Middle 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 Middle School Spotlight Staff are the Music, Art, Technology, Library, FACS (Family & Consumer Science) & Grade 6-8 Special Ed. Teachers!
Scroll past names for submitted Spotlight Staff pictures and see previous Middle School Spotlight Staff here.
Jessica Borrell Mascolo, Art Teacher, Grades 6-8
This is my 17th year working here. I live in North Greenbush with my husband of 7 years and sons; Noah; 12, Michael; 6 on St. Patrick’s Day, and Luca; 3. In what little free time I have, I like to work on puzzles, sewing and painting projects, and I work out. In the winter I enjoy skiing and sledding with my boys. In the warmer weather, I enjoy long jogs with my 2-year-old in the buggy, camping, kayaking and hiking.
I became an Art teacher so that I could enjoy doing one of my favorite things and share it, and teach it to others, but my dedication to the children and their lives has grown. Not only do I hope to instill an interest in Art in my students, but a respect for everything and everyone around them, and a responsibility to themselves and others.
Due to my birth date of 12/25, my father wanted to give me the Middle Name; Noel. Thankfully he decided against naming me Jessica Noel Borrell.
Marianne Noll, Special Education Teacher, Grade 7
I have been working at Ichabod Crane since 1987. I am married and have two children, who both graduated from the district. My hobbies include spending time with my family, hiking, cross country skiing, kayaking, and reading. I love the ocean and try to visit as often as I can.
I have always wanted to be a teacher and was the kid that played school when I was little. I enjoy working with all of the students and getting to know them.
Fun fact: I went to the Empire State Games for archery when I was in high school and college.
Maureen Kuhn, FACS/CTE Teacher, Grades 6-8
I have been teaching at Ichabod for 19 years. I’m certified in FACS and Health Education. I have a husband who is an Archeologist, daughter, son and granddaughter. My hobbies are hiking, kayaking, baking, and pumping iron.
Teaching at Ichabod came after a 10-year career in the fitness industry where I ran fitness programs and taught weight training, aerobics, cardio kickboxing, spinning and even college PE classes. I’ve coached diving, gymnastics and track. Teaching middle school has been the most rewarding of all my work endeavors. I wanted to teach children how to be fit before they become adults.
Fun Facts: Before I got old, I competed in track, bodybuilding, International Aerobics competition and was in an exercise video.
Jacquelyn Purificato, Special Education Teacher, Grade 6
I have been working at Ichabod Crane for 30 years. After working with Questar, I had the opportunity to choose the district I wanted to teach at and I made the right choice.
I have been married for 36 years, have two wonderful sons, a beautiful daughter-in-law, a ten-year-old granddaughter and a 5-year-old grandson. I enjoy spending time with my family.
My husband is a professional photographer so I have had the opportunity to travel to many beautiful places. Wildlife is his favorite, and Alaska was a great place for pictures.
Michael Spruck, Special Education Teacher, Grade 8
This is my first year at Ichabod Crane! Hobbies for me include: working out, cooking, watching movies, reading, writing, swimming, and spending time with friends. I have two cats named Cory and Shawn (they are named after the main characters from the television show Boy Meets World).
Growing up, English was always my favorite subject and I was lucky enough to have great teachers. I always knew I wanted to work in a role where I could help students improve their reading and writing skills. I love seeing the excitement in students when they succeed on something and seeing the growth of individual students within a school year.
Fun Facts: An uncle on my father’s side of the family was Jimmy Durante, best known as the singer and narrator of Frosty the Snowman. An uncle on my mother’s side of the family was an animator that drew for several cartoon shows, including Looney Tunes, Animaniacs, Tiny Toons, and Heckle and Jeckle.
Melanie Diaz, Music Teacher, Grades 4-8
This is my first year teaching at the ICCSD! During my free time, I like to do yoga, hike, play the piano and find new recipes to cook.
For the last 5 years, I have been on my own upstate while most of my family resides in Queens, NY or in Florida. I love to teach music because it uses so many different parts of the body, engaging the mind, heart, feet, eyes, and many more! Music is truly a well-rounded subject that is included in our everyday lives, and I think it is a gift that I would love to share with as many people as I can!
A fun fact about me is that I love to sing opera. There aren’t many opportunities to perform nowadays, but in the future, I hope to join ensembles and perform once again! Also, I have had a pet tortoise for a little over 3 years now. His name is Reggie and he’s just about the size of my hand!
Alessandra Shellard, Band Director, Grades 6-8
This is my second year at Ichabod Crane! When I’m not practicing or listening to music I enjoy running, golfing, and following the best baseball team in the world: the New York Yankees.
Music has always been a special part of my life and I love being able to share that with my students. I love teaching students how to create something beautiful, whether that’s on their own or in an ensemble. Not only does participating in music foster a lifelong appreciation for the arts, but I also enjoy teaching my students goal-setting, organizational, and teamwork skills.
Fun fact: I once went bowling with the principal clarinet player in the Metropolitan Opera Orchestra!
Danielle Gorman, Special Education Teacher, Grades 6-8
This is my fourth year at ICMS! I love being able to work with three grade levels because it gives me the opportunity to meet many different students and teachers! I became a teacher because I want my students to know that they are capable of anything that they put their minds to. I truly cherish all of the relationships that I have built with all of my students here at Ichabod Crane.
