High School Spotlight Staff

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 Counseling Dept. & Teaching Assistants!

Scroll past names for some Spotlight Staff pictures and see previous High School Spotlight Staff here.

Amanda DeAloe, School Counselor

This is my 13th year at Ichabod Crane HS. Prior to working here, I worked one year as an interim school counselor at Shenendehowa HS East and two years at Shaker High School as a Teachers Aide. I have also been a JV cheer coach at Shaker HS and a Varsity cheer coach at ICC. I was born in New York City and raised in Rockland County; where I graduated high school. I attended college and majored in English at SUNY Albany. It wasn’t until my job as a Teacher’s Aide that I decided I wanted to go to school to become a counselor, as I loved working with the high school student population. I attended Sage Graduate School for their K-12 School Counseling program and decided to live in the capital district permanently. I love being a school counselor because I get to learn about each of my students individually. I also love that I keep the same students for 4 years, and sometimes the same families for several years. It allows me to build wonderful and lasting relationships with my students and their families. When I’m not in school, I am an avid singer. Before the pandemic, I used to perform at churches, some of the ICC Talent Shows and even had a few open mic nights lined up with a colleague and friend of mine. Live music has yet to make its comeback during this pandemic. So for now, I create music with friends virtually and post my solo songs to my YouTube Channel. My five-year-old son makes an appearance in some of my videos as he shares my love of music and ukulele playing.

Michele Evans, School Counselor

I am in my 17th year as a School Counselor at Ichabod Crane High School. I attended Siena College for my undergrad and then The College of Saint Rose for their K-12 School Counseling Program. I first knew I wanted to go into counseling when I was in high school and participated in an internship through the NYS Labor Department, where they were piloting a new program that was geared towards career interests. I worked with students through the new program to get their feedback. I love how my job allows me the opportunity to get to know each of my students and their families and work with them for their four years of high school. My husband and I have two daughters, my oldest is 9 and my youngest is 5 ½. I love to spend time with my family and friends, listen to music, go to concerts, watch movies, bike ride and go to the beach.

Joni Tooher-Holsapple, School Counselor

I am in my 16th year here at Ichabod Crane as a School Counselor. This is my 2nd year at the High School level. I’ve spent the bulk of my time here in the Elementary and Middle School levels. I grew up in Stuyvesant Falls and am an Alum of Ichabod Crane. After graduating from ICC, I went to SUNY Geneseo for my undergraduate work in Psychology and then to The College of St. Rose for their K-12 School Counseling Program. I’ve always loved working with the younger students and helping them through good and tough times. Now I’m excited to help our older students as they go through high school and prepare for their post-graduate plans. I have three grown children and a dog named Jace. In my free time, I enjoy running, yoga, reading and knitting.

Ann Israel, Teaching Assistant

This is my third year at Ichabod but my first year as a permanent member of the staff. Previously I was a substitute in the district and then the building sub here at the high school and now a TA. I grew up in Detroit and graduated from Michigan State University. I then moved out to California where I taught 11th and 12th grade English and Journalism while doing graduate studies at UC Berkeley. After some years I left teaching and I moved down to L.A. where I headed up the attorney search division of an international search firm. I eventually moved to NYC, where I had always wanted to live, and started my own attorney search firm. I was a weekender up here in Columbia County for many years and then, when I retired from the search business, decided to move up to Hudson and become a part of the Ichabod Crane family. I’m a major dog lover and in my spare time I’ve written 4 books; I hope to write another one. My favorite hobby is playing and teaching Mah Jongg – ask me about it if you are interested!

Beth Ruiz, School Psychologist

After interning at Ichabod Crane when studying for my Master’s degree at the College of Saint Rose, I knew this district was where I wanted to be. I am now in my 15th year as the School Psychologist at Ichabod Crane High School! I received my Bachelors in Psychology from UAlbany, and prior to being a School Psychologist, worked with adults with developmental disabilities for eleven years. During my time at Albany ARC, I discovered I wanted to be on the earlier end of intervention and went back to school as an adult student. I absolutely LOVE my job and appreciate that ICC prioritizes students’ social-emotional health and wellness in addition to academics!

