Previous High School Spotlight Staff

June 2021 – Counseling Dept. & Teaching Assistants

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.

April 2021 – World Languages, ENL, PE/Health Departments


Theresa Longhi, ENL Teacher

I have been teaching at ICC for 21 years.  I enjoy taking long walks at Jones Beach and Nauset Beach.  I also enjoy camping with my daughter.  I first fell in love with teaching in high school when Signora Berlini asked me to teach the past tense of “camminare” to the class.  From that moment on, I was hooked! A new addition to our family is Quinoa,  a two- year old tabby.  Her favorite pastimes are sleeping, eating and making sure the perimeter of the house is secure.

Dan Funk, Physical Education Teacher

Mr. Funk did not have a chance to submit for this month’s Spotlight Staff.

Tracy Nytransky (McComb), Physical Education Teacher

I’ve been teaching at Ichabod Crane for 20 years and teaching for 21 years. I spent my first year covering a maternity leave at Maple Hill Middle School.  In my career here, I have worked at both the middle school and the high school. I chose Phys. Ed because I love sports and athletics and want to be able to interest my students in many activities that they will hopefully participate in for life. I love to travel to the beach during the summer and am in the process of figuring out what state my retirement home will be in! 

I am married to the varsity baseball coach here at ICC and have two stepchildren, who are 23 and 15 years old. I have a chubby but adorable English bulldog named Kendrick who is ICC athletics biggest fan and two-step dogs, Piper and Lou that, who are golden retrievers. I also have coached the Varsity softball team here at ICC for 19 years, winning two state championships in the past six years (unfortunately covid stole our last two chances at another the past two years). I also coached varsity soccer for 15 years here at ICC and I am the advisor of the Girls Athletic Council. 

Fun fact- Christmas is my favorite holiday of all time and besides traveling to the beach or anywhere with clear blue water, I enjoy hanging out at home, sitting by a fire and listening to all kinds of music. I also am a big Yankees fan (so if you wear anything with Red Sox on it to class, you automatically fail) and a Raiders football fan.

Maureen Sgambelluri, Physical Education & Health Teacher

This is my 13th year teaching at Ichabod Crane. Prior to this, I taught for 7 years in my hometown of Niagara Falls, NY. A few of my students from there moved on to play professional football and basketball and I earned bragging rights after beating one of them at a game of knockout (who went on to play basketball for Syracuse and in the NBA). Being from Western New York I am a fan of their local teams, the Buffalo Bills and the Buffalo Sabres.

I am a graduate of Canisius College in Buffalo. I originally went to school for Sports Medicine with a minor in Physical Education. Although I loved athletic training, teaching PE and Health is where I felt I belonged long term. 

I currently live in Albany with my husband Steve, who works at LaSalle Institute, and my two sons Luca (6)  and Gabriel (2). Our free time is spent trying to wrangle the two boys and make memories with them. We love animals and tend to seek out all of the zoos and aquariums anywhere we go.

Sarah Cotsonas, MS/HS Health & Physical Education Teacher

Ichabod Crane has been a part of my life in many capacities, from student to teacher.  I am a 2005 graduate.  This is my 6th year as a health & physical education teacher at Ichabod.  For several years prior, I served as a substitute teacher for the district. After high school, I attended college at Castleton University in Vermont and majored in Physical Education.  I went on to earn my Master’s degree from Sage College in Community Health Education, School Promotion.

I didn’t always want to be a teacher.  When I was in 8th grade, I thought I wanted to get into computer science.  I was inspired by my high school teachers to become a Physical Education teacher myself.  I wanted to be able to share my love for sports and healthy living with my students.  It is my goal to educate, promote, guide, and prepare my students for healthy and active life experiences.

I reside within the district with my husband, Jim, daughter, Ava (4), and son, Logan (1 ½).  We have a puppy, Callie, two fish and two snails.  We enjoy beach vacations, camping, hiking, and kayaking.

Scott Stafiej, French Teacher

I am in my third year at Ichabod and my 8th year of teaching. My professional history suggests that I have eclectic interests. 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 1 ½ yr old daughter, both of whom are amazing and keep me on my toes. I also have 6 lovely brothers and sisters and a serious case of middle kid syndrome. 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 help create that society.

