Previous Primary Spotlight Staff

May 2021 – Cafeteria Staff, Lunch Monitors and Custodial Staff

Jennifer MinahanCafeteria Staff

I have been working at Ichabod Crane for 17 years. I started working at Martin Van Buren school in 2004 then moved to primary school. I live in Clifton Park with my two daughters Johnna and Libby. I love to travel and see new places around the world, and I also love snorkeling and spending as much time with my kids. I love my job here at Ichabod Crane Primary school, I enjoy seeing the kids every day and they always put a smile on my face.

Colleen RussellCafeteria Staff

This is my 4th year working in the kitchen at Ichabod Crane. I love working and interacting with all the students and staff. Providing the students with nutritious meals to fuel their learning makes my job so rewarding.
I live in Ghent with my husband Dan, our daughter Erin and my son Daniel. We have a dog, a cat and have just started raising chickens. I enjoy boating, kayaking, hiking, listening to music and spending time with my family.

Panida ManarelLunch Monitor

My name is Panida and this is my first year as a lunch monitor at the primary school. Some of you might know me by my nickname “Meow” (all Thai people have a formal name and a nickname.) I moved to the United States 14 years ago to study English and work as an au pair for a local family. I met my husband (a teacher at the middle school) here and we decided to make this area our home. Our two children, Luca and Tara, are students here at ICC primary school.

I have a bachelor’s degree in public administration from a university in Thailand and I studied accounting here at HVCC. However, what I love most is working with children, and I have really been enjoying my time here at ICC spending time with a great group of kids. They make me smile and laugh every day! In my free time, I enjoy gardening, cooking Thai food, and spending time with my family.

Dawn RichardsonLunch Monitor

This is my 4th year at Ichabod Crane and my 2nd in the Primary School. I love the bond created with the students during their lunchtimes. I enjoy hearing about their families, pets, and friends.

At home I enjoy spending time with my husband Chad and children Missy, Niki, Evan, Hannah and Chad Jr. My children keep me very busy with basketball and soccer! I love being able to watch them play the sports they love. In our free time, we love to go camping! While At camp we fish and swim and play games together and we make lots of new camp friends. We also enjoy playing with our 5 cats and 3 dogs.

Mary JonesLunch Monitor

I have been a lunch monitor at the ICC Primary School for the past 2 years. I enjoy seeing the students every day, they always have a smile on their faces & greet me with such warmth.

I live in Nassau with my husband, Jeff. My daughter and son-in-law live in Niverville with my 2 fantastic grandchildren.
I love spending time with my family and friends, as well as cooking and baking, going to Maine, reading, aerial yoga, and campfires.


April 2021 – Counseling Staff

 

Amy Stephenson, School Counselor

I have been working at Ichabod Crane for 22 years. I also graduated from Ichabod Crane, my family moved to the area when I was in first grade. In my first year working at ICC, I spent the summer in the High School Counseling Office as a substitute counselor to help fill a vacancy. Then during the school year, I was able to continue my work in the High School as a counseling teaching assistant. In 1999 I was hired as a full time counselor and I split my time between the Primary School, Martin H. Glynn and Martin VanBuren. A few years later, I was given the privilege to work full time at the Primary School.

I live locally on a small lake with my husband and our two cats. My favorite hobbies include anything that gets me outside. I enjoy running, hiking, swimming, kayaking and skiing. My vacations with my husband over the summer are typically spent hiking in the Adirondacks and spending some time at the ocean.

When I reflect back on the 22 years, I can honestly say that I love every aspect of my job. I enjoy working with our young students and watching them grow as they move onto each grade level. The teachers and staff at the Primary School are like family to me and the friendships I have made will last me a lifetime. I am honored to call the Primary School my second home.

Kelly Bins, School Psychologist

This is my 14th year as an educator and my 8th year as the school psychologist at the Ichabod Crane Primary School. It is a privilege to work with our youngest Riders when they are going through difficult times and to be their cheerleader as they achieve their personal best. My work is fulfilling when I watch students recognize their strengths and help them to find the correct resources and support for them to reach their potential. I look forward to greeting our students when they get off of the buses every morning and welcoming them to a new day of learning.

Outside of school, I love living in Schodack with my husband Chris, our 4-year-old son Colton, and our rescue dog, Archie Bins. We enjoy time outside as a family, staying active, and going to our local apple orchard.

