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The Harrison Central School District Welcomes
New Administrators & Teachers


District Office

Jennifer Toscano, Interim Director of Special Education & Support Services

I am honored and excited to fulfill the role as Interim Director of Special Education and Support Services. Over the past seven years, I have had the privilege of working with numerous students, families, and staff at the elementary level. I look forward to continuing these relationships and to developing new ones at the secondary level. I take great pride in the work that we have done (and continue to do) as a special education department and as a district to ensure that all of our students have the support that they need to be successful.

Effective July 1, 2022, Ms. Jennifer Toscano was promoted to become the Interim Director of Special Education and Support Services.  

For the past seven years, Ms. Toscano has served as Harrison’s Supervisor of Elementary Special Education, providing expert leadership to steward the K-5 special education program.  In this leadership role, Ms. Toscano has refined the continuum of special education services provided to students and expanded summer offerings, designed and delivered professional development to support research-based best practices, and partnered with parents and service providers to ensure a comprehensive approach to supporting students’ needs.  Ms. Toscano is a dedicated advocate for students, working with teachers, principals, and parents to ensure that students benefit from highly personalized programs in the least restrictive environment possible. Under her leadership, the special education programs offered by the District are expressly designed to not only meet students’ IEP goals, but also to prepare them for the most rigorous program of study possible as participants in the International Baccalaureate program.

Before coming to Harrison in 2015, Ms. Toscano’s leadership experience included serving for seven years as the assistant principal of P.S. 20, the Anna Silver School, in lower Manhattan.  In this role, Ms. Toscano supervised the special education services for a school serving 635 students in grades pre-kindergarten through five.  Ms. Toscano was instrumental in the school’s initiative to expand the special education continuum of services so that students with special needs could be more effectively served in inclusive settings.  In partnership with classroom teachers, Ms. Toscano led the Academic Intervention Team, the Pupil Personnel Committee, the Behavioral Intervention Team, the 21st Century After School Program, and the Title III Saturday Academy, providing a comprehensive network of coordinated services for students. Ms. Toscano was also instrumental in developing a Mandarin Dual Language program at the school. Ms. Toscano was selected to participate in New York City’s Teacher Leadership Program and Assistant Principals Institute. She is also a graduate of the New York City Leadership Academy. Prior to her role as assistant principal, Ms. Toscano served as an elementary special education teacher and academic intervention services teacher in New York City.  She also has experience as a trainer at an elementary school in Brooklyn that specializes in serving students with autism. 

Ms. Toscano graduated Cum Laude with a B.A. in management from Manhattanville College, an M.A. in elementary special education from Mercy College, and a second M.A. in educational leadership from the City University of New York/Baruch College.

 


 

Shannon Cipolla, Interim Supervisor of Elementary Special Education

After serving as a special education teacher in the district for the past seven years, I’ve worked alongside the most dedicated, compassionate educators and supportive administrators who have shown me the way to transformational leadership. Most importantly, I’ve had the privilege of working closely with students who have truly changed my life with their smiles and joy of learning. Every student I’ve worked with holds a special place in my heart. My goal is to continue to impact the lives of our students through my dedication to the core values of our district.

Effective August 4, 2022, Shannon Cipolla joined Harrison’s leadership team as the Interim Supervisor of Elementary Special Education.

Mrs. Cipolla began her teaching career in Harrison as a special co-education teacher at the Purchase School in 2015.  In this role she developed her capacity as an instructional expert, partnering with classroom teachers to implement instructional interventions to support special education and general education students.  Mrs. Cipolla also served as a case manager for special education students, helping them to meet their IEP goals and communicating with parents to support students’ learning at home and at school.  In 2019, Mrs. Cipolla became a resource room teacher at Purchase School, conducting initial testing for students referred for special education services, providing consultant teacher services to special education students and their classroom teachers, and collecting student achievement data to report on student progress toward meeting IEP goals.  In 2020, Mrs. Cipolla was selected by the Superintendent of Schools to enroll in the Bank Street College Future School Leaders Academy.  Through this leadership program, Mrs. Cipolla has chaired Committee on Special Education meetings, developed and implemented professional development for teachers in best practices related to special education, and served as a Response to Intervention team member to identify and evaluate instructional strategies to support struggling students.  Through these experiences, Mrs. Cipolla has demonstrated her deep knowledge of teaching and learning, a strong commitment to advocating for students and their learning needs, and her willingness to partner with parents and colleagues to support student success.  