Lisa Duffek, Spanish Teacher

¡Hola!  This year marked my 35th year of teaching Spanish at Ichabod Crane.  I began teaching after graduating from St. Michael’s College in Winooski, Vermont with degrees in Secondary Education and Spanish.  I later obtained my Master’s degree from  SUNY Albany in the field of TESOL.  Ever since I was very young playing school in our basement, I wanted to be a teacher but did not know which field until I started taking languages in High School.  My two Spanish teachers were my role models.  I also took French and German in High School.  I taught French for one year at Ichabod as well.  Summers I would teach young adults Spanish and French at Brookwood Secure Center, which was definitely an experience for me and I did enjoy it.

I love to read, walk our dog and hang out with my husband and friends.  I take great pleasure in sitting outside and enjoying all that nature has to offer.  We have a family summer home in the mountains of Vermont and it is my favorite place to be.  A fun fact is that my husband and I owned a bakery in Hudson for three years called The Baker’s Whey.

March 2021 – The Science Department


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!

February 2021 – Social Studies Department


Bob Allard, Global History 9R/Economics

I am in my 4th year at ICC and 1st year teaching History. Previously, I taught in the Technology Department. I’m also Co-Advisor for the Model UN Club with Mr. Sanger.

I’ve been in the field of education since 2001 where I worked as a TA at Berkshire Farm Union Free School District. Since then I’ve been in and out of education spending time at New Lebanon CSD as a Substitute and Coach, at LaSalle School where I taught a variety of classes, and was Program Director for New Lebanon’s Summer Youth Program. Outside of education I’ve worked for a member of the NYS State Senate and for a member of Congress. I also spent a number of years as a carpenter restoring historic houses across Columbia County.

Outside of work, I’ve spent 17 years as a volunteer FireFighter being a part of two departments, the Lebanon Valley Protective Association and Valatie Fire Department. I’ve worked on a number of political campaigns from local to national elections. I’ve worked at both state and national conventions.

My favorite time is with my family. My wife Jennifer, who is also a Social Studies Teacher, and our daughter Olivia who is a student here at ICC. We have lived in the Village of Valatie since 2014 and love our town. We also love our vacations. Our current top spots are Walt Disney World and Cruising to CastAway Cay.

I entered the field of education because it is the family business. My parents were both teachers, my wife is a teacher, along with many other family members who were or are currently educators. While I have dabbled in other professions they always lead me back to teaching. It is that opportunity to not only inspire others but to be inspired by the students. A partnership in learning. To provide others with the chance to express themselves and see the ways they can create the future they want to see.

Jodi Gajadar, History Teacher

This is my eighth year at Ichabod after working towards my lifelong dream of teaching math. Somewhere along the way I realized that teaching history was much more fun.

When I’m not reading about the past I can be found knitting or baking. Thankfully, my students and colleagues are always willing to dispose of the cakes and cookies that come from my kitchen.

I think that understanding history is a crucial part of shaping our identity, yet all too often it is perceived as a bland list of facts. I became a teacher to help students connect to the stories and humanity in history so that they are better equipped to shape their own story.

Randy Goold, Global History 9H/AP World History/Global History 10R/US at War in the 20-21st Centuries

I’m currently in my 22nd year of teaching at ICC. I have also coached baseball, football, and advised Habitat for Humanity and Military modeling clubs here. While in college, I substitute taught at Chatham and ICC, coached football and baseball at Chatham, and was a camp counselor at Camp Adirondack on the northeastern shores of Lake George in Putnam Station, NY for two summers.

I have always loved reading, and history, and tend to go driving around looking for historical places to visit my entire life. Growing up in this area has its historical benefits to a student of history. I also enjoy anything involving the outdoors and sports – hiking, camping, hunting, fishing, motorcycling, scuba diving, etc.

My wonderful wife, Mrs. Goold is also a teacher here in the High School. Yes, I married the girl next door, and I couldn’t be happier because everything happens for a reason. We currently have a 6-month-old daughter Emma and hope to have 1-2 more kids in the near future. I love them both to the moon and back. They and the students here bring me happiness and joy every day.

When I was in school, I remember taking those interest inventory tests in middle and high school and they always said that I should be a teacher. At the time I said, “yeah right”. When I went to college at HVCC, I didn’t really know what I wanted to be. At first, I thought, maybe a pilot or engineer, but then quickly realized my math skills were lacking. After being placed on academic probation as part of the Honors Engineering program at college (which I couldn’t stand), I realized then that I needed a different path. I then turned to something that I always loved and had a great interest in – History, and then had a complete 180 in grades, and enjoyed what I was learning. I transferred to Cortland and had many great history professors there that pointed me toward teaching. I even helped teach a 300 level women’s history course as a Junior. As part of the program at Cortland, student teaching was next and I loved it. Every minute of it was fun and rewarding, and it pointed me where I needed to go in my life. I’m still having that fun today 22 plus years later, although it’s much different in a Covid world.