Though I never really participated in school sports (other than field hockey in my junior and senior year), I discovered a love of fitness and competition as an adult. I competed in cycling races for ten years. In recent years, I learned how to swim and now compete in triathlons. In 2019, I qualified for Ironman Worlds 70.3 in Nice, France. The French Riviera is incredible!

I have three siblings, six nieces and nephews and am fortunate to live within 30-minutes of my immediate family. My husband, Andy and I have two cats and I am the luckiest lady to be a handler of Willow, ICC high school’s social service dog at work!

Jean Barford, TA (Counseling & Career Center)

This is my 26th year at ICC although I began my career of working in the district in 1992 as a sub. After graduating from Hudson High School, I went on to SUNY Cobleskill where I graduated with a degree in Business Management. I worked several other jobs in my past with time off for raising my children before coming to ICC. I started working in the middle school as a Teaching Assistant in the mid-90s, later on I worked in the cafeteria in the Middle School for over a year and then in 1997, I got offered a position as a TA in the High School. I moved into the Guidance Office as a TA in 2000 and in 2007 started facilitating the Senior Seminar program, which I have been doing ever since. My position as a TA at ICC has shown me the greatest pleasure, forming relationships with the students and getting to know their career and personal interests. Recently, I am getting to work with the children of some of the students who were here when I started so it is nice to follow up with them. It has been my pleasure getting to work with such a fantastic group of teachers and staff. I moved to the Kinderhook Lake area of Valatie after getting married and both of my children have attended ICC and participated in sports and school activities. I live with my husband and golden retriever Cooper in the village of Kinderhook. My daughter, Megan (a 4th-grade teacher), her husband Daryl and their two children Liam & Sophie live in Winchester, Massachusetts. My son, Bill, his wife Kate (a Kindergarten teacher) and their sons William & Grayson, live in Stamford, CT. My greatest enjoyment and form of relaxation, aside from spending time with my grandchildren, is being at the beach, walking, reading or just listening to the waves. I also enjoy being at home and reading, watching old movies and spending time with my family.

Nancy Konkle, TA (Special Education)

This is my 35th year working for the most wonderful school district I could ever imagine being a part of. My first six years were spent at Martin Van Buren working with 3rd and 4th graders. The rest of my years have been spent at the High School working in Special Education. Being an alumni makes working here very personal for me. ICC has been as important to me as my own family, and I can’t believe that every day I have the privilege of coming to “work” here. I have been blessed beyond measure to work with teachers who I believe are the cream of the crop. We are a family, and that’s what makes our district so amazing. I have formed forever bonds and relationships with an innumerable number of students, who still hold a special place in my heart to this day. The best part of being a lifelong member of this community is being able to see them and their families, and know how they are doing. As for my own family, I met my husband 49 years ago, and we are coming up on our 44th wedding anniversary. We have three children who also attended ICC. Our oldest son, Matt, is a New York State Trooper, our son Travis is a contractor, and our daughter Aubrey is about to finish her first year of nursing at Maria College. I have two wonderful grandchildren; Jackson, who is a Junior, and Skylar, who is in sixth grade. My faith, family, and friends are the foundation of my very blessed life. I have been involved in my church teaching Sunday School and being a part of the women’s jail ministry. I also have a part-time job at Ocean State Job Lot. I love the ocean, reading, watching old movies and westerns, and hanging out with my wonderful family.

Angelique Hebert, Teaching Assistant

I am in my 4th year at ICC and I am honored to have been recently granted tenure. I supervise tiered study halls which act as an intervention for those kids that can benefit from a quiet, working study hall. I also direct the faith formation program for grades Pre-K through 10th grade at my church.

Before starting at ICC, I owned my own NYS-certified daycare in my home for 14 years. Over the years, I cared for dozens of children and formed lifelong bonds and friendships. I enjoy seeing kids that I cared for when they were 2 and 3 years old who are now in the HS.

I have been married for 26 years and have 2 daughters that graduated from ICC. My daughters are 25 and 19, they provide me with my greatest joy and sense of pride. We also have a Bengal cat named Gigi. I love living in the Northeast with its distinct change of seasons. During the summer, I enjoy traveling. I have been to Hawaii, Jamaica, the Dominican Republic, and Italy. Much of our family lives in Texas, so I visit there frequently. Cape Cod has become a summertime favorite as well.