Mrs. Cipolla earned a B.A. in counseling and human development from the University of Scranton and a M.A. in education from Mercy College.  Mrs. Cipolla is also completing a second master’s degree in educational leadership from the Bank Street College Future School Leaders Academy.  

 


 

Matthew Royal, Director of Fine and Performing Arts

The Harrison Fine and Performing Arts department has earned a glowing reputation for the high quality work its students produce and the dedication of the teachers who guide them. I am thrilled to work with such an exceptional group of educators to offer all of our students a chance to discover and express themselves through the arts.

Effective July 1, 2022, Matthew Royal joined the Harrison Central School District’s leadership team as the new Director of Fine & Performing Arts.

Mr. Royal recently completed his eleventh year as a music teacher in the Clarkstown Central School District, where he has had a distinguished tenure as an elementary and middle school chorus teacher and advocate for the arts.  In this role, Mr. Royal helped revise the music curriculum to differentiate educational opportunities by using small-group lessons, student-directed models, and varied choice activities to promote student engagement.  As a leader within the department, Mr. Royal also designed enrichment experiences for students to explore, create, and understand music in practical, conceptual and cultural contexts.  He served as the producer for the middle school musical, managing a team of approximately 20 professionals and a membership of 200 students to perform a fully staged musical production.  In this role, Mr. Royal supervised casting, fundraising, performance licensing, equipment rentals, theatrical stage and lighting design, ticketing, and the musical budget.  

Mr. Royal’s formal preparation for leadership also includes designing and delivering professional development for teachers, mentoring new teachers through the design of a peer observation structure to facilitate professional reflection and growth while cultivating a culture of collaboration, and leading work among his colleagues to promote faculty engagement with school improvement initiatives.  

Mr. Royal graduated Magna Cum Laude with a B.A. in music education and vocal performance and a M.A. in vocal performance from the Crane School of Music at SUNY Potsdam.  He also holds a Certificate of Advanced Study in educational leadership from SUNY New Paltz.  Before becoming an educator, Mr. Royal was a professional opera singer.

 


 

Dr. Maggie Hoddinott, Supervisor of Elementary Education

I am thrilled to join the Harrison community and look forward to building on the work that has been done to foster a rigorous, equitable, accessible, and adaptable educational experience for all children. 

Effective July 1, 2022, Margaret Hoddinott joined Harrison’s leadership team as the new Supervisor of Elementary Education.

Dr. Hoddinott began her career in education as a Teach for America corps member in New York City, where she taught second grade.  She then served as a teacher of Deaf and hard of hearing students for the Arizona School for the Deaf and Blind in Tucson, Arizona.  From 2008 to 2022, Dr. Hoddinott fulfilled several roles as a classroom teacher and instructional leader in the Mamaroneck Union Free School District.  From 2008 to 2011, Dr. Hoddinott served as an elementary teacher in grades one, two and three.  She also worked for four years as a literacy teacher, providing targeted interventions to support students in reading and writing.  In this role, Dr. Hoddinott developed a phonological awareness assessment tool that was implemented district wide, created literacy achievement reports for students receiving literacy support, and partnered with classroom teachers to develop their knowledge of literacy interventions.  Recognizing her expertise in the area of literacy, Mamaroneck promoted Dr. Hoddinott in 2015 to the leadership role of literacy ambassador.  In this capacity, Dr. Hoddinott analyzed student achievement data for 2,600 students, guided a process to identify instructional priorities and the selection of instructional resources based on student achievement data, designed and delivered professional development to support teachers’ knowledge of literacy-based best practices, and expanded community outreach to support literacy connections between home and school.  

Dr. Hoddinott’s professional accomplishments include presenting on her work as a literacy leader at national and local conferences.  She recently co-authored a professional book for teachers titled Intervention Reinvention: A Volume-based Approach to Reading Success, Scholastic, 2021.  Dr. Hoddinott earned a B.A. in commerce from McGill University, am M.A. in elementary education from Pace University, an M.A. in special education from the University of Arizona, an advanced certificate in educational leadership from Long Island University, and a doctorate in educational leadership and policy analysis from the University of Missouri.  

