Middle School Spotlight Staff

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 Middle School Spotlight Staff for February 2021 are the Grade 4 & 5 Teachers!

Scroll past names for submitted Spotlight Staff pictures and see previous Middle School Spotlight Staff here.

Jennifer Rickert & Mrs. Ooms, 4th Grade Collaborative Teachers

This is Mrs. Rickert’s and Mrs. Ooms’ third year working together as a collaborative fourth grade team, but they’ve been friends for a long time! Mrs. Rickert is in her 28th year of teaching, and Mrs. Ooms is in her 24th year. They have both dedicated their entire careers to the children of the Ichabod Crane Community.

Mrs. Rickert lives in Chatham Center and enjoys living nearby! Mrs. Rickert and her husband, Joe, have three beautiful daughters, and one awesome son-in-law! They have two dogs and one grand-dog. In her spare time, Mrs. Rickert likes to hike, go to the beach, garden, and read. She was inspired to go into teaching by her Mom, who was also a teacher. Other mentors in Mrs. Rickert’s career have been Melissa Murray, Maureen VanDeusen, and Barb Ireland, her long-time teaching partner.

Mrs. Ooms lives in Valatie and also enjoys living in the community where she raised her beautiful family of four children with her husband, Michael. The Ooms are also dog lovers, and they currently have one dog and many grand dogs! Mrs. Ooms can be found doing her daily walk with Mrs. Wheeler, cooking great meals, and doing crafts. Mrs. Ooms went into teaching because of her love for children, and some of her inspiration has come from Mrs. Grace, her first grade teacher, and Maureen VanDeusen.

Mrs. Rickert and Mrs. Ooms are both content if they are spending time with family, especially if they are feeding them! At school, they love seeing their students grow and are both eager to continue to improve their craft and learn something new every day!

Ms. Mallery, 4th Grade Teacher (Remote for 20-21)

This is my 14th year at Ichabod, all of those years in 4th and 5th grade. At my previous job, I was a reading specialist. I live in Delmar with Joe, my son Kyle, and my dog Remy. I have another son, Ryan, who lives in Albany. In my spare time, I enjoy reading, going to the beach, and bike riding.

I have always wanted to be a teacher since I was a little girl. I can still remember forcing my younger sisters to sit with encyclopedias stacked up in front of them while I “taught” them how to read!!! I love watching kids grow and learn, especially that moment when they get something! The look on their face and their sense of accomplishment are priceless. Although I am remote this year, I am still enjoying seeing the students sweet little faces, even if it is only on a computer screen. I can’t wait until I can see them all in person!

Mrs. Marcella, 4th Grade Special Ed. Teacher

I am Emily Marcella and this is my 14th year teaching students ranging from grades K-5. I previously taught as a reading specialist and a classroom teacher in the Schenectady City School District and have called Ichabod my home for the last 7 years. In our district, I have taught as a second and fourth-grade Special Education Teacher in a collaborative setting. During my time here, I have collaborated with the AMAZING Ichabod Crane school community and have furthered my love for teaching and learning alongside my students, their parents and my colleagues. I have met some of my favorite people and best friends at Ichabod and continue to be grateful for the happiness and joy this community brings to me!

I live in Guilderland, NY, with my husband John and our two children Shawn and Regan. As a family, we spend our free time with our friends and extended family, going to the beach, spending time on our boat in Lake George, snowboarding and going to Shawn and Regan’s baseball, football and soccer games! My favorite food is mashed potatoes with ketchup and my favorite color is pink! My favorite sports team is the Buffalo Bills!

I look forward to many more years of love, friendship and learning at Ichabod Crane! GO BILLS!

Maria Walsh, 4th Grade Teacher

This is my 23rd year teaching. I spent the first two years of my career teaching 3rd grade at Sacred Heart in Troy. In my first year at Ichabod, I taught third grade; the remaining years have been spent teaching fourth grade. I have wanted to be a teacher for as long as I can remember. Being a teacher is a rewarding profession. Seeing the look on my student’s faces when they finally make a breakthrough and understand something they have been struggling with is one of the best parts of my job! I love that every day is different and every year is a fresh start.

I live in Wynantskill with my husband, two children, and our dog Chip. In my free time, I enjoy spending time with my family, cooking, shopping, and getting my nails done.

Susan Jermain, 5th Grade Teacher

I was born to be a teacher. I’ve taught many children, their children, and even some grandchildren. In another lifetime, I might have been a photographer, graphic designer, or art teacher, yet I’ve still been able to share all these interests with my students. I was blessed when the Ichabod Crane community welcomed me, and I have been here ever since. There is no place I’d rather be, learning and growing together.

Teresa Kirker, 4th Grade Teacher

This is the 27th year of my teaching career. The majority of my teaching experience has been in fourth grade. However, I did teach one year in sixth grade, but my heart belongs in fourth grade! I live in Latham with my husband and three children. I cannot leave out my adorable yellow lab, Max. Teaching and spending time with my family are my favorite things to do; although, I do enjoy shopping too. I feel fortunate to have a career that is so rewarding and gratifying. I am grateful for every student I have had the privilege to teach.

Mary Middleton, 5th Grade Teacher

I have been teaching at Ichabod Crane for 13 years. Most of that time has been as a 6th grade special education teacher. This year I am enjoying my 5th grader class, but I really do love teaching 6th. For as long as I can remember, I dreamed of becoming a teacher. Growing up in a large family meant I was surrounded by children, which I believe started it all. I can remember playing school with my nieces and nephews and hoping someday I would have a real class. The best part of the job is seeing the excitement in the children and watching them grow and learn everyday. There is no other job more rewarding.

I live in East Nassau with my husband Mike, two boys, Ian and Chase and our dog Shasta. As a family we love to travel on our boat in the summer. We have taken several trips on our boat including down to Long Island, up the Erie Canal to the St. Lawrence River and most recently to Lake Champlain. During the winter months we also enjoy the outdoors while snowmobiling. When I’m not traveling I spend my time with family and friends.

I look forward to many more years of teaching here at Ichabod Crane.

Kelly Bifano, Special Ed. Teacher

This is my 14th year teaching at Ichabod Crane and I also graduated from here! Currently, I am a Special Education Teacher in 4th and 5th grade. I have always wanted to become a teacher ever since I was little. I remember answering phone calls in my mom’s classroom and wanting to be just like her. I love working with children and my favorite part is teaching them to read.

I live in East Greenbush with my husband and two boys. I love the outdoors, spending time with family, and running. I am so lucky to call Ichabod my home and look forward to many more years!

Kimberly Palmer, 4th Grade Teacher

This is my 28th year working at Ichabod Crane and my 30th year teaching. I have taught 1st, 3rd and 4th grade. I have always wanted to be a teacher. I used to play “school” and teach my stuffed animals when I was little. I continue to love coming to school and working with my students every day.

I grew up and continue to live in Albany with my husband and son. I spend my time outside of school with my family or at the barn riding horses. I also like going on adventures and ziplining.