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Summer Academy Instructors 2019

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Christina Pizzino-Catalano: Mrs. Pizzino-Catalano is in her eleventh year with Niskayuna Central Schools as the high school director of choral studies where she conducts Choir (9th-12th grade mixed), Ladies First (treble voices), Concert Chorale (select mixed), Studio Singers (select vocal jazz), and Bel Canto Voices (select a cappella/madrigal) in addition to teaching group vocal instruction.

She has also conducted the Glencliff Elementary School 4th/5thGrade Chorus and teaches at the Summer Sonata program during July. She acts as the vocal prepateur/rehearsal accompanist for Niskayuna’s annual high school musical (shows include Sondheim’s Follies, Bye Bye Birdie, Cinderella, Thoroughly Modern Millie, CATS, Shakespeare’s R&J,Sweeney Todd, Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, The Phantom of the Opera which was nominated for nine H.S. Musical Theatre Awards and was named best musical at the regional H.S. Musical Theatre Awards at Proctors Theatre, CAMELOT and Little Women). She has sung with Albany Pro Musica, has toured as a conductor with American Music Abroad to Germany and Austria and has chaired both the Suburban Council Select and Schenectady All-County High School Select Mixed Choruses. In addition, she has been a NYSSMA Choral Majors chairperson and co-chaired the NYSSMA Solo Festival at Niskayuna H.S. that hosted over 2800 students from area schools.

She has judged the art song competition that was sponsored by the Eastern division of the National Association of Teachers of Singing and has been the guest conductor of the Greene All-County High School Select Mixed Chorus, Renssalaer County High School Select Mixed Chorus, and the Saratoga-Warren County 7-10 Select Women’s Chorus. Mrs. Pizzino-Catalano returned to the Capital Region after completing her M.M. in Vocal Performance at the College-Conservatory of Music (University of Cincinnati) and a B.M. in Music Education and Vocal Performance at the Crane School of Music, SUNY Potsdam.

She has performed with many local organizations such the Mohawk Valley Chorus, the Schenectady Symphony Orchestra (where 140 of her students joined her onstage for Rutter’s Mass of the Children at Proctors Theatre), the SUNY Albany Symphony Orchestra, the Octavo Singers, the Mendelssohn Club of Albany and at the Saratoga Race Track for Italian-American Day in addition to frequent requests to perform the Italian National Anthem. Mrs. Pizzino-Catalano maintains a private vocal studio, is a cantor at St. Kateri Tekakwitha Roman Catholic Church where she also sings at weddings and funerals, has coached girls freshmen volleyball and is a NYSSMA solo adjudicator.

Angela Ledtke:

Josh Kohan: This is Josh’s seventh year at the Summer Academy. He is currently a faculty English Instructor at Hudson Valley Community College. A graduate of The College of Saint Rose with his M.S. in English Education, Josh got his BA in both English and Media Study with a concentration in Film from the University at Buffalo where he wrote and directed screenplays and films. Josh has taught English abroad for two years in South Korea, a higher needs charter school in New Orleans , and various public schools and community colleges throughout the Capital Region. He continues to write fiction and nonfiction whenever he is not teaching and is looking forward to another great summer with the Youth Academy!

Timothy Emre Rice: Timothy graduated from Syracuse University in May of 2017 with a B.S. in Aerospace Engineering. At Syracuse, he worked three years as an Academic Excellence Workshop facilitator, and he recently has been working for General Electric Global Research Center as an intern for the additive materials and ceramic materials laboratory.

Timothy is currently an accepted graduate student at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, and will continue his studies in the field of Aeronautical Engineering, studying propulsion and combustion.

Shaunna Pastuszak: Ms. Pastuszak is an American Historian with degrees from Boston College and Russell Sage College. This is her fifth year on staff at the St. Rose Summer Academy. Ms. Pastuszak has taught social studies in the South Colonie School system since 2002. Her most current academic endeavors include fellowships given by the National Endowment for the Humanities.

