers College, Columbia University. In the classroom for 17 years, Dr. Wefer teaches Genetics, Advanced Placement (AP) Biology and Living Environment at Sachem High School East. Prior to teaching, Dr. Wefer worked in a laboratory at Stony Brook University investigating developmental genetics, and participated in the Department of Energy’s Academy Creating Teacher Scientists program at Brookhaven National Laboratory. Dr. Wefer is interested in the proliferating field of bioinformatics and how it impacts STEM education, and continues to maintain relationships with local scientists at Brookhaven. He was awarded the Toyota Tapestry Grant to implement bioinformatics based lessons in his classroom, and has published several articles related to bioinformatics in science education. Outside of the classroom, he coaches the Sachem East Chess Team. Dr. Wefer is delighted when his students are enthusiastic after making personal connections to lessons, and is inspired when his students build confidence after solving challenging problems. Within the NYS Master Teacher Program, Dr. Wefer is a member of the Biology Professional Learning Team, and has participated in the Biology of Cancer mini-course and the Salt Marsh Changes Related to Climate Change workshop.

Dan WilliamsDaniel Williams

Shelter Island Union Free School District

Dan Williams earned his B.S. in Biology at St. Joseph’s College and Master of Arts in Teaching in Biology from Stony Brook University. Dan teaches AP Biology, NYS Living Environment, Anatomy and Physiology, and Marine Science and runs the Science Research program at Shelter Island High School. He is the advisor of the after school Science Club, a hands-on research and environmental sciences organization. Dan is a Teacher Fellow at Brookhaven National Laboratory’s Office of Educational Programs, helping students and teachers develop research projects and gain access to the National Synchrotron Light Source II. Dan is also a Teacher Fellow at Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory assisting in the DNA Barcoding program, helping to run workshops for students and teachers on sample collection and DNA sequencing. Additionally, he works with the Center for Biomolecular Modeling at the Milwaukee School of Engineering helping to develop curriculum and materials around understanding three dimensional protein structures and how they work in the body. Dan is incredibly excited about joining the Master Teacher community and looks forward to growing through professional development, bringing more real world science to his own students, and sharing with other Biology teachers.

Laura WilliamsLaura Williams

Three Village Central School District

Laura Williams earned her B.S. in Biology from Mary Washington College, her Masters of Arts in Liberal Studies at Stony Brook University, and her Students with Disabilities Certification through NYSUT. Mrs. Williams teaches Regents Living Environment to general education and inclusion students as well as a self-contained Regents Biology course, which is designed to engage students who learn in a variety of different ways, in the Three Village Central School District. Her primary classroom goal is to engage all students in classroom discussions, with an emphasis on making connections between what they are studying and what is occurring in the world around them. Within the district, Mrs. Williams has written curricula and collaborated with colleagues to better address the learning needs of students with disabilities. As a NYS Master Teacher, Laura looks forward to working in professional learning groups whose focus is the special needs population and mentoring new and pre-service teachers as they embark on one of the most rewarding yet challenging professions of today.

Gillian WintersGillian Winters

Smithtown School District

Gillian Winters earned her BS and MS in Physics from McGill University and PhD in Physics from the University of Delaware.  In the classroom 11 years, Dr. Winters teaches physics in the Smithtown Central School District.  A strong advocate of hands-on, inquiry-based learning, she involves her students in a variety of design-and-build competitions, such as the school’s annual “Pumpkin Chuckin” catapult competition and hands-on stations for small children in the school’s Spooky Hallways event, and community-based learning programs, such as the Particle Physics MasterClass and the Physics Olympics.  She is the Instructional Specialist in her department, and serves as vice president of the Long Island Physics Teachers Association.  Dr Winters’ professional interests focus on teacher training and women in physics, and she was as speaker at the Brookhaven National Laboratory Program for International Women’s Day and was the American Association of Physics Teachers representative t the 2014 Conference for Undergraduate Women in Physics.  Within the NYS Master Teacher Program, Dr. Winters is a member of the Physics Professional Learning, and has participated in discussions with her peer Master Teachers about the Next Generation Science Standards.

∧ Back To Top

Master Teacher Program
What is the Master Teacher Program?