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The Harrison Central School District Welcomes
New Administrators & Teachers

District Office

Dr. Lisa Mulhall, Assistant Superintendent for Curriculum & Instruction

“Harrison has a state-wide reputation for instructional innovation and a laser focus on equity. I am excited to work with such a forward-thinking community.”

Dr. Mulhall recently completed her eleventh year as the Assistant Superintendent for Instruction in the Oyster Bay-East Norwich Central School District on Long Island.  In this role, Dr. Mulhall is responsible for all aspects of teaching and learning for the district’s 1,600 K-12 students.  Her responsibilities and accomplishments include supervising a team of curriculum directors to align curriculum, instruction, and assessments to the New York State Learning Standards; developing comprehensive professional development opportunities to support faculty and staff; implementing a data collection system to inform programmatic decisions; and leading initiatives related to diversity and equity, district policy, and academic standards.  

Before her long tenure in this role, Dr. Mulhall’s leadership experience included serving as the Director of Instruction in the Shoreham-Wading River Central School District and as the K-12 Language Arts & Literacy Supervisor in the Cherry Hill Public Schools in New Jersey.  

Dr. Mulhall taught English Language Arts in New Jersey for ten years, earning recognition as New Jersey’s Independent School Teacher of the Year in 2001. Her higher education experience includes serving as a writing instructor at Camden County College and visiting assistant professor in literacy studies at Siena College.  Dr. Mulhall has also been an active leader in professional associations, including serving as a trustee of the Long Island Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development and board member of the New Jersey Principals and Supervisors Association. She plays an active role in the Tri-States Consortium and has led site visits to provide critical feedback to member districts.  Her professional contributions also include presenting at state and national conferences on Small Scale iPad Integration at the Learning Forward Annual Conference; A Collaborative Approach for the Preparation and Induction of Teachers at the Association of Teacher Educators Annual Conference; and Education as a Civil Right at the National Center for Educational Research & Technology Annual Conference.

Dr. Mulhall earned a Bachelor’s degree in English from Rutgers University.  She also holds a Master’s degree in English Education and a Doctorate in Organizational Leadership from Teachers College at Columbia University.   

 


 

Timothy Whipple, Assistant Superintendent for Business

“It is a tremendous honor to have been selected to join the District's leadership team in support of the Harrison community's most valuable resource, its children.  I will do everything I can to further the initiatives of the Board of Education, always with the goal to foster student opportunity and success.” 

Mr. Whipple’s most recent leadership experience includes serving for the past four years as the Assistant Superintendent for Business in the Pleasantville Union Free School District, where he supervised a $53 million budget.  Prior to this experience, he worked as the Business Administrator for twelve years in the Malone Central School District.  He began his career in school finance as the Business Manager/Treasurer in Brushton-Moira Central School District, where he worked for two years.  Mr. Whipple also teaches graduate courses in public school finance at Long Island University as an adjunct professor.

His responsibilities and accomplishments include successfully developing and earning community support for multi-million dollar budgets that prioritize high-quality educational programming and related services for students.  He has also successfully initiated and administered several capital projects in excess of $60 million to improve infrastructure, ensure accessibility, upgrade athletic fields, and expand learning spaces for teachers and students.  Working in conjunction with and overseeing building architects, construction managers, and contractors, he ensured that these projects were completed on time and within the budget authorized by the community.  Mr. Whipple brings extensive experience in financial oversight, including external, internal, and Comptroller audits of district finances and the controls necessary to maintain sound and responsible management of district resources.

Mr. Whipple also has experience supervising transportation, operations and maintenance, and food services, with a strong emphasis on both customer service and efficiency.  To accomplish these priorities, he developed positive labor relations with employee groups, negotiating contracts that promote respect for employees and the responsible expenditure of taxpayer resources.

Mr. Whipple holds a Bachelor’s degree in business Management from the State University of New York, Plattsburgh, as well as a Master’s degree in Educational Administration and a Certificate of Advanced Study in School Business Administration from the State University of New York, Albany.

