High School Spotlight Staff honors the amazing people working in the building and gives you a chance to learn a little bit more about them! The latest High School Spotlight Staff: The Science Department!
Not all of the HS Science Department Staff had a chance to submit their information, which is why you will not see a write-up for some of them below. They are no less worthy of Staff Spotlight, though, and the whole department is awesome!
Scroll past names for some Spotlight Staff pictures and see previous High School Spotlight Staff here.
Chris Drumma, Earth Science
Costume wearing, awesome dancer, science teacher extraordinaire. This is my second year at ICC and my tenth year of teaching. I came to teaching as a second career working in the Biotechnology manufacturing industry(Regeneron Pharmaceuticals) for 15 years prior.
My hobbies are restoring antique tube radios, painting, cycling, hiking and fishing. I have two daughters and a step-son and will be getting married this October. I am the oldest of three boys and come from a family of teachers. My mother, my middle brother and both their wives are teachers.
I decided to become a teacher because I wanted to make a difference in young people’s lives. This passion started when my daughters entered school and I started volunteering in their classrooms. I started my career as an elementary teacher but my first teaching job was working at the HS level. I have taught Technology, Living Environment, Earth Science and middle school science in my career. I have three master’s degrees and 6 professional teaching certificates.
Fun facts: I have a closet full of costumes (waiting for the next spirit week!). I used to be a haunted house actor and have worked at two haunted houses. I typically attend 15-20 live music concerts a year.
Jessica Porter, Regents Biology, Advanced Bio & Anatomy
I am in my second year of teaching at Ichabod High School. I attended Siena College for my undergraduate degree in Biology and then The College of Saint Rose for my master’s degree.
I love teaching! While I attended Siena and then after graduating, I worked in various positions in hospitals both in administrative and in laboratory settings. I switched gears to teaching because, in all of my roles at the hospital, the part I enjoyed most was educating people about their biology and how it is impacted by the world around them. I think that understanding how you work is extremely empowering!
When I am not teaching, I am usually tending to my small herd of rescue animals! I have cats, rabbits, ducks and a puppy (a very recent addition, she is learning how to interact with the other residents). They keep me on my toes for sure. I also enjoy running and baking. Pre-COVID, I used to make birthday and wedding cakes for friends and family.
Todd Megan, Earth Science & Applied Chemistry
Before teaching, I worked as an environmental geologist. I had the fortune to travel the globe drilling wells, sampling rocks and water, and planning pollution cleanup strategies. The job was fulfilling but all the travel left little time for my new family, so I made the switch to teaching five years ago.
The switch has been amazing and my three years at Ichabod have only reinforced my love of teaching. It has given me a different platform to help keep our planet healthy.
Living my life outside, I have always had a passion for understanding our place in the universe and I work, every day, to instill the same sense of intrigue in our students. For me, science is about asking questions and having the right tools to look for answers. I hope that every student leaves my class with at least one more tool to answer their questions.
Scott Stafiej, Earth Science
I am in my third year at Ichabod and my 8th year of teaching. Over the past 15 years, I have studied international business, French, and Science. I’ve worked in sales, marketing, organizational behavior and education. I’ve taught 8th-grade science, Living Environment, Earth Science, French 2 and 3, and Salsa Dancing. I’ve lived in 3 countries and visited 17 others. Recently I’ve picked up playing guitar and ukulele.
I have a wife and 1½ yr old daughter, both of whom are amazing and keep me on my toes. I also have 6 lovely brothers and sisters. I’m a teacher because learning how to learn is a life-long fascination. I believe if more people were good learners, we’d be a more critical and more empathetic society. I want to be a part of creating that.
Sarah Warren, Earth Science, Special Education
I am new to Ichabod (this is my first year), but it did not take long to learn that this is the best school district around! GO RIDERS!!!
I moved to this area with my husband and children almost 2 years ago and I am so happy that we found this hidden gem! I absolutely love it here and look forward to raising our kids here. I have 3 children; my son attends the primary school, and my girls are 3 years and 16 Months old. I grew up with my mother and one of my sisters. I have 3 other sisters and a brother. Out of all of my siblings, I am the oldest. Life was hard growing up, but I worked very hard to put myself through school, never giving up on my goals. I was the first person on my mothers side of the family to graduate high school, attend college, and start a career in the field of my choice.