Her last five summers have been spent as a fellow studying topics like the Civil Rights Movement on the Mississippi Delta at Delta State University, and at Montana State University, in Helena, researching the impact of western mining on the Second Industrial Revolution. Her resume also includes participation in the Ashbrook Center’s Presidential Academy and the Colonial Williamsburg Teacher Institute.

Susan Brophy: Susan Brophy is happy to be back for her tenth year with the Summer Academy. Brophy received her Bachelors Degree in English from SUNY Brockport and her graduate degree in Secondary Education from The College of Saint Rose. She has been teaching 8th grade English in the Waterford-Halfmoon school district for nine years.

Because of her love for language and emphasis on the creative (she was also a Theatre Minor in college). Ms. Brophy likes to encourage all her students to be eloquent, unique, and have fun.

Michael Langevin: Michael has been a Sign Language Interpreter at the Capital Region BOCES for the past 30 years. He works in a local public school system interpreting for students who are Deaf/Hard-of-Hearing. Michael holds a Bachelor’s Degree from Utica College in Biology and Secondary Education, as well as a Certificate of Deaf Studies from the College of Saint Rose.

American Sign Language is becoming more and more recognized as an official language and is more visible than ever out in the community thanks in large part to the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).

Rachel Linehan: I have taught mathematics for 7 years at Bethlehem Central High School, and the past three years’ I have also taught college level computer science. I earned my teaching degree from SUNY Oneonta and I am certified to teach both math and physics at the secondary level. After SUNY, I earned my master’s degree from The College of St. Rose and I am now certified as an Educational Technology Specialist.

Even though I envisioned myself as a long time math teacher, I have found a new love of coding and computer science. When I am not teaching, I enjoy running and training for races with my dog Ruby. This is Rachel’s third year with the Summer Academy.

Susan Moore-Palumbo: Susan has a B.S. in Environmental Biology from SUNY College of Environmental Science & Forestry and an M.S. from Syracuse University in Science Education. In addition, she is a Nationally Board Certified teacher and NYS Master Teacher.

She has taught science for over 20 years and currently teaches Living Environment, A.P. Biology and Forensics at South Glens Falls High School. She has developed full year curricula for Forensics and Environmental Technology courses, with an emphasis on inquiry learning. She has also been an adjunct professor at SUNY Albany and Syracuse University. She is excited to have students hone their critical thinking skills through inquiry science! This is Susan’s ninth summer with the Summer Academy.

Jessica Watson: Clarise has a B.S. in Chemistry from SUNY Oneonta and an M.S. from the College of Saint Rose in Adolescent Education. She has taught science for 7 years and currently teaches Chemistry and Forensics at Ichabod Crane High School. Clarise started a Forensics program at Ichabod Crane and developed full year curricula for the program. This is Clarise’s first summer with the Summer Academy!

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Melissa Firlit: has been nominated and won various awards and accolades around the country for her work on the regional level. She recently directed the Ireland National Tour of Misterman by Enda Walsh, which was developed at Thingamajig Theatre Company in 2014. Prior, she was at Creede Repertory Theatre directing the world premiere of Albert Porter:Boy Explorer which toured the Southwest region of the United States and reached over 24,000 people. As part of her personal commitment to new work and collaboration with playwrights, Melissa dedicates a lot of her time to plays in various stages of development. In 2015 she started a playwright’s festival in Pagosa Springs, Colorado so that she could give a playwright the opportunity to work on their play in a rehearsal room setting.

New Work Credits: The Texas Homecoming Revolution of 1995(Best Medicine Rep), I’m Just Fine(solocomNYC), BUBBA(FringeNYC, Planet Connections, UnitedSolo, Theatre Tuscaloosa), SIDD( Chicago Fringe Festival), Annabel Lee (Apothecary Theatre Co), Someone to Buy It (EST’s Youngblood), A Nasty Tempered Man (Theatre for the New City), Bunting or Flags (New Light Theater Project), Third Ward Scandal (Project Y), The Squizzinator (Project Y) and many FringeNYC shows.

