Previous Primary Spotlight Staff

January 2021 – 3rd Grade Team

 

Berit Erickson, Teacher

This is my 16th year at ICC. I enjoy cooking for my family, reading, sailing and working out. I am married with two grown children. I have an 8-year-old grandson and a granddaughter who is due any day now. I was a struggling student who was blessed with wonderful teachers over the years that showed me their love for learning and instilled in me that love.

Maria Doubrava, Special Ed. Teacher

This is my 9th year working as a special education teacher at ICC. Since I was a young girl I always knew I wanted to help people, young children specifically. There is nothing more rewarding to me when I see a child make a breakthrough or reach a goal they have worked so hard to achieve. I am married with a son and daughter. I enjoy exercising, baking, the ocean and spending time with my family and friends.

Maxine Seaman, Special Ed. Teaching Assistant

This is my 5th year working at ICC, and I love it! I’m originally from the Finger Lakes region. I have 2 sons, my oldest is a 2020 Ichabod graduate, and my youngest attends the 11th grade. I enjoy spending time with my family, friends and pets, camping, hiking and general merriment 🙂 I love getting to know the children and helping them feel comfortable and confident in their learning and personal growth. Their enthusiasm inspires me.

Lauren Garzon, Remote Teacher

This is my 23rd year of teaching, with 16 of those years at Ichabod Crane. It’s nice to see the students I remember now as Moms and Dads with little ones of their own. It warms my heart. I love teaching and helping students learn. My hobbies are learning languages, studying, church activities, and learning new things.

Christy Bailey, Teacher

I have been teaching for 14 years, with 10 of them being at Ichabod Crane. Ever since I was in Kindergarten, I knew I wanted to be a teacher. I love helping students become confident in their abilities and reach their true potential. I live with my husband and three daughters, Madison, Mia and Makenna. I enjoy spending time with my family, baking and going to Maine each summer!

Darcy Burns, Teacher

I have been teaching at Ichabod Crane for 16 years. I have taught 2nd, 3rd and 4th grade. I want to instill a desire for my students to keep wanting to learn and grow. I live with my husband, two daughters Lily and Emmie, Dog Rocky and cat Hannah. I enjoy spending time with my family and playing tennis.

Mary Oles, Teacher

I have worked at Ichabod Crane, specifically the Primary School, for 23 years. It has been my pleasure to teach the young children of this community. I was raised here in Kinderhook. It is my hope to instill the love of learning in all of my students. I am married and have two grown sons. Gardening is second to my love of teaching. I also enjoy reading and hiking in the woods.

Lisa LaBrie, Teacher

This is my 25th year of teaching! I am extremely rooted in the ICC community. I graduated from ICC and roamed these very same hallways as a child. My two grown, beautiful and talented daughters are also ICC grads. Both my parents are true blue Riders having graduated from ICC in the 50s. Needless to say, I have a ton of school spirit! Outside of school, I love to spend time with my daughters and husband. I love hiking, gardening, home projects and traveling. Being a teacher has been one of my greatest pride and joys!

Erin Shull, Teacher

I have been a teacher for 18 years, but this is my 14th year teaching here at ICC. All of my years at Ichabod have been in third grade. Although my husband and I have been working in the district for many years, we only recently moved to the area 4 years ago in order for our 3 children to attend this district. I love to read, spend time with my friends and family, watch movies, and travel – especially to the beach. Since I was just 6 years old my mother ran a daycare business in our home and I have known since then that I just love spending my days with children!

Ashley Mitchell, Teacher

I have worked for Ichabod Crane for 11 years doing various jobs. This is my 6th year in third grade. I live with my husband and our three children. We love visiting the beach and going on adventures outside. I had known I wanted to be a teacher from a young age. I love to teach and watch children learn and grow.

Meg Bortugno, Special Ed. Teaching Assistant

I have worked for ICC for 13 years. I like to read, garden, and cook. I have lived in the area for 26 years with my husband, our 2 sons, and daughter. I enjoy helping students to understand the skills that will help them through life.

