Previous High School Spotlight Staff

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.