Favorite Credits: Trojan Women: A Love Story (Fort Lewis College), Aida, Circle Mirror Transformation, The Pillowman, The Secret Garden, Red, A Picasso (Thingamajig), Dracula (Mile Square Theatre), The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee (Princeton Festival), Stop Kiss (Wagner College), Under Construction, Machinal, boom, Fabulation, or the Re-education of Undine (Rutgers Theater Company).

To provide up and coming thespians with the same encouragement and passion she thrives on, Melissa teaches at the renowned McCarter Theatre Center in Princeton, New Jersey, helms a Musical Theatre Bootcamp Program at The College of St. Rose and does workshops at colleges around the country. Melissa’s training includes an MFA in Directing from Rutgers University, Mason Gross School of the Arts and a BA in theater with a minor in music from The University of Hartford and The O’Neill National Theater Institute. She is an associate member SDC. Check out Melissa’s website at www.melissafirlit.com.

Craig Dolezel: Craig MacArthur Dolezel is an actor and professor of voice and speech. He recently completed a tour in Ireland of Misterman by Enda Walsh. As an instructor of voice he has been a contributing faculty member at Rutgers University and AMDA. He has also taught at the NYU Atlantic Acting School and HB Studio. He is currently the head of speech in the HB Studio CORE Acting Conservatory. He works as a mentor to other teachers in the field and contributes regularly to international workshops and conferences. Craig received his BA from SUNY Purchase and a MFA in Acting from Rutgers University. He feels that voice and speech are experiential skillets which are creative, fun and accessible to everyone.

Bradley Gregg: Bradley has extensive teaching, performing, conducting and accompanist experience. He graduated from the Crane School of Music at SUNY Potsdam and attained his master’s degree in music education at the College of Saint Rose.

Before accepting the Galway position, Gregg taught at Burnt Hills-Ballston Lake High School, Schenectady High School & Middle Schools, and at Scotia-Glenville High School. He also teaches private piano and voice lessons & is the organist and pianist at the West Charlton Presbyterian Church, where his father Thomas serves as pastor. Bradley has also served as accompanist to the Mohawk Valley Chorus since 2014.
Bradley has ample theater experience as well, both directing and accompanying for the likes of the Schenectady Light Opera Company, the Family Players of Northeastern New York, and Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute.
Gregg lives in Clifton Park with his wife, Jaclyn, and their two corgis, Lola & Ruby.

Emily Cammisa: Emily is a freelance artist that focuses primarily on fantasy illustration, portraiture, and character design. She graduated from Skidmore College in 2008 with a bachelor’s degree in fine art and began her art career in 2010 doing both graphic design and illustration projects for various clients. By July of 2015 she began teaching at the College of Saint Rose’s Summer Academy for Youth, and continues to teach her classes every summer to children in grades 6-10.

Her classes include Graphic Novel Creation, Character Creation, and Manga Drawing. Emily also does dreamcatcher workshops, along with group and private art lessons throughout the year, eager to share her knowledge and passion for arts and crafts with children and adults alike. You can also find her artwork and jewelry for sale at the Saratoga Comic Con twice a year in November and April. To see Emily’s portfolio please check out www.emilycammisa.com.

Frank Finch: Frank has taught history, economics, and political science at high school and college levels. He received a bachelor’s degree with honors in history and political science from SUNY Binghamton, a master’s degree in social studies education from SUNY-Plattsburgh, and has completed additional work towards a Ph.D. in political science at the University of Illinois.

Frank has judged high school civics contests, and while in college, won the outstanding delegate award at the Harvard Model U.N. He has been selected to “Who’s Who Among American Teachers.” This is Frank’s fourth year with the Summer Academy.