Harrison High School

 

Mary Louise Blount, Science

It is an honor to be afforded the opportunity to work in a district that appreciates the individuality of each student and eliminates barriers so that all learners are able to not only recognize their potential, but to meet success.

Ms. Blount earned her undergraduate degree in human development with minors in business and health policy from Cornell University, and a M.A. in teaching biology from State University of New York, Stony Brook. She served as a tutor and substitute teacher while earning her degree and worked in health care prior to earning a graduate degree in education.  Most recently Ms. Blount served as a leave replacement at North Shore public schools. 

 


 

Kimberly Castellano, English as a New Language

I am excited to participate in professional development offerings and be part of a true learning community which so positively impacts students’ education.

Ms. Castellano holds a B.A. in English and history from State University of New York, Cortland, an M.A. in English from Fordham University, and an M.S. in teaching English to speakers of other languages (TESOL) from Mercy College. She served as a teaching assistant in the Rye Neck schools before earning a teaching degree, and most recently worked in the New Rochelle City School District.

 


 

Melissa Libertino, Special Education

Harrison is truly representative of the phrase "all means all." I am excited about the inclusive IB program, which supports and encourages a rigorous environment for both general education and classified students.

Ms. Libertino graduated from Binghamton University with Summa Cum Laude honors and dual B.A. degrees in art and design and English, with a minor in education. She also earned a M.A. in teaching inclusive adolescent education with Summa Cum Laude honors from Pace University. Ms. Libertino has taught English, art and special education, most recently serving as a dual special educator, English Teacher in Ossining.  In her spare time, she enjoys reading, writing, fitness and gardening.

 


 

Alexandra Villanueva, Spanish

I am excited to work in a district that seeks academic excellence and places great emphasis on the social emotional component of learning. 

Ms. Villanueva earned a B.A. in Spanish and Latin American literature and culture and a dual M.A. degree in teaching Spanish as a foreign language and teaching English to speakers of other languages (TESOL) from New York University. She completed her studies in both Madrid and New York City and has experienced language and culture through travel to many regions of Spain. Ms. Villanueva’s teaching experience includes schools in the United States and Spain, where she has honed her ability to engage students through differentiated instruction.

 


 

Maksim Vasilevsky, Special Education

Adaptability is essential to ensuring all students receive appropriate accommodations and modifications to meet their needs.

Mr. Vasilevsky holds bachelor's and master’s degrees from Mercy College, and a Doctorate in educational leadership from Manhattanville College. He previously worked as a special education teacher at Hawthorne Cedar Knolls and as a varsity track coach at Somers High School. Mr. Vasilevsky believes in developing learners “who are strong communicators, open-minded and not afraid to take academic risks.” 

 


 

Jaclyn Wagner, English

Rigor doesn't have to be daunting; it can be exciting and transformative, made so by deep discussions, peer collaboration, and meaningful conferencing. I will meet my students where they are in their ELA education and support them to meet whatever their goals are.

Ms. Wagner holds a bachelor's degree in English and French from William Smith College and a master's degree in English Literature from Middlebury College.  For the past seven years, Ms. Wagner has taught 9th and 11th grade English at Byram Hills High School, where she received tenure.   Ms. Wagner also has a deep interest in history and has served on the board of the Pawling Historical Society.

 

Louis M. Klein Middle School
 

Alexa Quiñones Brennan, School Psychology

I will incorporate Harrison's core value of access into my practice as I design individualized learning plans that best meet each of my student's needs and sets them up for academic, social, and emotional success.

Ms. Quiñones Brennan graduated Cum Laude from Villanova University with a B.A. in psychology and minor in Spanish. She also earned a M.A. in educational psychology from Teachers College, Columbia University. Ms. Quiñones Brennan most recently served as school psychologist in the Greenwich Public Schools.

 

 

 


 

Anthony Congi, Mathematics

I am excited to share my love of mathematics with students and look forward to returning to the classroom.  

Mr. Congi taught mathematics at the Louis M. Klein Middle School for over 30 years, and he will be returning as a leave replacement mathematics teacher during the 2022-23 school year.  Mr. Congi holds a B.A. in theology from Wheeling College and a M.A. in adolescent education from the University of Bridgeport.  Since retiring from the Harrison Central School District in 2004, Mr Congi has served as a substitute teacher at Louis M. Klein Middle School and Harrison High School.