In my free time, I enjoy spending time with my family, friends and my dog Gypsy! My favorite football team is the SanFrancisco 49ers. I do not like the winter or cold weather at all. In the summertime, I enjoy going to concerts, the beach and the Saratoga Race Course!
Fun Fact: I got engaged in August of 2020 so this will be my last school year as Ms. Gorman!
Maggie Rempe, Chorus & Music Teacher, Grades 6-8
What a blast my first year at Ichabod Crane has been so far! It has been a treat to get to know my students and this community in a crazy circumstance like this one. The best part? I get to do so by making music in whatever ways we can! I love getting the chance to see young people get creative and discover new things about themselves.
I am from the East End of Long Island, and anyone who knows me will know that I identify heavily with that. I love the beach, but I also love hiking, so the adjustment to Upstate life has been a little easier because of that. I also love reading, sewing, taking care of my house plants, and cooking/baking (Ina Garten is one of my culinary idols- and from my neck of the woods!)
Fun Fact: Before I decided to become a music teacher, I wanted to go to pastry school. It wasn’t until I was in 11th grade that I decided this! I couldn’t be happier with that decision, no matter how late it might have been!
Mary Kapusinsky, Art Teacher, Grades 4 & 5
I have been working at Ichabod Crane for 2 years now. I still feel ‘new’ in a way. It has been a pleasure to get to know everyone. I have many hobbies. Creating art is more of a necessity than a hobby. It’s something I can’t live without. I also love to fix, repair, and build things like instruments, furniture, statues, and more. I also like to grow houseplants. I have a large collection of exotic orchids from around the world. I also enjoy hiking and jogging. Staying connected with nature is important to me.
One thing that I enjoy about teaching is seeing students discover new aspects of themselves by creating their own art. Providing opportunities for creativity is a vital part of self-development. A great day is when a student teaches me something new about art, which happens often. Working with grades 4 and 5 has been very rewarding.
Fun fact: A few years ago my dad’s side of the family reconnected with our family branch in Slovakia and the Czech Republic. Now I know I have European cousins with the same last name as me!
Christine Hamm, Special Education Teacher, Grade 6
This is my 5th year at Ichabod Crane as a special education teacher. I also worked as a teaching assistant here for a year and a half after college graduation. Ever since I can remember my dream was to be a teacher. I use this as inspiration for my students to follow their passion.
During my free time, I enjoy going for walks with my dog, Mack, taking spin classes, and spending time with my family (especially my two energetic nephews) and friends. I love the ocean and try to spend as much time as possible in the summer on the beach with a good mystery book.
One interesting fun fact is I am a graduate of Ichabod Crane. I have had the pleasure to work side by side with some of my former teachers who inspired me many years ago to follow my dreams.
Beth Kelly, Librarian
This is my 14th year at Ichabod Crane as a Librarian. When I started, I split my time between Martin Van Buren and Martin H. Glynn Elementary Schools, until they closed and then I came here!
I took a long and varied path to teaching. My original degrees were in Philosophy and Psychology. I worked as a cashier in several places, and then as a bank teller. I then decided to get my MLS and worked as a Government Documents Librarian at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute. After I had kids, I thought working in a school would be fun, so I went back and got my School Media Certification, and started here right after I graduated. I was right – I really do love this job.
I’ve been married for almost 25 years, and have 2 kids. My daughter Maeve is a Junior at Binghamton University and my son Paul is a Freshman, also at Binghamton.
Fun facts: I am a die-hard Nebraska Cornhusker football fan and I love to travel.
Stephen Leader, Technology Education Teacher, Grades 7 & 8
This is my 10th year at Ichabod Crane and my 21st year teaching Technology Education. I am the proud father of four amazing children who range in age from 12-20 years old. I’ve always had a love for building things, cars and basically anything with a motor. I enjoy snowmobiling, jet skiing, boating, fishing, trap shooting, woodworking, fixing things and spending time outdoors.
Teaching is a second career for me. After graduating High School, I attended HVCC, where I received an Associates’s Degree in Automotive. I then worked for Chevrolet as an Automotive Technician for 6 years before attending SUNY Oswego and receiving my Bachelor’s degree in Technology Education.
I absolutely love working at Ichabod Crane and I look forward to finishing out my teaching career here.
Amy Giammattei, 5th Grade Band Teacher & Grade 5-8 Instrumental Lessons
I have been the 5th-grade band director at Ichabod Crane for over 24 years and tt feels like I’ve been here longer because I am also a graduate of Ichabod Crane. My grandmother and mother also graduated from Ichabod Crane!
I earned my bachelor’s degree in music education from Ithaca College and my master’s degree in music performance from East Carolina University.
My love of music began in 5th grade when I started playing the trombone. My music teachers at Ichabod Crane were the biggest influences on me becoming a music teacher and made me want to share my love of music with children.
For fun, I play in a rock/horn band and I love to ride motorcycles. In the summertime, I teach beginner and advanced motorcycle classes at Hudson Valley Community College.