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Garden City Life - Schools

New School Year, New Teachers

Expectations high for new crop of educators

Fifteen new teachers and one school nurse were welcomed to the school district at new teacher orientation from Aug. 21 through 23 as the school-before-school commenced with three days of intensive training. The newest members of the district staff were given a guided tour of the village. It was provided as a way to immerse the new staff in the history and culture of Garden City, an important point stressed by Superintendent of Schools Dr. Robert Feirsen, Dr. Teresa Prendergast, assistant superintendent of curriculum and instruction, and Dr. Fino Celano, assistant superintendent for personnel during the event.   

The new staff members were welcomed on their first day of training by Board of Education President Barbara Trapasso and Trustee Robert Martin, members of the district’s administrative team, and PTA Executive Board President Yvonne Varano.

“You are the very top choices of the 6,000 applicants who applied for positions in Garden City Public Schools,” explained Dr. Fino Celano. “In addition to your qualifications, there was something unique about each of you that set you apart. We welcome you to our outstanding school district.”

In her curriculum and instruction presentation, Dr. Prendergast echoed the high expectations and goal of continuous improvement stressed by superintendent Feirsen and Dr. Celano: “The standards here are 110 percent - people move to Garden City for a reason. You are going to have a tremendous impact on the students you will be in contact with. We want you to love what you do, and model that love of learning for your students.”

And here are the newest members of the Garden City Public School District:

R. Keegan Baker: middle school, school social worker

R. Keegan Baker holds a B.S. in social work and an M.A. in social work from the State University of New York at Stony Brook. He served as a school social worker leave replacement in Hauppauge High School from April 2012 to November 2012. He was a social work intern at Walt Whitman High School, South Huntington, from September 2010 to May 2011. Baker holds provisional New York State certification as a school social worker as well as a New York State social work license. He is replacing Noreen Bonagura who retired.

Kerin-Leigh Boghosian: high school, physical education teacher    

Kerin-Leigh Boghosian holds a B.S. in psychology from Towson University and an M.A. in physical education from Adelphi University. She served as a regular substitute physical education teacher at Garden City High School from April 2013 to June 2013 and has been a per diem substitute teacher in Garden City Public Schools since February 2013. Boghosian holds initial New York State certification in physical education, grades K-12. She will be filling in for Janet Rogler, who is on child care leave.

Jean Cortese: high school, school nurse

Jean Cortese holds a B.S. in nursing from Pace University. She served as a full time nurse at the Connolly School, Glen Cove School District, from September 2012 to June 2013 and was a permanent substitute nurse in the Rockville Centre School District from September 2008 to June 2012. Cortese holds a New York State certificate as a registered professional nurse. She is replacing Jeanette Gilhooly who retired.

Jennifer DeMieri: primary schools, part-time school social worker

Jennifer DeMieri holds a B.A. in social welfare from the State University of New York at Stony Brook and an M.A. in social services from Fordham University. She served as program director for Massapequa and Seaford Project HOPE, Hurricane Sandy Recovery Grant from January 2013-June 2013. She was also a school social worker at Centereach High School, Middle Country School District from September 2012-January 2013 and at Massapequa’s Fairfield Elementary School from 2006-2009. DeMieri holds permanent New York State certification as a school social worker, grades K-12 and a New York State certificate as a licensed master social worker. This is a new part-time position at the primary schools.

Denise Holz: high school, art teacher                

Denise Holz holds a B.F.A. in graphic design from Adelphi University and an M.A. in teaching from the School of Visual Arts. She served as a regular substitute art teacher at Garden City Middle School from December 2012 to February 2013 and was an art teacher at Nassau BOCES from September 2011 to December 2012. Holz holds initial New York State certification in visual arts, grades K-12. She is replacing Diane Veitch who retired.

Dyanna Lambe: primary schools, elementary education (math specialist)

Dyanna Lambe holds a B.A. in elementary education and an M.A. in curriculum and instruction, mathematics from the University of Maryland. She served as a mathematics teacher at the Westland Middle School, Bethesda, Maryland, from July 2007 to June 2013 and was an elementary education teacher at the Westover Elementary School, Silver Springs, Maryland from August 2005 to July 2007. Lambe holds initial New York State certification in early childhood education (birth-grade 2), childhood education (grades 1-6), and mathematics (grades 5-9). She also holds Maryland Educator certificates in early childhood, pre-k to grade 3, elementary education, grades 1-6 and middle school and middle school mathematics, grades 4-9. This is a new position at the primary schools.

Michele Lambraia: Hemlock & Homestead, special education teacher

Michele Lambraia holds a B.S. in elementary education from St. John’s University and an M.S. in children’s literature from Queens College. She served as a leave replacement teacher at Homestead and Hemlock schools from May 2013 to June 2013 and has been a per diem substitute teacher in Garden City Public Schools since May 2012. Lambraia holds permanent New York State certification in elementary education, grades N-6, and professional certification in students with disabilities, birth to grade 2 and students with disabilities, grades 1-6. She will be filling in for Corina Tesoriero who is on child care leave.