Patrick Sanger, US History/APUSH/Modern America Through Film/Participatory Government

I am teaching in my seventeenth year here at Ichabod Crane. I have spent my whole teaching career here at ICC after graduating from Siena in 2004. I’ve also coached JV and Varsity football, Modified Basketball, and Indoor and Outdoor Track & Field. I’ve also been an advisor to the Model UN Club and some classes. I love coaching track & field and being the Model UN advisor because it gives me another way to connect with students and see their unique abilities at work. Some of the best moments of my teaching career have come from watching the work kids put in on the track and seeing them blossom in front of four thousand other kids at the Harvard Model UN Conference.

I am a teacher because it’s the only thing I’ve ever really wanted to do. I grew up in an area where the history of the American Revolution was all around me, and that, as well as some really terrific social studies teachers in high school and history professors in college, fostered my love of history and education. I continue to teach social studies and civics because it matters. In the turbulent times in which we live, it’s more important than ever to help the next generations understand where we came from, how we got here, and what they can do to make a positive difference in our nation and our world.

I am the lucky father of two, Lincoln and Luke, and married for ten years to my wonderful wife Lyndy (this feels like a Wheel of Fortune introduction now.) Lincoln is almost 6 and in Kindergarten, and Luke is 3 going on 16. I love to watch movies, read, and spend time playing with my kids. I am a huge comic book fan, having over five thousand in my collection, collecting since I was a kid. I still read and collect and have passed that love on to my boys. I love the St. Lawrence River and try to spend as much time there as humanly possible during the summer.

Brian Smith, Global 10 USH

I’m the new teacher most of you have never heard of. February is only my second month here at IC filling in for Ms. G. I have, however, spent the past 12 years teaching Global 9 and Global 10 at Cohoes High School. Cohoes is where I grew up and where I graduated from before returning as a teacher and a soccer coach for years. I did coach against IC several times – sorry.

I am an avid fan of not growing up. Whether it’s sports, music, art, learning more, trying new things, or being around my children as well as high school students – this will keep me young. I’m a huge sports fan and a life-long fan of the Buffalo Bills, NY Mets, Notre Dame football, Duke basketball and sadly, even the Knicks. I love hiking, swimming, fishing and camping. I enjoy daily crossword puzzles and watching Jeopardy each evening with my wife. One of my favorite things to do while I’m relaxed or stressed is to draw and/or listen to great tunes. I’m a huge fan of The Beatles, Grateful Dead, Pearl Jam, Tom Petty and many, many others.

As I mentioned I am married to my amazing wife, Lisa who teaches 3rd grade at Mohonasen. Cute story alert; teaching is a second career for both of us and we met in the final course of grad school at St. Rose before we began student teaching – awww. We are so blessed to have two wonderful, silly children: Tommy and Maggie. They are 5 and 3, and a whole lot of energy! In June, we added the newest member to our family adopting a 3-year-old, Plott Hound/lab mix named Sandy. She’s an 80lb “lap dog” that is just the perfect pal to all of us.

I’ve always wanted to teach social studies. The influence came from a few great teachers I had. As I stated, teaching is a second career for me and I believe that’s just given me so much more perspective about what I’m passionate about and there is no place I’d rather be than standing up in front of a classroom of students putting on the show. Aside from that, (to quote Gandhi) I want to live like there’s no tomorrow and learn like I’ll live forever. That means seeing the world. I’d love to travel the world, meeting local people, trying local foods, experiencing various local customs and celebrations, as if I were the host on some Travel Channel/Food Network series. Please learn that with passion comes purpose. Once you discover your true passion, you’ll understand its purpose.

January 2021 – Math Department


Victoria Austin, Algebra Teacher

This is my third year teaching at Ichabod and my second year as a co-advisor for the Class of 2022. Prior to joining the Ichabod family, I taught for two years at Albany Leadership Charter High School for Girls. I recently just finished my Master’s degree at SUNY Albany in Curriculum Instruction and Educational Technology. I also have a Bachelor’s degree from The College of Saint Rose, and an Associate’s degree from Hudson Valley Community College. In my spare time, I work at Denny’s and I love doing Puzzles! I am a huge family person and love spending time with my 3 sisters, my niece, and my parents. Last year I was able to cross a huge bucket-list item off by visiting Ireland! It was incredible and I would love to go back. My favorite place to be is Schroon Lake. I love sports, and music, and enjoy singing Karaoke from time to time!