 


 

Allison Fine, Mathematics

Adaptability is an important part of life. Not everything goes according to plan and being able to adjust your teaching to meet the needs of your students is essential.

Ms. Fine earned Cum Laude honors at University of Massachusetts Amherst where she graduated with a B.S. in mathematics and a minor in education.  She also earned a M.S. in teaching mathematics Grades 7-12 from St. John’s University. Ms. Fine has spent the past ten years teach math in New York City public schools.

 


 

Christina DiStanislao, Social Studies

I look forward to joining a team that fosters an environment of lifelong pedagogical and content learning.

Ms. DiStanislao earned a B.A. with Cum Laude honors in adolescent education and M.S. with Summa Cum Laude honors in education from Iona College. She also holds an Advanced Certificate in social studies from Adelphi University. Ms. DiStanislao is a founding history teacher at two Title 1 charter schools, where she created engaging, rigorous, and collaborative student centered learning environments. She most recently taught social studies in the Baldwin Union Free School District.

 


 

Jake DeRobertis, Mathematics

I was thrilled to hear just how much Harrison emphasizes student-centered instruction….learning in my classroom is not only focused on the student's academic success, but their social-emotional success as well.

Mr. DeRobertis holds a B.A. in mathematical sciences with a minor in education and a M.S. in adolescence education: mathematics 7-12 from State University of New York, Binghamton University.  As Mathematics Assessment Design & Development Intern at the College Board, he authored test item data for the SAT. Most recently, Mr. DeRobertis taught in the Lindenhurst Union Free School District.

 

 


 

Anthony Ferdinandi, Science

Harrison places an emphasis on teacher growth and development, and I'm excited to learn and improve so I can provide the best educational experience possible for students.

Mr. Ferdinandi holds B.S. degree in biology and M.A. in teaching from the State University of New York, Binghamton University. He brings enthusiasm for teaching and a strong desire to “help students become enamored with science” and many years working with children.  Mr. Ferdinandi most recently taught science in the Minisink Valley Central School District.

 


 

Audrey Faulkner, Special Education

Students come into classrooms on a variety of levels and with multiple ways of learning. It's important to adapt different strategies and be flexible to accommodate each child’s needs.

Ms. Faulkner graduated Summa Cum Laude with a B.S. in education from State University of New York, Fredonia and earned a M.S. in education from City University of New York, Hunter College, with Summa Cum Laude designation. She most recently served as a leave replacement co-teacher in Harrison.

 


 

Aileen Lonergan, Mathematics

My goal is to create a classroom environment where all students are able to access the math curriculum and are willing to take risks. Challenges in math look different for different students; the classroom should be designed to give students the tools and supports to meet those challenges.

Ms. Lonergan joins HCSD with ten years of experience in various academic settings and grade levels, most recently as a 6th grade math teacher in the Mamaroneck Public Schools.  She earned a Bachelor’s Degree, Magna Cum Laude, from Manhattan College and Master’s Degree from New York University, both in secondary mathematics education. As an undergraduate, Ms. Lonergan was a member of the Education and Math Honor Societies; as a graduate student, she was named a Math for America Fellow.

 


 

Alexis Prisco, English

Harrison's emphasis on equity demonstrates the district's priority of ensuring each child is provided an education that promotes individual opportunity and success in the classroom.

Ms. Prisco graduated Magna Cum Laude with a B.A. in English and adolescence education with a concentration in English literature from Marist College and a Masters in special education from St. Joseph’s University.  She was captain of the Marist College Division 1 Women’s Soccer Team and named to the MAAC Academic Team. Ms. Prisco believes it is important to “ implement different teaching strategies to support students,” and most recently served as the Head English Language Arts Teacher at Waianae Intermediate School in Waianae, Hawaii.

 


 

Giulia Panter, Special Education

I am excited to be surrounded by a staff with the drive to create a learning environment that promotes rigor, creativity, and student voice.

Ms. Panter graduated Summa Cum Laude from Cornell University with a B.A. in comparative literature and English, and she earned a Master’s degree in teaching English and teaching students with disabilities from the NYU Steinhardt School.  Before coming to Harrison, Ms. Panter served as a special education and English teacher in New York City.