 


 

Jennifer Egan, Director of World Languages & ENL

"I am so excited to continue to work with and support the Harrison community in this new role!  The World Languages and ENL Department was my home for many years and I am honored to have the opportunity to work with such an amazing team.  I look forward to our partnership as we build upon the outstanding work that has already been done and work together to support our students."

Following her recent tenure as the Assistant Principal of the Louis M. Klein Middle School, Ms. Egan has assumed a new leadership role in Harrison as the Director of World Languages & ENL.  Ms. Egan is well known to the Harrison learning community as an accomplished educator.  From 2009 to 2019, she successfully taught a range of Spanish courses at Harrison High School, including IB Spanish Standard Level Years 1 and 2, Spanish 2, Spanish 3, and Spanish for Heritage Learners.  Given her expertise as a teacher in the International Baccalaureate program, Ms. Egan was selected in 2019 to serve as the District’s IB Middle Years Program Coordinator to provide professional development to teachers, assist with curriculum development, and prepare students in grades 6-10 for success in the IB program.  She was instrumental in helping the District obtain IB MYP certification, a rigorous process that involves a comprehensive review of curriculum and teacher readiness to support IB program goals.  Ms. Egan has also successfully served as Harrison High School’s summer school principal, helping students to earn the credits and pass the Regents exams required for graduation.  

Ms. Egan holds a bachelor’s degree in Spanish from Manhattan College and a master’s degree in Adolescent Education from Manhattanville College.  She was nominated by her principal and selected by the Superintendent to enroll in the prestigious Future School Leaders Academy through Bank Street College, where she completed advanced graduate courses in Educational Leadership.

 

Harrison High School

Alexa Cucolo, Science Teacher

QUOTE NEEDED

 


 

Anthony Della Penna, French Teacher

"The richness of divergent backgrounds and points of view in my classroom will contribute to interesting class discussions and provides abundant opportunities for inter-cultural learning and understanding."

Mr. Della Penna earned a bachelor's degree in Politics with a minor in French from New York University and a master's degree in Teaching English to Speakers of other Languages from Hunter College.  He has taught French in New York City for the last twenty-three years.  Mr. Della Penna comes to Harrison from Fiorello H. LaGuardia for Art, Music and the Performing Arts, where he taught French, Italian and ESL.

 


 

Heberto Espinosa, Special Education Teacher

"I believe it is essential that all students receive an equal opportunity…it is important to remember that we as educators provide highly equitable and approachable learning for all students regardless of their background."

Mr. Espinosa earned a master's degree in Educational Leadership and Administration from the College of St. Rose as well as a master's degree in Adolescent Inclusive Education for New York City Teaching Fellows in Brooklyn, New York. He comes to Harrison with extensive experience as a Reading Specialist and a Special Education teacher.  Mr. Espinosa has helped homeless and at-risk children gain access to services that support their educational, social, and emotional development.

 


 

Natalie Hancock, Science Teacher

"It is clear the district has high standards for its teachers…. that expectation is backed by an ongoing investment in teacher growth through tailored professional development and support for new teachers."

Ms. Hancock holds a bachelor’s degree in biology from California Polytechnic Institute and a master’s degree in biology from New York University.  Her experience as a living environment teacher includes four years at Renaissance High School for Musical Theater and Technology in New York, five years at the Bushwick School for Social Justice in New York, and two years at the School for Legal Studies in New York.  Ms. Hancock has also been recognized as a Sci-Ed Innovators Fellow and keynote speaker for the NYC Science Education Initiative.

 


 

Shantae Maheche, English as a New Language Teacher

"My classroom will be adaptable to the learning needs of the students ensuring that rigorous content is made accessible to everyone."

Ms. Mahecha earned a bachelor's degree in Political Science with a minor in Spanish from the City University of New York. She attended Duke University Law School and passed the Florida Bar before becoming a teacher, earning a master's degree in Teaching English to Speakers of other Languages from the City University of New York. Ms Mahecha started her teaching career in Florida, before accepting a position as an ENL Coordinator and Teacher for Herbert Lehman High School in the Bronx where she has worked since 2016.