Emily Lock, Geometry/Algebra Teacher

This is my 6th year at Ichabod Crane High school, but LUCKY 13th year teaching Geometry/Algebra. Prior to Ichabod Crane, I taught at Tamarac HS and Albany Leadership Charter HS for Girls. I am originally from Voorheesville NY (GO BLACKBIRDS!!) and have always known I wanted to teach. After HS I went to HVCC for Independent Studies and then transferred to the College of Saint Rose for my undergraduate and graduate degrees. I am so fortunate to be here at ICC teaching Algebra and Geometry – I truly enjoy watching the 9th and 10th graders mature their first years of high school. I currently reside in Latham with my husband, and 3 children. Outside of school, you can find me on the sidelines of a field cheering on my kids, snowboarding in Vermont during the winter, at concerts or taking mini road trips to a BEACH in the summer. FUN FACT – I LOVE SCHOOL SPIRIT DAYS!!! Geeky math tee shirts and ICC wear are my favorites!!

Meredith Grizzaffi, Math Teacher

This is my thirteenth year teaching at Ichabod Crane. I love teaching math because it is the only subject that counts! 🙂 I spend my free time with friends, family, and our dog, Suki. I have a son, Gianni, who turned two in September. We love to build and learn about construction vehicles together! We also enjoy doing a lot of counting, singing, baking and reading. My husband, John, has a restaurant in Slingerlands, called Garden Bistro 24, where we all spend a lot of time. Covid has helped us to develop an appreciation and new love for yoga and hiking!

Courtney Dobkins, Math Teacher

This is my 20th year teaching at Ichabod Crane High School and my 24th year teaching overall. I couldn’t imagine a better place to work. I love my job and appreciate all the people I get to see and work with every day.

Outside of school, you will find me with my family enjoying the great outdoors. We love riding our bikes, skiing, swimming and hiking. I have a creative side and you might find me sewing or doing a craft with my son, Sawyer. I am really looking forward to the day when we can have a sewing club after school once again.

I have taken my love of teaching to the slopes as an adaptive ski instructor for STRIDE at Jiminy Peak. For the last 7 years, I have the great opportunity to help those with disabilities enjoy the thrill of the hill.

Linda Knight, Math Teacher

My career in teaching began at the Hudson City School District, after graduating from Bucknell University in 1987. Shortly afterward, I met my husband John, we married and moved to Chatham where we have lived and raised our two children Andrew and MaryKate for over 30 years. After staying home for a few years while my children were young, I returned to teaching in 2001 when I came to Ichabod where I have taught for the past 20 years. I knew from an early age that I wanted to teach Math. I enjoy seeing my students get excited when they know an answer is correct because it checks and “makes sense”. I love teaching at Ichabod Crane and am always impressed by the many talents and accomplishments of our students. When I am not at school, I spend my time with our family including our 2 two dogs and four cats. Much of my free time has always been spent watching soccer games as both John and Andrew coach at the high school and college level, respectively. MaryKate lives in Boston where she works as a Wedding and Event Planner. When I have any free time I like to garden, read, Zumba and really enjoyed our recent visit to the beautiful lights display at Naumkeag.

Dave Vona, Computer Science & Math Teacher

At the time of this writing, I have been a teacher at Ichabod for approximately 8.4598930481283422 school years. Approximately. Actually, now that I think about it, I also spent some time as a substitute teacher. Plus, I am a graduate of Ichabod Crane. Assuming my math is correct (awkward if it’s not), I have spent close to 23 years with the district. 23 glorious years. I stepped away from Ichabod for a little bit to get my undergraduate degree from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in Information Technology and Management Information Systems. Say that 10 times fast. I also have Master’s Degrees in Secondary Education and Public Administration from the University at Albany. I use those degrees to teach a mix of Computer Science and Statistics courses here at Ichabod.

Quick sidebar, if you’re a parent reading this and your child is not taking a Statistics class, you should really encourage them to sign up. Understanding Statistics is incredibly valuable in this day and age. Sidebar over. Prior to coming back to Ichabod as a teacher, I worked as a computational social scientist for a company that focused on national security. When not teaching, I enjoy running. That’s it, just running. I also own an embarrassingly large board game collection and have thru-hiked the Appalachian Trail from Maine to Georgia. I am incredibly grateful that the district has allowed me the opportunity to bring Computer Science education to our students. It’s a true joy to watch them grow as people and programmers as they move through high school. Here’s hoping I get to do it for another 23 years.