Sandra Funk, Teaching Assistant

This is my 16th year working at Ichabod Crane. I am also the primary school backpack coordinator. I am originally from Brooklyn, NY. I have 3 grown children, Toni-Ann, Maria, and Nicholas. I love to craft, cook, and spend time with family and my dog Duke! I love working with my students and watching them grow! There is nothing better than watching an ah-ha moment!!


December 2020 – 2nd Grade Team

 

Holly Vincent, Teacher

This will be my eleventh year teaching and my eighth year teaching second grade. In addition to teaching second grade, I have taught fifth grade as well as grades 1-5 as a reading and math specialist. I live in Schodack with my husband Jim, two children: Amelia (6), Graham (2) and our miniature dachshund Gracie. I enjoy spending time with my family, reading and being outdoors. To me, teaching is truly remarkable! It is an extraordinary feeling to watch your students expand and apply concepts.


Jennifer Warrington, Special Ed. Teacher

This is my twelfth year of teaching and my sixth year teaching second grade in the Primary School at Ichabod Crane. I live in Schodack with my husband and three children. I enjoy spending time outdoors with my children and visiting the ocean whenever I can! I also like to visit some of the many lakes in the capital region. My favorite part about teaching is helping students grow in a nurturing environment where everyone is able to enjoy learning.


Denise Holzhauer, Special Ed. Teaching Assistant

This is my second year as a special education teaching assistant at Ichabod Crane. I live in Valatie with my husband, Scott, and my sons, Cameron (2020 ICC grad) and Brady (9th grade). In my free time, I enjoy playing with my pets, watching my boys play sports, and spending time outdoors with my family. I have spent my entire career working with children, and I am very happy to have found a new home at Ichabod Crane. I love working with all of the students and especially enjoy helping them learn new skills.


Jennifer Beebe, Remote Teacher

This is my sixteenth year teaching at Ichabod Crane. Some of my hobbies are tennis, reading, decorating, and organizing. I have one daughter who is three and a half years old and just started preschool. I live in Kinderhook with my husband, Jarrod and our daughter Harper. We have a wonderful dog named Porthos. The reason I teach is to inspire children to want to become life-long learners.


Shauna Caldwell, Teacher

This is my 18th year teaching second grade at the Primary School. I loved teaching here so much that I moved to Valatie so my own children would be able to go to Ichabod Crane. My husband and I have an eight-year-old son in third grade and a 3-year-old daughter. Outside of school, I love to be outdoors in nature and to just spend time with my family. I have wanted to be a teacher as far back as I can remember. I love teaching because there is never a dull moment! It is an honor to be a part of my students’ lives and to hopefully inspire them to grow as learners.


MaryAnn Gorke-Verro, Teacher

This is my twenty-fourth year in the classroom at the primary level. I knew as a child I wanted to become a teacher because of my love for being with children. My favorite part of the day is watching their desire to read all types of texts with confidence and enjoyment. I live in Valatie with my husband and dog, Noel. I have 5 beautiful children and 3 adorable grandchildren. In my spare time, I adore cooking for friends and family, hanging out at the beach, going on long walks and getting cozy with a good book! I feel so blessed to have a profession that still keeps me skipping down the hall to my classroom!


Chris Hughes, Teacher

This is my 24th year here at Ichabod Crane. I have been teaching in some capacity since I was a teen. I initially taught small children and disabled adults how to swim. My favorite part of teaching is making that personal connection with a child and seeing them blossom as a learner. I live in Valatie with my black lab Gracie. I have three grown children and a daughter-in-law and a son-in-law. I just became a grandmother for the first time on December 7th! There is nothing like being an Oma! I love gardening, hiking and biking and spending time with my family and traveling.