Fun fact: I previously worked at Nassau Veterinary Clinic for 15 years and I love sharing my knowledge from my time there!


March 2021 – ENL/Health Office/Special Areas Teachers & Staff

 

Jennifer Dunn, ENL Teacher

This is my 7th year working with the students at Ichabod Crane Primary school. I have been in the education field for over 15 years. Over the course of 7 years, I have had many different roles. I began as a Teaching Assistant. I then became a Kindergarten teacher. Over the past 3 years, I have been an English as a New Language teacher. Teaching is such a passion and a love of mine. I love to watch students grow both academically and socially and l love to watch when they finally achieve a skill and have an “ah-ha” moment and realize they can accomplish anything they set their mind to.

While not teaching, I reside in Stuyvesant and spend my days with my husband Mike, my 13 yr old step-daughter Rylee, my 5-year-old daughter Johannah, and our dog Della and cat Shadow. Our family loves all things outdoors and we love to go on different hikes and trails throughout the Capital Region. We love gardening, swimming, fishing, and camping. I also have a huge passion for baking, especially cookies and cookie decorating. I am truly blessed to work and live in such a great district!

Jennifer Thompson, ENL Teacher

I have been an English as a New Language teacher at Ichabod for 17 years, split between the PS and MS for a few years, but mostly only at the PS. I live in Latham with my husband Michael, my 16-year-old daughter Nazhlah and my 13-year-old son Noah. In my free time I like to grow vegetables, read science fiction and swim with my family. I loved school as a child and always wanted to be a teacher to help children experience happiness, success and pride in themselves. I feel it is a privilege to help immigrants and first-generation students achieve the American dream by providing English language instruction. I am very happy to be here at Ichabod!

Anna Kemp, ENL Teacher

I have been an English as New Language teacher for the past 10 years, the last 5 years at Ichabod Crane Primary School. My husband and I have two college-aged children, Jessica who is 20 years old and Aidan who is 19. Jessica goes to UNE in Maine and Aidan attends Hudson Valley. We also live with 2 lovely dogs, Minnie and Jackson, and our huge Maine Coon cat, Sebastian. They all keep our lives interesting and busy. I really enjoy singing, gardening, quilting, doing home improvement projects and spending time outside. Teaching is a second career for me and I simply love it! My students are precious. I love seeing them learn and helping them grow. What a blessing it is for me to spend my day with these wonderful children.

Faith Kubow, School Nurse

This is my 15th year at Ichabod Crane. I started in Martin Van Buren School and moved to the Primary School when they closed the building. I enjoy Gardening, reading, playing piano, shopping, Quad rides and spending time with my husband of 25 years, Walt. We love to laugh, play pool, sing, and watch movies. We have 3 children, Walter(24), Matthew(20) & Samantha(18). Samantha is currently going to College in R.I. & I miss her. We have an adorable miniature sheltie, Sophie(5) and a cat Tiger(15+).

I love being a nurse. I always liked taking care of people. At 17 I became a nurse’s aide at a nursing home and that finalized my choice in becoming a nurse. I really love being the Primary School Nurse. To comfort a child, help them feel better, and make them smile is very rewarding.

Stephanie Howe, Health Aide

This is my 3rd year working as a Health Aide in the Primary School. I first started working in the healthcare profession over 30 years ago. After my children started school, I started subbing as a Teacher’s Aide. I found that I also liked working with children, as much as I did working with the elderly, which led me to this position. Working as a Health Aide is a perfect combination of healing and helping, which I find to be extremely rewarding.

My husband and I have two daughters, one grandson ( who will be starting school here in September) and one dog. I enjoy reading, watching movies, gardening, and spending time with my family. I really enjoy working here at ICC, Valatie is a really great community and I feel very blessed to be here.

Tom Call, Physical Education

This is my 10th year teaching Physical Education at Ichabod Crane. I have spent most of my time at the Primary School but also taught briefly at the Elementary/Middle School. I’ve also taught Physical Education in Chatham, NY & Reading, MA. In my free time, I enjoy watching and coaching football. I’m currently the Varsity Football coach at Ichabod Crane. My wife (Kate) and I, along with our dog (Tucker) and cat (Milo), live in the district. We love the community and everything it has to offer. I teach Physical Education because I enjoy sharing my passion for living an active lifestyle. I enjoy the opportunity I get to teach our younger aged students, while also being able to work with our older students in athletics. The balance offers me the chance to positively influence a good majority of our population.