 


 

Talia Schulman, Music

I will work with my students, meet them where they are, and set goals that meet everyone's social-emotional learning & academic rigor needs.

Ms. Schulman graduated Summa Cum Laude from the University of Hartford, Hartt School of Music with a Bachelor of music in music education and cello performance, where she also was on the President’s Honor List. She currently is a candidate for a M.A. in music education at Teachers College Columbia University. Ms. Schulman brings experience as a music teacher, most recently serving as a long term substitute strings and orchestra teacher in the White Plains City School District.

 


 

Carmella Tedeschi, Special Education

I will integrate the core value of access into my classroom practice by creating differentiated learning experiences and providing students with opportunities to build upon their strengths, achieve their individual goals, and develop their understanding of new concepts.

Ms. Tedeschi earned a B.A. in psychology and special education from Marist College where she was on the Dean’s List and a member of the National Math Honor Society. She subsequently earned a master's of professional studies from Manhattanville College and was recognized for Academic Excellence in literacy education. Ms. Tedeschi previously worked in the New York City public schools and most recently served as a Special Education teacher in Hastings-on-Hudson. 

 


 

Vincent Umbrino, Special Education

I am intrigued by the emphasis placed upon collaboration among the faculty and impressed that the district provides opportunities for teachers who work closely during the school year.

Mr. Umbrino brings ten years of teaching experience to Harrison, having most recently served as a Special Education teacher in the New Rochelle public schools. He earned a B.A. from Gettysburg College, M.A. in educational theater from New York University, and M.S. in education with honors from the City University of New York.

Harrison Avenue Elementary School
 

Allison Proskar, Special Education

Adaptability will forever be a part of my classroom practice. Applied behavior analysis is a science and an art where flexibility and problem solving is required with each individual learner and environment.

Ms. Proskar earned a bachelor's degree in Spanish and elementary education from Muhlenberg College, master's degree in special education from Bank Street School of Education, and a post-graduate degree in applied behavior analysis. She most recently served as a special education teacher in the Rye City School District.

 


 

Samantha Manko, Special Education

I believe it is important to work as a team to create an inclusive environment and engaging lessons that meet the needs of all students.

Ms. Manko graduated Cum Laude from New York University with dual bachelor of science degrees in psychology and early childhood education/special education, followed by a master’s degree in childhood education and special education. She has taught elementary school in several New York City schools, and served as a leave replacement special education teacher last year. 

 

 


 

Jenna Chittenden, Elementary

It is important for me to make sure that all of my students feel included and equal to their peers in all aspects of learning.

Ms. Chittenden earned both her undergraduate and graduate degrees from Sacred Heart University, and she holds a B.S. in interdisciplinary studies and an M.S. in elementary education. She has worked with children for many years, most recently as a leave replacement in the Wilton public schools.

 


 

Shelby Silvestri, Elementary

The core value of rigor is an essential part of my classroom practice as it encourages academic excellence, student engagement, and challenges students’ thinking in new and interesting ways.

Ms. Silvestri holds a B.S. from Western Connecticut State University and an M.S. in early childhood education from Mercy College. She believes in creating a supportive and engaging classroom environment where students can achieve their maximum potential. Ms. Silvestri most recently taught at third grade at Icahn Charter School 3.

 


 

Therese McDonough, Elementary

Students enter school with unique needs; my classroom will promote equity and give each student access to the curriculum and resources they need to learn and thrive.

Ms. McDonough earned both her B.S. in elementary education and M.S. in special education from Manhattan College, where she achieved Dean’s Honor as an undergraduate and was a member of the Epsilom Sigma Pi Honor Society. She is an experienced classroom teacher, having taught in the New York City and Rye City public schools, and most recently was a leave replacement substitute teacher at Harrison Avenue Elementary School.

Parsons Memorial Elementary School
 

Ashley Ferraro, Elementary

Each day brings unique and sometimes unplanned opportunities for learning. I plan on modeling the importance of adaptability and being resilient, as well as helping them do the same.

Ms. Ferraro graduated Magna Cum Laude from the State University of New York, College at Oneonta with a degree in early childhood and childhood education, and she earned a master’s degree as a literacy specialist from State University of New York, Albany.   She has served as an elementary school teacher and reading teacher, most recently teaching first grade in the Mohonasen Central School District in Schenectady, NY.  