Kristi LaBarge, Teacher

This is my sixth year at Ichabod Crane Primary School. In my first four years, I worked as a reading and math specialist with the Academic Intervention Services department before making the move into the classroom last year. Outside of work I enjoy exercising, trying out new recipes and spending time with family and friends. I am lucky to live just down the road from my mom and dad, as well as my sister who is also a teacher! My favorite part of teaching is showing kids they can do anything they put their minds to and watching as they light up when they realize it themselves.


Kayla Petilli, Teacher

This is my third year teaching at Ichabod Crane Primary School. When I’m not in the classroom, I love to take walks with my dog, read, shop, exercise, and cook. I just got engaged to my fiance over the summer. We will be getting married in 2022! I have a 100-pound boxer dog named Romeo. He is a gentle giant. Second grade has always been my favorite grade since I was in elementary school. I love getting to know my students and watching them grow.


Courtney White, Teacher

This is my sixth year teaching and my first full year at Ichabod Crane Primary School. I started here last April as a third-grade special education teacher when our school went full remote! I have also taught special education grades 3-5 and fourth-grade general education in the Capital Region area. I live in Ravena with my husband and we recently became parents to twin boys River and Remi in October. In my spare time I love to cook, craft, sing, go for long car rides, listen to music, and read. The reason I teach is to foster the same love of learning that I experienced when I was in elementary school.


Jaqueline LaBounty, Teaching Assistant

This is my first year as a teaching assistant at Ichabod Crane Primary School. I love reading, baking, shopping and hanging out with my friends and family. I am very close with both my parents and all four of my siblings! I have always loved working with children and watching them grow. When I found this job I knew that this is what I was meant to do!


November 2020 – 1st Grade Team

 

Kara Abatto, Teacher

This is my seventeenth year teaching at Ichabod Crane Primary School. During my free time I love to read, travel and going on outside adventures…especially hiking. A fun fact about me is that I left a career as a chemist to become an elementary school teacher. It was the best decision I could have made and haven’t looked back! Most of my time at Ichabod Crane, I have worked in a co-teaching classroom. I love collaborating with my colleagues in my room to help our littlest learners grow to their full potential.


Laura Franzese, Special Ed. Teacher

This is my 6th year at the Primary School, but my 10th year teaching! For the past 5 years, I have worked in AIS as a Reading Specialist. This year, I am super excited for the opportunity to be a First Grade Special Education Teacher. I currently live in Loudonville and love traveling, reading, being outside, and spending time with family and friends. I love being able to watch these little learners grow into readers and writers, and most importantly, believe in themselves and see that they are capable of doing anything!


Melissa Barford, Special Ed. Teaching Assistant

I have been a special ed teaching assistant for 4 years. I live in Valatie with my 3 children; Logan (16), Alysha (8) and Ryder (6). I enjoy spending time with my family, baking and crafting. My favorite part of my job is helping a child through things they find difficult. Seeing their faces light up, after something they struggled with becomes easy, makes me love what I do.


Karen Baillargeon, Teacher

I have taught first grade at the Primary School for 24 years. I enjoy reading, traveling, gardening, and knitting in my free time. Seeing children get excited when reading “clicks” for them is magical and it’s why I love teaching first grade! Every day is a new adventure.


Selena Cook, Teacher

This is my first year teaching 1st grade. Before this year, I was teaching 4th grade AIS. I love being at the Primary and teaching with all of the wonderful 1st grade teachers! I have loved watching the excitement from the children about learning. I live in Valatie with my husband Pete and our two daughters, Sydney (an ICC senior) and Payge (6th grade). I enjoy traveling, biking, and attending all of the many activities my children are involved in.


Terri LaBrie, Teacher

This is my 21st year at ICC primary school and my 18th year in First grade. Fun fact… the classroom I spend my days teaching in is the same room I spent as a Kindergartner. My children, Erin, Luke and Ben, are also Ichabod Crane alumni. You can say that my Rider roots run deep.