Valecia Stocchetti: Valecia comes to CIS from the eCommerce field where she worked complex financial fraud cases. She is a graduate of University of Albany with a degree in Digital Forensics. Valecia has held every position within the MS-ISAC Computer Emergency Response Team (CERT), starting as an intern and working her way into division leadership. She currently manages the MS-ISAC CERT and spearheads forensics investigations and incident response for the MS-ISAC SLTT community.

Valecia holds two certifications, GIAC Certified Forensic Examiner (GCFE) and GIAC Security Essentials Certification (GSEC). While she enjoys all things InfoSec, she particularly finds the Cybercrime and Espionage fields fascinating, which is what led her to this career in the first place. Valecia will also be joined by other presenters, including members from the CERT, Cyber Intelligence, and Engineering teams.

Sean Wallace:

Anna Pellicone: Born and raised in Northern New Jersey I have spent the last 5 years in Albany New York where I have recently graduated The College of Saint Rose with a BFA in Art Education concentrating in Printmaking. Art has been apart of my life for as long as I can remember. Ever since I was a young girl I would write in my journals my dream of someday becoming an art teacher. I am a collector of many things and love to go thrifting in hopes of finding new treasures! Random fun facts: my favorite color is seafoam, I have always dreamt of owning a 2001 Jeep Cherokee, and Sailor Moon is my hero.

Ron Mattice: Ron has been teaching Summer Academy Video Production for twenty years. He obtained his Bachelors from The College of Saint Rose. He is currently working as an Educational Television Specialist for Albany City School District and an occasional freelance videographer. Ron has worked on a wide variety of video projects locally from Instructional Videos for Sterling Pharmaceutical to advertising for several local businesses. He also did principal videography and the editing for a local sketch comedy show, 40 Whacks, that starred current Late Night host, Jimmy Fallon.

Shawn Banner: Shawn Banner has been with the Summer Academy for nine years and is a graduate of Oberlin College, Fashion Institute of Technology, and the Sage College of Education. He has been a freelance illustrator for over 20 years, serving a wide range of clients in the fields of fashion, book and magazine publishing, advertising, and more. In addition, he has worked as an arts educator for more than a decade, teaching budding artists from Kindergarten to College.

Jenn Dugan: Jenn Dugan is a makeup artist and owner of The Makeup Curio. The Makeup Curio blends the beautiful and the unusual in the art of makeup offering a unique blend of beauty, bridal, theater, and special fx for sale, through educational workshops, and with makeup artist services. She has worked with numerous students in the Capital District as a makeup artist, costume designer and wig stylist. Jenn has a Bachelor’s Degree from Marist College, an Associates Degree in Business Administration from SCCC, and is has a NYS Esthetics License.

Susan Moore-Palumbo: Susan has a B.S. in Environmental Biology from SUNY College of Environmental Science & Forestry and an M.S. from Syracuse University in Science Education. In addition, she is a Nationally Board Certified teacher and NYS Master Teacher. She has taught science for over 20 years and currently teaches Living Environment, A.P. Biology and Forensics at South Glens Falls High School. She has developed full year curricula for Forensics and Environmental Technology courses, with an emphasis on inquiry learning. She has also been an adjunct professor at SUNY Albany and Syracuse University. She is excited to have students hone their critical thinking skills through inquiry science! This is Susan’s ninth summer with the Summer Academy.

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Frank Finch: Frank has taught history, economics, and political science at high school and college levels. He received a bachelor’s degree with honors in history and political science from SUNY Binghamton, a master’s degree in social studies education from SUNY-Plattsburgh, and has completed additional work towards a Ph.D. in political science at the University of Illinois. While not a spy himself (or so he claims), Frank appreciates both the importance of espionage in shaping history, and the intrigue caused by spying in a fun yet academic approach about real-life spying, we will explore this natural fascination about international espionage, that draws so many of us to flock to the latest spy film or best-selling thriller book. This is Frank’s fourth summer with the Summer Academy.