 


 

Bailey McCollum, Elementary

I’m excited to join a welcoming, dedicated, and strong community of educators that values collaboration and professional development.

Ms. McCullum graduated Summa Cum Laude from Western Connecticut State University with a B.S. in elementary education, and she is currently completing her M.S. in special education at the State University of New York, New Paltz. In her classroom she facilitates collaboration among students and encourages their development of a growth mindset. Ms. McCullum most recently taught 4th grade in the Danbury public schools.

 

 


 

Kendyl Nethercott, Elementary

I will create a classroom community that is welcoming and supportive of all students, in which I can meet their individual needs. I strongly feel that every child should be provided with opportunities to enhance their potential and develop a lifelong love for learning.

Ms. Nethercott graduate Summa Cum laude with a B.A. in sociology and an M.A. in childhood education from Manhattanville College.  Ms. Nethercott has served as a long-term substitute in various roles at the Parsons Memorial Elementary School and most recently completed a leave replacement position in the New Canaan Public Schools.

 


 

Loretta Rerecich, School Psychology

Adaptability has always been a pivotal part of my practice with students. I see every child as a unique individual and I focus on respecting them and meeting them where they are in the moment.

Ms. Rerecich will serve as a part-time psychologist during the 2022-23 school year.  She earned a B.A. in psychology from the University of Albany and a M.A. in school psychology from Iona College.  Ms. Rerecich has served as a school psychologist at the Children's School for Early Development in Hawthorne and the Success Academy Charter Schools in New York City.  

 


 

Samantha Saumell, Elementary

I am excited to become apart of a community that works to create an empowering education for all students. I believe that building meaningful connections with families and students is the heart of education.

Ms. Saumell graduated Summa Cum Laude with a B.A. and M.S. in literacy from Pace University, where she was also a Presidential Scholarship recipient and selected graduation speaker.   Ms. Saumell most recently served as an elementary teaching assistant at the WL Morse Elementary School in Tarrytown.  Fluent in both English and Spanish, Ms. Saumell also has experience as a bilingual tutor.

 


 

Sophie Trecker, Elementary

Harrison is a district that truly puts students first. All decisions are made are in the best interest of serving students. The district doesn't just talk about putting students first, they actually do and that is exciting.

Ms. Trecker earned a bachelor's degree in English from the University of Wisconsin and master's degree in education from Teachers College at Columbia University. She began teaching in the New York City public schools and has worked as a literacy consultant providing professional development for schools across the country. Ms. Trecker most recently served as a leave replacement reading specialist at Parsons Elementary School, and she will join the Parson faculty again this year.

 


 

Sabrina Winoski, Elementary

I am looking forward to continuing to grow as an educator through professional development and becoming the strongest teacher possible for my students.

Ms. Winoski graduated on the Dean's List, Cum Laude with a bachelor's degree from the University of Rhode Island and continued her education at Manhattanville College, earning a master's degree with Summa Cum Laude designation. She has taught in elementary schools in Rhode Island and most recently taught first grade as a leave replacement at Parsons Elementary School. Ms. Winoski is committed to ensuring students feel safe and at home in her classroom.

Purchase Elementary School
 

Kathrin Blanch, English as a New Language

I am excited by how the teachers collaborate and share best practices in order to make sure that each student counts and is on a level playing field.

Ms. Blanch graduated from Yale University with a B.A. in American studies and from Manhattanville College with an M.P.S. in childhood education and special education. She has worked as a classroom, ENL, and special education teacher, most recently serving as a leave replacement teacher at Harrison Avenue Elementary School.

 


 

Robyn Capezzuto, Elementary

Whether an unexpected situation to navigate, a diverse range of learners to teach, interacting with colleagues, students, and parents, or integrating new and changing knowledge, I am ready to adapt to meet the needs of all of my students and families!

Ms. Capezzuto holds a B.S. in human development from the State University of New York, Binghamton University and a M.A. in teaching from Queens College.  She brings ten years classroom teaching experience to HCSD, having taught many years in the New York City Public Schools, and most recently in the Nanuet Union Free School District.