In my free time I can usually be found hiking in the woods, walking on the beach, kayaking, baking, and enjoying time with my family and friends.

I love teaching first graders as they still retain a touch of innocence while being moderately independent. I also enjoy the challenge that teaching first grade poses as we spend our days creating readers. Teaching a child to read and showing them the power of words is truly a gratifying way to spend a day.


Danielle Ooms, Remote Teacher

My name is Danialle Ooms and I am the first grade remote teacher. I am a graduate from Ichabod Crane and this is my first year teaching here. I have felt so welcomed and comfortable at this school and it feels like home. Some of my hobbies I do outside of teaching are; photography, workout at the gym, anything that involves the outdoors, and being around family and friends. I have two wonderful parents, two sisters and one brother. I am the youngest of four children. I am a teacher because I have known that I wanted to be a teacher since first grade when my first grade teacher asked me. There have been many people in my life who have inspired me to become a teacher, especially my mother. I enjoy teaching and watching children grow and learn. Seeing the children everyday, even though it is through a computer screen brightens my day. I look forward to teaching and learning with these students every day, because they make a difference.


Megan Loefke, Teacher

I have been teaching first grade at the Primary School for 12 years. I enjoy being outdoors, soaking up the sunshine, and chasing after my kids. I live in Delmar with my husband Ben and our three kids- Cullen (6), Carter (4), and Chloe (18 months). We also have an English Springer Spaniel named Moostachea (because it looks like she has a mustache!). I love teaching first grade because of all the growth the children make in reading and writing in this grade level. I love reading their phonetic spelling in all the stories they have to tell, and helping our youngest learners become avid, independent readers.


Karen Vecellio, Teacher

This is my 17th year teaching at the Primary School, and I taught for nine years prior to that in another district. I have taught kindergarten, first, second and third grades. I live in Kinderhook with my husband Francis and our two boys, Michael, 18, who graduated from Ichabod last spring and is currently attending Ithaca College, and Ben, 15, a sophomore at ICC. Our daughter Marissa previously graduated from Ichabod and lives in Syracuse. I love spending time with my family and friends, especially at the beach. I love to read and have a passion for children’s literature that I love to share with my students! Teaching first grade is so magical – it is when so many of our students become readers, and I’ve always believed that instilling in them a love of reading is my most important job!


Melissa Welcome, Teacher

This is my 15th year teaching at the Primary School where I have taught both first and second grade. I live locally with my husband Andrew and our two daughters: Madeline (5) and Addison (2) as well as our dog Lilly. I love spending time with my family, reading, being outdoors, walking as well as dancing and singing!

Teaching in the community where I grew up is a dream come true and I am thankful to be teaching at our cherished Primary School…go Riders! Seeing the growth of each child is inspiring and teaching a child to read, write and love learning is my passion! I love my students and spending my days with them! “It is always a beautiful day in first grade!”


Michele Webb, Teaching Assistant

This is my 14th year in first grade at the Primary School. I live in Valatie with my dog Lacey. I have two children Michael (24) who teaches in Westchester County and Morgan (21) who is in Nursing School. I love the beach, swimming in the ocean, reading, and spending time with family and friends. I love being in first grade. The children are at such a wonderful age and they grow so much. Watching them connect the words and start reading is an amazing experience. I love what I do and am grateful to be able to work and live in this community.


October 2020 – Kindergarten Crew

 

Jaime Eastman, Teacher

This is my 13th year teaching Kindergarten at ICC and I live in Kinderhook with my husband Tom, son Evan (8), and dog, Sam. I enjoy spending time with my family, shopping, and taking walks outside. I love teaching Kindergarten, it’s so rewarding to watch them grow during the first year of school:)


Britney Firstuin, Special Ed. Teacher

It’s my 5th year teaching kindergarten in the collaborative classroom at ICC. I live in Glenmont with my dog, Layla. I like hiking, kayaking, camping and spending time with family.