Julie Demers: This is Julie Demers’s third summer at Summer Academy. Previously, she taught at Summer Institute for the Gifted for five summers at Vassar College. She received her BA in English w/ an Emphasis in Creative Writing, MA in English, and MAT in English from SUNY New Paltz, SUNY Albany, and Sage Graduate School, respectively.

She currently teaches composition and Shakespeare at Hudson Valley Community College. Another passion of hers is writing for the stage; she has written, directed, and produced theater in the Capital Region for over fifteen years. Four of her one-act plays have competed at the TANYS (Theater Association of NYS) festival, winning numerous awards. She continues to take writing workshops to become a better writer, teacher and student.

Shawn Banner: Shawn Banner has been with the Summer Academy for nine years and is a graduate of Oberlin College, Fashion Institute of Technology, and the Sage College of Education. He has been a freelance illustrator for over 20 years, serving a wide range of clients in the fields of fashion, book and magazine publishing, advertising, and more. In addition, he has worked as an arts educator for more than a decade, teaching budding artists from Kindergarten to College.

Clarise Robinson: Clarise has a B.S. in Chemistry from SUNY Oneonta and an M.S. from the College of Saint Rose in Adolescent Education. She has taught science for 7 years and currently teaches Chemistry and Forensics at Ichabod Crane High School. Clarise started a Forensics program at Ichabod Crane and developed full year curricula for the program. This is Clarise’s first summer with the Summer Academy!

Frank Finch: Frank has taught history, economics, and political science at high school and college levels. He received a bachelor’s degree with honors in history and political science from SUNY Binghamton, a master’s degree in social studies education from SUNY-Plattsburgh, and has completed additional work towards a Ph.D. in political science at the University of Illinois. Frank taught chess for years at SUNY – Adirondack, as well as high school economics, where game theory was part of the curriculum. He has been selected to “Who’s Who Among American Teachers.” This is Frank’s fourth year with the Summer Academy.

Emily Kobel: Emily was born and raised in Queensbury, New York. She recently graduated from Castleton University, and her passion for visual design is what has inspired her to pursue a bachelors in Secondary Art Education, with a concentration in painting. After completing a long-term teaching position in South Glens Falls School District, she is excited to dive into the elements and principles of Graphic Design, one of the pillars of visual communication.

Emily Cammisa is a freelance artist that focuses primarily on fantasy illustration, portraiture, and character design. She graduated from Skidmore College in 2008 with a bachelor’s degree in fine art and began her art career in 2010 doing both graphic design and illustration projects for various clients. By July of 2015 she began teaching at the College of Saint Rose’s Summer Academy for Youth, and continues to teach her classes every summer to children in grades 6-10.

Her classes include Graphic Novel Creation, Character Creation, and Manga Drawing. Emily also does dreamcatcher workshops, along with group and private art lessons throughout the year, eager to share her knowledge and passion for arts and crafts with children and adults alike. You can also find her artwork and jewelry for sale at the Saratoga Comic Con twice a year in November and April. To see Emily’s portfolio please check out www.emilycammisa.com.

Michelle Daus: Michelle earned a bachelor’s degree in Business Management and Entrepreneurial studies from Paul Smith’s College, in the Adirondacks, after originally planning to study Culinary Arts. Life presented many great plot twists and opportunities and she ended up at The College of Saint Rose earning a teaching degree and certification in Business and Marketing Education. One thing led to another and now she’s a business teacher at Guilderland High School with hopes and dreams of opening an ice cream shop, food truck, bakery, or maybe a mini golf course. She’s really looking forward to taking some time this summer to help others explore the hospitality industry and their entrepreneurial ideas.