 


 

Katherine Moncebaiz, Art Teacher

"I am excited to join a team that truly values and supports students in the performing arts. I will integrate the value 'equity' in my dance class by creating an environment where student identities are celebrated."

Ms. Moncebaiz 

 


 

Donald Roane, Science Teacher

"I think that as an educator it is important that all student have an equal opportunity to succeed in the classroom, regardless of their circumstance. I will try to guide my students as they work throughout the year, be sure that each has equal access to the academic, pedagogic and technological resources found in our district."

Mr. Roane completed a long-term substitute assignment as a science teacher at the Louis M. Klein Middle School last year.  His prior teaching experience includes teaching science for seven years at the Isaac E. Young Middle School in in New Rochelle.  Mr. Roane graduated from SUNY Cortland with a bachelor's degree in Biology and and a master's degree in Secondary Science Education from Iona College.

 


 

Steven Spitz, Spanish Teacher

"There needs to be equity in the classroom… To accomplish this goal I will hold all students to the same high expectations, while making sure that each student's voice is heard.  I will also differentiate instruction to accommodate different learning styles."

Mr. Spitz will serve as a long-term substitute Spanish teacher during the 2021-22 school year at Harrison High School.  Mr. Spitz earned a bachelor's degree in Spanish Language and Linguistics from the State University of New York, Albany, and a master's in Education from Marist College. He worked as a teacher in Spain before returning to the states as a Spanish teacher at Valhalla Middle School. 

 

Louis M. Klein Middle School

Jennifer Cipolla, Assistant Principal

"It is with great pride and excitement that I join the team at Louis M. Klein Middle School as the new assistant principal. The core values of the Harrison Central School District - equity, access, rigor, and adaptability - were also at the heart of my thirteen year career as an English teacher on Long Island.  These shared values will continue to drive my work as an assistant principal here at LMK, and I look forward to a successful year!"

 


 

Molly Byrne, English Teacher

"Through the interview process I learned that Harrison challenges and supports their students' thinking with IB course work, diverse texts, and rich curriculum. I am excited to begin using these tools and to join the school community. My goal is to grow alongside my students this year."

Ms. Byrne earned a bachelor's degree in English and History from the State University of New York, Geneseo, and a master's degree in English Education from the University of Rochester with a 4.00 GPA. She spent four years as a volunteer teacher at the St. Edward School, helping to develop lesson plans and teaching a class of middle school students throughout the regular school year and summer. Ms. Byrne has taught various sections of Secondary English as a student teacher in Rochester and Pittsford, New York.

 


 

Danielle McWalters, Mathematics Teacher

"Harrison is dedicated to equity and engagement such as de-tracking and math acceleration… I will adapt my instruction based on the interests of students to make content accessible."

Ms. McWalters graduated Summa Cum Laude from Muhlenberg College with a dual bachelor's degree in Mathematics and Dance, and later earned a master's degree in Mathematics from Teachers College at Columbia University.  She comes to Harrison from the Herschel School where she taught middle school math for the last four years.  Ms. McWalters completed her student teaching in Mathematics at Whitehall-Coplay Middle School and Parkland High School in Pennsylvania.

 


 

   

 


 

Dr. Amrita Singh, School Psychologist

"Through the interview process, I learned about Harrison's dedication to equity, as the district ensures that its curriculum is accessible to all students.  I am excited to incorporate Harrison's core value of access in my counseling sessions."

Dr. Singh graduated Summa Cum Laude with a bachelor's degree in Psychology and a master's degree in School Psychology from St. John's University.  She continued her education St. John's University, earning her doctorate with high honors. Dr. Singh joins our District from Anne M. Dorner Middle School where she worked as the school psychologist.

 

Harrison Avenue Elementary School

Anneliese Rosen, Special Education Teacher

"I believe that community building and social emotional learning are the most important piece of a functioning classroom, as children need to learn how to work together, empathize with the needs of others, and lift one another up in order to allow everyone to experience success."