Robin Sullivan, Teaching Assistant

I have worked for ICC for over 17 years. Currently, I supervise study halls and I am the coordinator of the Teen Weekend & Pantry Program and Ichabod’s Closet.

I am from Utica, NY, a wonderful place to grow up in, especially during the 1960-1980s. I received my Associate’s degree from Mohawk Valley Community College. Then it was off to Plattsburgh State for my Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees.
I met my husband almost 30 years ago in Albany and moved to the area. We have one son who graduated from ICC.

I love to quilt, hike, fish, travel and I love animals. At Ichabod Crane, I have formed relationships with the faculty, staff and students that I will always cherish.

Dave Ames, Teaching Assistant

Mr. Ames started working in the ICC school district in 2013 when he took over as head coach of the Varsity Baseball team. The next school year he was hired as a Teaching Assistant in the High School where he has been working ever since. His main job has been in the In-School Suspension room, but he has also taught Freshman Seminar the past two years. He is the Advisor for the Varsity Club and the Ichabod Crane Sports Network, through which our athletic events have been live-streamed this year as much as possible.

Mr. Ames is a graduate of Hudson High, received his Associate’s degree from Hudson Valley and his Bachelor’s degree from Drexel University. He is a member of the Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society and was inducted into the Ichabod Crane Honor Society as an honorary member in 2020. After coaching three seasons with the Varsity baseball team, he resigned from that position and moved on to Hudson Valley CC as their pitching coach where he spent two seasons. He is currently in his fourth season at the University at Albany where he works with the hitters and fielders and is the 1st base coach on game days. He has a wife (Mary) and 4 children (Camdyn, Haley, Ashley and Brayden) that all attend or have graduated from ICC. He and his wife currently own The Cage, an indoor baseball/softball facility in Hudson.

Julie Callaghan, Teaching Assistant

This is my 7th year at ICC HS and my second as a TA. Before that, I was the Building Sub. After graduating from SUNY Brockport in 1992 with a degree in English, I worked as a Direct Care worker for The Center for Disability Services in Loudonville, NY. After that, I worked in retail for a few years and then I had the opportunity to work as a TA for students with Autism at St. Coleman’s School in Watervliet, NY.

I am the proud mom of 5 kids. I got to spend 12 years at home with them, which is the most precious time of my life. Once they all began school at ICC, I worked as a TA at Maple Hill Preschool for 4 years but then jumped at the opportunity to work at ICC. Being on the same schedule as my children was important to me as a single mom. I have coached many of the kids (including my own) in the ICC school district in soccer and basketball. Outside of work, I enjoy spending time with my family, trips to the ocean and watching basketball (sometimes simultaneously).

Brenda Cole, Teaching Assistant

This is my first year at ICC and it has been a very welcoming place to be! After graduating from Maria College with a degree in Early Childhood I worked for CEO Head Start as a Home Visitor for a few years then headed to Vermont to work as an Outreach Worker for 10 years, I moved back to New York, got married and needed a schedule to accommodate my stepson’s school schedule so I became a Teaching Assistant and I am very happy I did. I have worked at Questar & Capital Region BOCES and also Sand Creek Middle School. I did take a short break from education to open my own business doing Dog Walking & Pet Sitting full time for 8 years. My life outside ICC keeps me busy with my 3 rescued Pit Bulls and volunteering for various rescue organizations, I also love to Kayak, flower arranging, interior design, the never-ending renovation of my home with my husband, reading, and it’s always a good day if I can add to my extensive music collection.

Ashley Southard, TA (Distance Learning)

This is my second year as a Teaching Assistant at Ichabod Crane High School, specifically for the Distance Learning Program. As an ICC alum, it’s a pleasure to be working for the school district that helped shape my education. As the Distance Learning TA, I work with students who are taking courses outside of the district for college credit. Being a TA is very rewarding for me. I enjoy building relationships with my students and watching them flourish as they begin to make lasting life choices. In my free time, I spend time outdoors with my husband (who is also an ICC alum), read, paint, or renovate our home.