Olya Maria Szyika: Olya has taught Summer Academy’s Graphic Design for ten years and Interior Design for seven years. She received a BA in Anthropology from SUNY Albany, an AAS in Graphic Design from Sage College of Albany, and a BFA in Graphic Design and concentration in Painting from Sage as well. Olya has operated her own design practice since 2001, specializing in print graphic design and visual communication. In addition to solving design problems for a range of clients, she spends a portion of her time doing pro-bono design work for not-for-profits and arts organizations. She has exhibited design, paintings, photography, collage and sculptures throughout the Capital Region. Olya has studied and continues to study art in various forms, both formally and through and independent research and experience. Her areas of interest include graphic design, painting, interior design, photography, computer art, jewelry design, quilt-making, drawing, collage, assemblage, sculpture, artist books, and papermaking. She enjoys the results of blurring the lines between various media and appreciates the results of experimentation as a form of learning.

Patrick Totaro:

Emily Cammisa is a freelance artist that focuses primarily on fantasy illustration, portraiture, and character design. She graduated from Skidmore College in 2008 with a bachelor’s degree in fine art and began her art career in 2010 doing both graphic design and illustration projects for various clients. By July of 2015 she began teaching at the College of Saint Rose’s Summer Academy for Youth, and continues to teach her classes every summer to children in grades 6-10.

Her classes include Graphic Novel Creation, Character Creation, and Manga Drawing. Emily also does dreamcatcher workshops, along with group and private art lessons throughout the year, eager to share her knowledge and passion for arts and crafts with children and adults alike. You can also find her artwork and jewelry for sale at the Saratoga Comic Con twice a year in November and April. To see Emily’s portfolio please check out www.emilycammisa.com.

Sara Colaneri: Sara Straub teaches Middle School Social Studies at Northville Central Schools. She is an active member of the District’s Assessment Review Team and is interested in fostering a love for the Social Sciences and challenging students to think deeper about the content. Her favorite author is Howard Zinn and enjoy sharing his perspective on history with her students.

Sarah Hubbard: Clarise has a B.S. in Chemistry from SUNY Oneonta and an M.S. from the College of Saint Rose in Adolescent Education. She has taught science for 7 years and currently teaches Chemistry and Forensics at Ichabod Crane High School. Clarise started a Forensics program at Ichabod Crane and developed full year curricula for the program. This is Clarise’s first summer with the Summer Academy!

Olya Maria Szyika: Olya has taught Summer Academy’s Graphic Design for ten years and Interior Design for seven years. She received a BA in Anthropology from SUNY Albany, an AAS in Graphic Design from Sage College of Albany, and a BFA in Graphic Design and concentration in Painting from Sage as well. Olya has operated her own design practice since 2001, specializing in print graphic design and visual communication. In addition to solving design problems for a range of clients, she spends a portion of her time doing pro-bono design work for not-for-profits and arts organizations. She has exhibited design, paintings, photography, collage and sculptures throughout the Capital Region. Olya has studied and continues to study art in various forms, both formally and through and independent research and experience. Her areas of interest include graphic design, painting, interior design, photography, computer art, jewelry design, quilt-making, drawing, collage, assemblage, sculpture, artist books, and papermaking. She enjoys the results of blurring the lines between various media and appreciates the results of experimentation as a form of learning.

Shaunna Pastuszak: Ms. Pastuszak is an American Historian with degrees from Boston College and Russell Sage College. This is her third year on staff at the St. Rose Summer Academy. Ms. Pastuszak has taught social studies in the South Colonie School system since 2002. Her most current academic endeavors include fellowships given by the National Endowment for the Humanities. Her last four summers have been spent as a fellow studying topics like the Civil Rights Movement on the Mississippi Delta at Delta State University, and at Montana State University, in Helena, researching the impact of western mining on the Second Industrial Revolution. Her resume also includes participation in the Ashbrook Center’s Presidential Academy and the Colonial Williamsburg Teacher Institute. Ms. Pastuszak brings a great deal of enthusiasm to the Conspiracy Theories class. Intriguing information, hands-on games, and plenty of “aha” moments are in store for the students she is working with.