 

 

Parsons Memorial Elementary School

Jennifer Driggers, Interim Assistant Principal

"As a teacher at Parsons for many years, I’ve had the pleasure of working with and supporting many families and students and am extremely excited to move into this new role as Interim Assistant Principal.  I’m looking forward to partnering with families and collaborating with faculty and staff to ensure an enriching and joyful educational experience for all students at Parsons Memorial School."

Ms. Driggers is well known to the Parsons Memorial Elementary School community, having served as an outstanding kindergarten and first grade teacher since 2006.  In these teaching roles, Ms. Driggers has modeled teacher leadership, facilitating grade-level meetings, designing and leading professional development and peer study groups, and mentoring new teachers.  Based on her contributions to the Parsons faculty, Ms. Driggers was selected to participate in the Future School Leaders Academy to develop her leadership expertise and help her obtain her administrative license.  In her now role as the Interim Assistant Principal, Ms. Driggers will build on her deep connections in the Parsons community to assist with the daily administration of the school and serve as a resource to faculty, staff, and parents.

Ms. Driggers holds a bachelor's degree in Elementary Education from the University of Scranton, a master's degree in Literacy Studies from Lehman College, and a master's degree in Educational Leadership from Bank Street College.

 


 

Desirae Ciaffone, English as a New Language Teacher

"Through the interview process, I was excited to learn that I am joining an inclusive, dedicated, and welcoming community that values all students."

Ms. Ciaffone recently completed a part-time position as an ENL teacher at Farragut Middle School and Hastings High School in  Hastings-on-Hudson.  She has also served as an ENL teacher at the Woodside and Oakside Elementary Schools in Peekskill.  Ms. Ciaffone graduated on Dean's List from Pace University with a bachelor's degree in Childhood Education and a master's degree in Teaching English to Speakers of other Languages.  

 


 

Lauren Mulholland, Music Teacher

"I am excited to work in a school that allows their teachers to grow in their practices while allowing space for autonomy and creativity."

Ms. Mulholland earned a bachelor's degree in Music Education from Susquehanna University and a Master's of Arts in Music Education from the Teachers College of Columbia University. She spent a semester abroad in Uruguay with Fulbright-Hays Seminars and currently participates in Carnegie Halls Music Educators Workshop. Ms. Mulholland comes to Harrison with eight years of experience as a Music Teacher and Choral Director.

 


 

Kimberly Zilempe, Elementary Teacher

"In order to provide an equitable environment I will take all my students' learning needs into account to provide activities that are meaningful to them."

Ms. Zilemple holds a bachelor's degree in Early Childhood and Childhood Education with a concentration in Spanish from SUNY Oneonta.  She also holds a master's degree in early childhood education from Mount Saint Mary College.  This past year, Ms. Zilempe served as a first grade and AIS mathematics teacher at the Westorchard School in Chappaqua.  She also has experience as a long-term substitute teacher in the Arlington and Brewster Central School Districts.

 

Purchase Elementary School

Dr. Janice Autera, School Psychologist

"As a school psychologist it is extremely important to be adaptable as you often wear many hats. In becoming part of the Purchase team, I will also have to adapt to a new culture. I plan to integrate adaptability into my daily practice by being flexible and creative when problem-solving and implementing interventions."

Dr. Autera graduated Summa Cum Laude from Manhattan College with a bachelor's degree in psychology.  She later earned a master's degree in Educational Psychology and her Doctorate in Psychology from Kean University.  Dr. Autera completed her clinical postdoctoral fellowship in Short HIlls, New Jersey with Specialized Psychological Services and has recently served at the Orchard School at Andrus as a School Psychologist and CSE Chairperson since 2016.