December 2020 – English Department


Tom Chiappinelli, English Teacher

I have been at Ichabod Crane for 34 years. Before I came here I taught in New Jersey and White Plains. This is my 37th year of teaching. When I am not at school, I play trumpet in the Averill Park Community Orchestra, I play piano at home, and I love to work on cars and currently have a 1977 MG. Prior to that, I owned a 1958 Buick. I also enjoy flying remote control airplanes. I live with my wife, AnnMarie, who is an occupational therapist, and I have 2 children. My son Brian is a professional musician who also runs his own recording studio, and my daughter Kerry works in a veterinarian’s office, and she is also an excellent musician. One of my favorite things to do is to play music with my children.

Katie Goold, English Teacher

This is my fourth year teaching at Ichabod Crane High School. I taught at Shenendehowa prior to coming here, but I completed my student teaching here and always wanted to come back. I am a graduate of Siena College and have a master’s degree in literacy education from UAlbany. I love teaching students to think for themselves and share their ideas; communication and discussion is a significant part of my teaching and what I hope students take away from my courses. Outside of school, I enjoy hiking and snowshoeing to fire towers with my husband, Mr. Goold of the history department. We both enjoy the Adirondacks and being outside in all weather–even for our mask breaks! I also enjoy riding my horse, Daizee, who I have had for ten years. But most of all, I love to spend time reading and playing with my four-month-old daughter, Emma.

Nancy Dolan, English Teacher

After seven years of teaching English in the New York City Public School System, and marrying my husband Joe, I moved to Kinderhook and began teaching at Niskayuna High School. Soon thereafter I was blessed with two beautiful children; Susanna and Joseph and decided to become a stay-at-home mom. Once both children were off to school, I began substituting at Ichabod, eventually becoming a Teacher’s Assistant which then blossomed into my current role as a full-time ninth-grade English teacher. I have a passion for sharing my love of literature with my students and watching them grow as readers, writers, and individuals. Outside of the classroom, I enjoy taking long walks with my dog Daisy, experimenting in the kitchen, spending time with family and friends, and above all relaxing with a good book!

Mallory Favreau, Special Education & English Teacher

This is my second year here at Ichabod. After graduating from Le Moyne College I taught for 3 years in Ithaca. While there, I obtained my master’s degree in literacy education at SUNY Cortland. I love making connections with my students and watching them develop and grow as people throughout the year! When I’m not in school I enjoy several outdoor activities. I love to kayak, hike, ski, golf, and I frequently spend my weekends in the Adirondacks visiting my parents. I also really enjoy music and go to every concert I possibly can. I used to have fish but have decided after several losses that the pet life just isn’t for me!

Dan Farley, English Teacher & Administrator

This is my thirteenth year at ICHS, where it has been my privilege to serve as both the Assistant Principal and as an English Teacher. Before I came here, I taught for 17 years in Troy City Schools, at Questar 3 as a Staff Developer, and at several other districts as a substitute teacher. I served as an Infantry Officer in the United States Army, the New York Army National Guard and the Reserves. I also served as a Volunteer Firefighter in East Greenbush. I am the advisor for the Garden Club, the Military Modeling Club, the Literary Magazine, Anime Club, and I am a co-advisor for the current Freshman Class. My wife and I have 6 children, 1 dog, 1 cat, 14 chickens, 5 turtles, 4 ducks, and a lot of fish tanks. I am active in my church in East Greenbush and I am also an Assistant Scoutmaster for Troop 41 in East Greenbush. One of my goals is to become a 46er and climb the highest peaks of the Adirondacks with my family and my scouts.

Megan Yeats, English Teacher

This is my eighth year at Ichabod Crane and seventeenth as an English teacher. I am also the tennis coach at ICC. Prior to Ichabod, I taught for nine years at Desert Ridge High School in Arizona where I coached high school tennis and badminton. After graduating from Hudson High School, I attended Arizona State University on an athletic scholarship for tennis. I graduated from the Barrett Honors College with an English major and a Spanish minor. After graduating from Arizona State, I earned my Master’s in Teaching English from Union College. I also earned my National Board Certification in 2009. I love connecting with students and supporting them as they work hard to achieve their goals. In my free time, I enjoy reading, going for walks, and spending time with family and friends.