Amanda Marley: high school, science teacher

Amanda Marley holds a B.A. in chemistry from the State University of New York at Stony Brook and is pursuing an M.A. at the State University of New York at Stony Brook. She served as a chemistry teacher at Bayport-Blue Point High School from September 2012 to June 2013 and was a chemistry teacher at Baldwin Senior High School from September 2011 to June 2012. Marley holds initial New York State certification in chemistry, grades 7-12 and general science, grades 7-12. She is replacing Barbara Demorest who retired.

Kimberly Marshall: Stratford, special education teacher

Kimberly Marshall holds a B.A. in psychology from the State University of New York at Albany and an M.S. in childhood and special education from L.I.U, Post. She served as a special education leave replacement teacher at East Hills Elementary School, Roslyn, New York, from March 2013 to June 2013 and was a special education teacher at Kidz Therapy Services, Garden City, New York, from 2012 to present. She was also an education coordinator at Developmental Disabilities Institute (D.D.I.) -Young Autism Program, Ronkonkoma, New York from 2008 to 2012 and a special education teacher at D.D.I.-Young Autism Program from 2004 to 2008. Marshall holds professional New York State certification in students with disabilities, grades 1-6, students with disabilities, birth to grade 2 and childhood education, grades 1-6. She is replacing Janet Dougherty who retired.

Erin Mich: high school, world language teacher

Erin Mich holds a B.M. in voice performance from Boston University and an M.S. in education from Hofstra University. She also did intensive German study at Goethe-Institut, Freiburg, Germany from October 2009 to May 2010. Ms. Mich served as a German teacher at Lindenhurst Middle School, Lindenhurst, New York from September 2012 to June 2013. She also worked as a translator for Aperio CI, Inc., Ronkonkoma, New York, where she translated the company website and extensive promotional materials into German. Mich holds initial New York State certification in German 7-12. She is replacing Susan Weber who retired.

Nicole Morace: high school & middle school, music teacher

Nicole Morace holds a B.M. in music education from L.I.U., Post and is pursuing a master’s degree at Queens College. She served as the high school choral director at Sachem North High School in Lake Ronkonkoma from March 2010 to June 2013 where she was granted tenure. Morace holds initial New York State certification in music, grades K-12. She is replacing Sara Toca who resigned.

Andrea Nesteruk: middle school, world language teacher

Andrea Nesteruk holds a B.A. in Italian studies and an M.A. in teaching from the State University of New York at Stony Brook. She served as a regular substitute world language teacher at Garden City High School from January 2013 to March 2013 and was a permanent substitute teacher at Half Hollow Hills High School East from September 2010 to June 2011. From September 2011 to July 2012 she taught in Rome, Italy as a Fulbright Scholar. Nesteruk holds initial New York State certification in Italian, grades 7-12. She is replacing Mariangela Sorace who retired.

Melissa Pashayan: Stewart, art teacher

Melissa Pashayan holds a B.A. in fine arts and an M.A. in art education from Adelphi University. She served as a regular substitute art teacher at Stewart School from February 2013 to June 2013 and has been a per diem substitute teacher in Garden City Public Schools since October 2011. Pashayan holds initial New York State certification in visual arts, grades K-12. She is replacing Michele White who retired.

Dr. Jaclyn Shlisky: Stewart & Stratford, school psychologist

Jaclyn Shlisky holds a B.A. in psychology from The Pennsylvania State University, an M.S. in school psychology/bilingual extension from St. John’s University and a Psy.D. in school psychology/bilingual extension from St. John’s University. She served as a school psychologist at The Child School/Legacy High School, Roosevelt Island, New York from May 2012 to June 2013. She did her psychology internship program at The Child School/Legacy High School from July 2011 to May 2012. Dr. Shlisky holds provisional New York State certification in school psychology, grades K-12. She is replacing Stacey Esmond who is now the CPSE Chair.

Jill Smith: Stratford, elementary education teacher

Jill Smith holds a B.A. in elementary education and psychology from Hofstra University and an M.A. in literacy education from L. I. U., Post. She served as an elementary education teacher at Paumanok Elementary School, Half Hollow Hills Central School District, Dix Hills, New York from September 2004 to June 2013. Smith holds permanent New York State certification in elementary education, grades Pre-K to 6 and professional certification in literacy, birth to grade 6. She will be filling in for Mary Brown who is on child care leave.

Christopher Toomey: Stewart, music teacher

Christopher Toomey holds a B.S. in music education from Hofstra University and is pursuing an M.A. in music from the State University of New York at Stony Brook. He has served as a leave replacement music teacher at Bretton Woods Elementary School in Hauppauge from April 2013 to May 2013, at Commack High School from September 2012 to January 2013, at John G. Dinkelmeyer Elementary School, North Bellmore from March 2012 to June 2012, and at Sawmill Intermediate School, Commack  from 2011 to 2012. He did his student teaching at Garden City Middle School from January 2011 to March 2011. Toomey holds initial New York State certification in music K-12.  He is replacing Peter Stanganelli who retired.