 


 

Lisa Castelli, English as a New Language Teacher

"Each student is unique in how they learn, therefore it is important for me to get to know my students' individual needs in order to know exactly what they will require to be successful. Integrating equity in my classroom ensures that each student has the appropriate learning pathway to achieve. "

Ms. Castelli holds a bachelor's degree in Sociology and Early Education and a master's degree in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages from Lehman College.  She has served as a lead teacher at Family Services and Easter Seals, and recently completed her student teaching to become certified as an ENL teacher.

 


 

Sydney Chiera, Elementary Teacher

"Creating an equitable classroom environment provides the teacher with an opportunity to let their creativity shine. I hope to provide my students with a large variety of learning opportunities to ensure that they each receive the materials and support that they need to succeed."

Ms. Chiera earned a bachelor's degree in both Childhood Education and Spanish from SUNY Cortland and a master's degree in Bilingual Childhood Education from CUNY New York.  She has taught students throughout Westchester from pre-school age to sixth graders. She comes to Harrison from NYC School District 11 in the Bronx, having most recently co-taught 6th and 5th graders.

 


 

Christine Profaci, Elementary Teacher

"I was excited to learn about the amount of collaboration and professional development that exists within the Harrison schools. I look forward to learning and growing professionally within this strong community of educators."

Ms. Profaci graduated as a NYU Honors Scholar from New York University with a bachelor's degree, majoring in Childhood & Special Education and minoring in English & American Studies. She went on to earn a master's degree from Bank Street College in Educational Studies, majoring as a Literacy Specialist. Ms. Profaci joins us from Baltimore, Maryland, where she taught at the Calvert School as a Kindergarten teacher since 2016.

 


 

Betsy Sahr, Elementary Teacher

"One of the core values that I will integrate into my classroom is adaptability.  As a teacher, things are always changing, especially teaching during a pandemic.  Being able to adapt and be flexible as a teacher will benefit the students as well.  It is important for students to understand how to be flexible when working with others and in the real world."

Ms. Sahr graduated from the State University of New York, Binghamton with a bachelor's degree and earned a master's in Childhood Education from the Hunter College School of Education.  She has taught in New York City at the Rodeph Sholom School and the Dwight School for the last eleven years.  Ms. Sahr continues to work with Teachers who Tutor, creating personalized plans for students' individualized needs.

 

Samuel J. Preston Elementary School

Sarah Durso, Elementary Teacher

"Throughout the interview process I had the pleasure of speaking with a number of educators at Preston Elementary school and with each conversation I grew more and more excited about teaching in a school that believes in the power of 'marching off the map.'”

For the past three years, Ms. Durso has served as a kindergarten teacher at the Notre Dame Academy Elementary School in Los Angeles, California.  She also taught for two years at the Saint Eugene's Elementary School in Yonkers.  Ms. Durso graduated Summa Cum Laude with a bachelor's degree in Early Childhood Education from Salve Regina University and a earned a master's degree with high honors in Inclusive and Responsive Teaching from Mount Saint Mary College.  

 


 

Daniella Lagani, Special Education Teacher

"I look forward to adapting instruction to accommodate the different learners that make up the class…by including various modes of instruction into my own teaching."

Ms. Lagani will serve as a long-term substitute special education teacher during the 2021-22 school year.  Ms. Lagani graduated Summa Cum Laude with a bachelor's degree in Behavior Science and a master's degree in Early Childhood, Childhood Education, and Teaching Students with Disabilities from Mercy College.  She also graduated from Harrison High School and completed her student teaching in Harrison schools.

 


 

Erin O'Donnell, Elementary Teacher

"Harrison’s core values, equity, access, rigor and adaptability, are all critical to the success of each student. Providing students with an equitable education is important in meeting the needs of each student and allowing them to be successful."

Ms. O'Donnell recently completed a long-term substitute teaching assignment in third grade at the Caryl E. Adams Primary School in the Whitney Point Central School District, where she also completed her student teaching.  She has also served as a substitute teacher at the Charles F. Johnson School in the Union-Endicott School District.  Ms. O'Donnell graduated with honors with a bachelor's degree in Human Development and a master's degree in Childhood, Early Childhood and Special Education from Binghamton University.