Dan Cremo, Physical Education

This is my 20th year at the Primary School, and 30th year teaching physical education. I grew up in Scotia, NY and now call Delmar home. I’m a teacher because I love working with young students; they make me laugh every single day. Over the course of my career here I’ve also loved to represent Ichabod Crane as a coach of wrestling, soccer, and football.

In recent years I’ve started a recreational girls lacrosse team for elementary grades, helping fundraise for the gymnasium rockwall, and spending time canoeing and kayaking. My favorite hobby is watching my own daughters Patricia, Emma, and Isabella on the sportsfield and loudly cheering for their teams. In my free time, you can find me on the sideline of a field hockey game, going camping, or working on home improvement projects with my wife Coleen.

Alanna Moss, Librarian

This is my 13th year as the Primary School Librarian here at Ichabod Crane. When I am not reading stories in funny voices or helping students find books that interest and excite them I like to bake, garden, and run really far on mountain trails. My husband Dan and I also enjoy rock climbing and hiking with our two dogs, Ellie and Ollie. We leave our four cats at home for those adventures! I am also lucky enough to coach the Modified Cross Country Team and it is a thrill introducing young athletes to the joys of running.

When I was young I wanted to be either an archaeologist, a librarian, or a stunt double. I have been fortunate enough to be two of those three things (so far!). Some of my favorite people growing up were librarians, and I feel honored to have the opportunity to foster a love of reading, adventure, and discovery in the students of our district!

Elizabeth Rossback, Art Teacher

This is my 10th year teaching Art at Ichabod Crane. I started in the Elementary/Middle School, then moved to the High school and I am currently in my second year at the Primary School. In my free time I love spending time with my amazing family – my incredible husband, our sweet, silly, 2-year-old daughter, Emma and our cuddly, 6-year-old Golden Retriever, Ramsey. Together we love to travel, spend time outside, cook, dance and, of course, make art!

As a young girl, I fell in love with painting. To me, art has the power to spark joy, calm the soul and help us connect. My hope is to inspire my students to share this passion.

Olivia Faure, Music Teacher

This is my 2nd year teaching Music at Ichabod Crane, and my first year here at the Primary School! In my free time, I enjoy performing in choirs, practicing instruments, going to Orangetheory classes, cooking, traveling to new places, and spending time with friends. I live with my two cats, Jorah and Dexter. When I was in 1st grade, I told my Mom I wanted to be Mrs. Loatman when I grew up (my music teacher). She was more than just a music teacher, she fostered a loving, fun, inclusive, environment centered around the joy and importance of music and culture and I try every day to do that for our students.


February 2021 – Special Ed., AIS, OT, PT, Speech Team

 

Jean Calvin, Special Ed. Teacher

This is my 20th year of teaching. I have been at the Ichabod Crane Primary school the last 16 years. One of the many reasons I enjoy teaching is watching the excitement children show when they learn something new! When I’m not at school, I love to spend time with my family and friends, travel (especially to places that are warm and near the ocean), go on walks and read. I live in the town of Kinderhook with my wonderful husband, Jim, amazingly talented daughter, Amanda (ICC graduate currently a Junior at Wagner College), and crazy but adorable cat, Bella.

Sandy Ford, Special Ed. Teaching Assistant

This is my 13th year working as a teaching assistant in the Primary School. Most of that time has been in the self-contained Special Ed. Classroom. I live in Valatie with my husband, John. We have three grown children, Megan (25), Heather (22), Ryan (20) and an adorable Westie named Delilah. When I’m not at school, I enjoy spending time with my family, baking, crafting and gardening. After my children started school I was fortunate to have the opportunity to become a T.A. I love working with children and helping them learn. It is such a great feeling to watch their success as they realize what they can and have accomplished.

Lisa Small, Special Ed. Teaching Assistant

This is my 16th year in education and my 2nd full-time year at ICC in a self-contained classroom. I also worked for 2 years as a substitute teacher for ICC. I was an elementary classroom teacher with a background in Special Ed. prior to staying home for a bit with my children Caroline (15) and Matthew (11), both ICC students. I have a fiancé Vern and he has 3 children (Vernon, Ryan, Brooke) and 2 grandchildren (Jack, McKenzie). I am excited to be in the classroom once again as a teaching assistant to Mrs. Calvin. It is so rewarding working with children and knowing that every day is different. Seeing the excitement when something finally clicks for them is so rewarding. I love reading, spending time with my family, traveling (when I can) and spending summers on Cape Cod.