“Every child deserves a champion; an adult who will never give up on them, who understands the power of connection and insists that they become the best they can possibly be.” -Rita F. Pierson


Nikki Canuteson, Special Ed. Teaching Assistant

I’m in my 5th year as a TA at ICC. I enjoy spending time with my four children and family. I love spending my day teaching children and watching them grow.


Julie Eckholm, Teacher

It’s my 12th year teaching at ICC. I love to be outside, running, singing, cooking and playing with my kids. I keep busy and get as much fun packed into a day that I can.

I live in Castleton with my husband, two children Caroline (6) and Chandler (3), as well as my dog Capone. I used to play school when I was a young child and always knew I would be a teacher. I am meant to be a teacher and love that I have a job where EVERY single morning I am happy to get up and go to work.


Lindsay Meyers, Teacher

It’s my 11th year teaching at Ichabod. In addition to kindergarten, I have been a third-grade teacher and a math & reading specialist for grades K-5. I love to bike, hike and craft. I also love volunteering my time to the Crane Acting Troupe and other ICC school events. I teach because I love working with children, and making learning fun and engaging!


Jayne Ferguson, Teacher

It’s my 5th year working full-time at ICC, prior to that I was a substitute teacher for 15 years, making a total of 20 years with the district. I love spending time with my family, boating/ jet skiing, crafting and reading. I live in Valatie with my husband Will (the ICC Boys’ Varsity Basketball Coach). We have 2 adult sons, Jason and Todd, who are both ICC grads. We also have 2 daughters-in-law and 2 granddaughters: Isla (3) and Sadie (6 mos).

I taught preschool for 25 years prior to teaching kindergarten. I simply love children and I am so grateful that I get to spend my days with them; teaching, laughing and learning together. My hope is that they will grow to love school as much as I do and become lifelong learners!


Katherine Gardner, Remote Teacher

This is my 4th year teaching at the Primary School. I am currently a Kindergarten/First Grade remote teacher, but previously taught Kindergarten and Third Grade reading. I enjoy a variety of hobbies including children’s literature, musical theatre, photography, visiting museums, and planting succulents. My latest children’s book, It’s Okay to Be Shy, will hit bookshelves in 2021.

I live in Hudson with my 2 cats. Teaching is magical! I enjoy watching children develop a love of learning at an early age.


Nicole Luckfield, Teacher

It’s my 17th year teaching kindergarten here at ICC. I live in Valatie with my husband and three children: Calvin, Daphne, and Coltin. One of my favorite things to do is read and get lost in a good book. I also enjoy being a “fur mom” to my sweet dog, Lulu. I feel so lucky to have a job that I love this much. There is nowhere else I want to be – Kindergarten has my heart 🙂


Kate Turrin, Teacher

It’s my 17th year teaching kindergarten at ICC. I live in Valatie with my husband and two children: Gianna (11) Jack (9). One of my favorite things to do is spend time with my family. I also enjoy reading and going to Cape Cod every year. The beach is the best! I have always wanted to be a teacher since a young age (my mom is a retired teacher). I love watching kids grow and learn. It is amazing when you see them applying the skills that you have taught them. Being a kindergarten teacher makes my heart full!


Angela Shevy, Teacher

This is my 12th year teaching kindergarten with ICC. I live in Schodack with my husband, two boys: Joey (8) and Lucas (6) and my Golden Doodle, Delilah.

I enjoy spending time outside with my family, reading and watching my boys participate in sporting events. Teaching kindergarten was always my dream. I love how much the kids learn during their first year of school!


Lyn LaBounty, Teaching Assistant

It’s my 4th year as a kindergarten TA. I live in Valatie with my husband William and five children. Megan, Jackie, Brynn, William and Nicholas. I enjoy taking walks and I love baking with my kids. I love being a kindergarten TA because I absolutely believe if children love school from the start, and have a wonderful experience, they will love it the whole way through.