 


 

Lena Eldana, Elementary

I am excited by the professional development opportunities and the community in Harrison and look forward to growing and collaborating with others who share my same passion and excitement as an educator.

Ms. Eldana received her undergraduate degree from Manhattanville College and continued her education at New York University, where she earned a master’s degree in childhood education and special education. She has taught in the New York City Public Schools for the past four years.

 


 

Raffi Sarajian, Special Education

I am excited to work within a district that believes in developing and supporting its staff. I always want to better myself as an educator and this district provides many opportunities to do so through collaboration, mentorship, and professional development.

Mr. Sarajian graduated with a B.S. in kinesiology from Springfield College, earned a M.A. in special education from Anna Maria College and a M.A. in childhood education and students with disabilities from Dominican University, where he earned the Outstanding Student Teacher Award. He coaches JV Football at Spring Valley High School, and most recently served as a special education teacher at South Orangetown.

 


 

Mara Souther, Elementary

Adaptability is a core value that I integrate into my classroom in order to respond to the different needs, interests, and abilities of my students.

Ms. Souther is a Dean’s List graduate from Fordham University, where she earned a B.A. in sociology and M.S. in teaching childhood and special education. She also has earned a TESOL certificate from St. John's University.  Ms. Souther previously has taught in New York City, Darien and New Rochelle public schools.

 


 

Lindsay Vanno, Special Education

Harrison promotes experiences that increase the collective capacity of a staff so the most effective ways of improving teaching and learning becomes available and accessible to all.

Ms. Vanno graduated from Utica College of Syracuse University with a B.S. in therapeutic recreation, earned an M.A. in education at City College of New York, and a certificate in educational leadership from the College of Saint Rose. She has broad co-teaching experiences, having taught in various schools in the New York City school system. Ms. Vanno believes in building dynamic learning environments grounded in hands-on investigations to inspire interest and understanding.

Samuel J. Preston Elementary School
 

Louise Ehrmann, Elementary

I am excited to work with the IB PYP in which students take responsibility and ownership of their learning through inquiry and reflection.

Ms. Ehrmann earned a B.A. in American Civilization from the University of Pennsylvania, a J.D. from the University of California, Hastings College of Law, and a M.S. in childhood education from City College of New York School of Education. She joins Harrison having most recently taught in the Pawling Central School District.

 


 

Marissa Fiore, Special Education

Students in Harrison are provided exposure to all general education course work with the support of a special education teacher. My co-teacher and I will provide access and rigor to support all learners.

Ms. Fiore earned her undergraduate degree in international relations from Lock Haven University and a master’s degree in education Magna Cum Laude from Manhattanville College. She joins Harrison after serving as a special education teacher in the New York City Schools and most recently serving as a leave replacement teacher at Samuel J. Preston Elementary School.

 


 

Alison Fox, English as a New Language

I am excited to work with educators and administrators with similar values. The district values strong professional development and mentorship and I believe it is through this type of collaboration that relationships are truly fostered and knowledge is shared.

Ms. Fox graduated from Syracuse University with a dual major in communications and rhetorical studies and Spanish language, literature and culture. She subsequently earned a master's degree in teaching English to speakers of other languages (TESOL) from Hunter College and a second master's degree in educational leadership from Long Island University.  Ms. Fox joins HCSD after filling and ENL leave replacement position in the Pleasantville School District.

 


 

John Geiger, Elementary

Access is an important value to integrate into a classroom. It is vital to teach with differentiated learning to allow every student an equal opportunity to be the best they can be.

Mr. Geiger earned a bachelor's degree in marketing from Ohio State University and has worked as a sales professional before pursuing a career in public education.  Mr. Geiger initially served as an intern in the Harrison Central School District, providing instructional support to students in the District's childcare program during the COVID-19 pandemic and then as a teacher aide.   Mr. Geiger is completing a master's degree in elementary and special education from Manhattanville College.

 


 

Laura Kretzmer, Elementary

As a kindergarten teacher, I look forward to getting to know my students and adapting my lessons to meet their needs to provide them with a happy, successful start to a lifetime love of learning.

Ms. Kretzmer earned her undergraduate degree from Iona College and her master's degree in elementary and early childhood education from the University of Bridgeport.  She has taught various grades in elementary schools, and has served as a long-term substitute teacher in Harrison for several years.