This is my 10th year teaching. Before joining the team here at Ichabod, I taught Algebra, Geometry, and Living Environment. I have 3 professional teaching certificates in New York and can’t imagine doing anything other than teaching. I have always enjoyed helping others and because I was not afforded a lot of opportunity as a child, I have made it my mission to help our children to learn, grow, be confident, and reach for their dreams no matter what life throws their way. Words can not describe how happy I am that my life’s path has led me to this area and to teaching at Ichabod Crane High School. I look forward to helping our community’s children for many years to come!
Cori Drummond, Biology, Environmental Science
This is my 13th year at Ichabod. I took a round-about path to get here, but love teaching science and Ichabod! Before coming to ICC, I worked at Griffin Labs where I did research on mosquitoes and West Nile Virus. I also was an adjunct instructor at HVCC for a number of years.
I enjoy watching sports including basketball and football. I also enjoy hiking, biking, camping, reading, and just being outdoors. I also have two daughters who are 10 and go to Ichabod. They are amazing and so much fun. I am super proud of them. We also recently got a Goldendoodle puppy named Penny. She has kept us all very busy.
Fun Facts: I played basketball at Siena College (GO SAINTS!) and I grew up on a farm where we raised beef cattle.
Tim McErlean, Regents Chemistry
This is my first year at Ichabod, having spent the previous fifteen years teaching on Long Island. My wife and I have five children (four daughters and one son) and we all love this area! We are an outdoor family and love to go fishing and hiking. We also enjoy aquariums and gardening and taking our dog Fred for walks.
I graduated from Virginia Tech in 1996 and worked for a while before getting my master’s degree and teaching certification in 2006. I am certified in chemistry and biology. I love my job and always have and I am really excited about beginning a new chapter in my career here as a part of the Ichabod Crane community!
Anastassia Gonyea, Biology Forensics
I attended college at SUNY Albany and graduated with a degree in both Criminal Justice and Biology. My original plan involved becoming a State Trooper, which then switched to becoming a Forensic Scientist. Right before I graduated, I decided I loved working with and helping others and since both my parents were teachers, I knew that becoming a biology teacher would be the best fit for me. I was right!!
I went to Russel Sage College to get my Master’s degree and was hired shortly after here at Ichabod Crane. This is my 16th year teaching in the High School. My husband and I moved into the school district four years ago, and we couldn’t be happier being a part of the Ichabod Crane Family. Our three sons are in 1st, 2nd, and 4th grade. We love spending time with the chickens and our dog, Piper, in our big backyard.
I love to cook, read, and spend time outdoors with my family. We have many adventures while going on vacations, camping, mountain biking, and skiing. I’m happy we ended up in a beautiful area with a school community that is amazing!
Gregory Miller, Physics, Anatomy & Physiology
Mr. Miller did not have a chance to submit for this month’s Spotlight Staff.
Curt Barford, Chemistry
Having grown up in Valatie, I am an Ichabod Crane Class of 1999 graduate. When I graduated from college, teaching was the last thing I thought I would be doing. After spending my summers during college interning at Albany Molecular Research, my goal was to obtain a Ph.D. in organic chemistry and find a job as a medicinal chemist. After 2 years of grad school, I realized that I could not spend my life working in a lab. Thankfully, a requirement of the program was to teach organic chemistry lab courses. In the end, I found that teaching was the thing I was supposed to do.
I served as the permanent substitute in the high school for 4 years, as I took a couple of grad courses each semester to obtain my teaching certification. Now, I am in my 12th year teaching chemistry at Ichabod.
It was at Ichabod that I was able to meet my wife, Ms. Zorzi. We have 2 Newfoundland dogs (Marcus and Clara) and 3 cats (Lilly, Max, and Nero). In my free time, I enjoy spending time with my family. I am a big fan of many sports (NY Mets, NY Giants, Chicago Bulls, Manchester United) and try to watch as many games as I can. One thing I NEVER miss is a Notre Dame Football game. Everything else is on hold for 3 hours every Saturday in the fall.
When I decided to become a teacher, the only place I could imagine teaching was Ichabod. I am lucky that this was able to come true!