Vikki Skaryznski, AIS Teacher

This is my 30th year at Ichabod Crane. I started my career as a 12th grade English teacher, had a short run as a middle school reading, art, and computer science teacher, and finally moved into my permanent position of AIS teacher in 1994. My love for reading is what prompted me to become a reading teacher. I wanted to share a love for books and the adventures that they could bring to young readers. My hobbies include traveling and camping with my husband and son as well as baking and home decorating. In addition to my husband and son, I recently added two kittens to our family; Cleo and Max.

Danielle Desmonie, Speech/Language Pathologist

I started working at Ichabod Crane 20 years ago. I went all through school here, and so did my husband. David, and my daughter, Emily. My son Luke is in 11th grade and my son Grant is in 8th grade. I have two dogs at home, Lily and Lila, and I co-own Georgia, our school service dog at the Primary School. I’m so happy that we were able to start a Social Service Dog Program at Ichabod and that we now have dogs at each building for the students to work with and enjoy! I have worked in the Primary School, the Middle School, and the High School, and have been a part of our preschool evaluation team during my time at Ichabod. I have always loved working with children, and it is so rewarding to help them improve their communication skills. In my free time, I enjoy walking my dogs, biking, hiking, traveling and reading.

Alyson Yoder, Speech/Language Pathologist

This is my 11th year at Ichabod Crane. I love working with all students but specialize in working with students with multilingual and multicultural backgrounds. Language development is cool but dual language development is almost magical! I am a co-founder of the Social Service Dog Committee and worked diligently to bring dogs to work in our schools. I co-own Georgia, the spunky labradoodle at the Primary School. She is a fantastic addition to our staff! I love my job; we make sure to laugh and learn every day.

My husband and I have 3 daughters; Milly (11), Ivy (9), and Gretchen (3) and a dog named Rufus. As a family, we love road trips, geocaching, visiting mansions and museums, and camping.

Fun fact about me; I rode my bicycle across the United States, all the way from Florida to California!

Taylor Dier, Speech/Language Pathologist

This is my sixth year as a part of the Ichabod Crane community. Prior to working here, I spent a few years working in neighboring districts. I was drawn to this field because of my own love for communication. It’s one of the most basic luxuries that we often take for granted. I want to be able to make communication enjoyable for all of my students! In addition to providing speech and language therapy for our students, I am also one of the founding members of the Social Service Dog Program and a co-owner of the Primary School’s very own Georgia ❤ When I’m not at school, I enjoy going for runs, reading mysteries, traveling to new places, or just hanging out with my friends and family. I recently moved to East Greenbush with my husband Joe, our son Beckett, and our dogs Tori and Abe. These past few years at ICC have been wonderful. I’ve had the pleasure of working with amazing children and made great friends along the way, both of which make coming to work a lot of fun!

Nancy Matusiak, Occupational Therapist

This is my 14th year at Ichabod Crane; all of which were at the Primary School! I always knew I wanted to work with children. I love watching them try their hardest and seeing how proud they become when they learn that they can do things all by themselves! I am also one of the co-founders of the Social Service Dog Committee. I love seeing the joy on the students’ and the staffs’ faces when they see the dog at school.

Not only am I a co-owner of Georgia, the silly, kind-hearted dog at the Primary School, I also have two cats at home named Butterscotch and Minnie. When I’m not at school, I enjoy spending time with my family and friends. I enjoy hiking, spending time outside; especially when the weather is warm and sunny, and curling up on the couch while watching a good series on Netflix. My favorite thing to do during my free time, however, is horseback riding.

Georgia Bea Crane, Social Service Dog

This is my 4th year at the Primary School. I love my job! Coming to school every day and seeing all of the students and staff makes me so happy! It makes my tail wag when people come to see me and give me scratches and belly rubs! Seeing everyone smile makes my heart so full; I am one lucky dog! The best part of my job is when I can make someone happy when they are feeling sad, share a proud moment when someone has a great day, and when students show me their work when they are proud. Listening to students practice their reading and communication skills always makes me feel special as well. When I’m not at school, I enjoy playing with my toys, playing outside, going for walks, spending time with my families and my many dog and cat siblings.


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.