Nick Dardaris: Nick grew up in the rural outskirts of Syracuse NY in a town called Onondaga. Nick attended The College of Saint Rose where he recently received a BS in Music Industry, and he is currently a freelance audio engineer, producer, and bass player, working in a variety of styles. In the past, Nick has worked as a camp counselor through Onondaga Parks and Recreation, workings with kids ages 5 through 13. Nick has released a solo album entitled ‘Scoops’ and is working on other new and exciting projects. Nick is happy to be back for his sixth year with the Summer Academy!

Julie Demers: This is Julie Demers’s third summer at Summer Academy. Previously, she taught at Summer Institute for the Gifted for five summers at Vassar College. She received her BA, MA and MAT in English from SUNY New Paltz, SUNY Albany and Sage Graduate School and currently teaches composition and literature at Hudson Valley Community College. Another passion of hers is writing for the stage; she has written, directed, and produced theater in the Capital Region for over fifteen years. Three of her one-act plays have competed at the TANYS (Theater Association of NYS) festival, winning numerous awards. She continues to take writing workshops to become a better writer, teacher and student.

Timothy Emre Rice: Timothy graduated from Syracuse University in May of 2017 with a B.S. in Aerospace Engineering. At Syracuse, he worked three years as an Academic Excellence Workshop facilitator, and he recently has been working for General Electric Global Research Center as an intern for the additive materials and ceramic materials laboratory. Timothy is currently an accepted graduate student at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, and will continue his studies in the field of Aeronautical Engineering, studying propulsion and combustion.

Alyssa Bonnier: Alyssa is currently a critical care registered nurse in one of the many intensive care units at Albany Medical Center. She has earned her Bachelor’s Degree in nursing from SUNY Delhi, her Associate’s Degree in nursing from Samaritan Hospital School of Nursing, and will begin her graduate family nurse practitioner degree in August. She plans to become a critical care nurse practitioner, but also enjoys spending her time educating others. She is looking forward to sharing information regarding the world of nursing with others.

This is Julie Demers’s third summer at Summer Academy. Previously, she taught at Summer Institute for the Gifted for five summers at Vassar College. She received her BA in English w/ an Emphasis in Creative Writing, MA in English, and MAT in English from SUNY New Paltz, SUNY Albany, and Sage Graduate School, respectively. She currently teaches composition and Shakespeare at Hudson Valley Community College. Another passion of hers is writing for the stage; she has written, directed, and produced theater in the Capital Region for over fifteen years. Four of her one-act plays have competed at the TANYS (Theater Association of NYS) festival, winning numerous awards. She continues to take writing workshops to become a better writer, teacher and student.

Susan Brophy: Susan Brophy is happy to be back for her tenth year with the Summer Academy. Brophy received her Bachelors Degree in English from SUNY Brockport and her graduate degree in Secondary Education from The College of Saint Rose. She has been teaching 8th grade English in the Waterford-Halfmoon school district for nine years. Because of her love for language and emphasis on the creative (she was also a Theatre Minor in college). Ms. Brophy likes to encourage all her students to be eloquent, unique, and have fun.

Rachel Peschieri:

Wade Abbott: For Wade Abbott, there is nothing more thrilling than the steep drop down the first hill of a roller coaster. Despite a significant fear of heights, he has ridden more than 370 different roller coasters in the United States and Canada. He has a bachelor’s degree in Materials Engineering from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute and a master’s degree in Communications from the College of Saint Rose. Wade also serves as the New York State Regional Representative for American Coaster Enthusiasts, the world’s largest roller coaster enthusiast organization. This is Wade’s sixth year with the Summer Academy program. He looks forward to sharing his knowledge of these behemoths of steel and wood that grace amusement parks throughout the world.

Joshua Kohan: This is Josh’s seventh year at the Summer Academy. He is currently a faculty English Instructor at Hudson Valley Community College. A graduate of The College of Saint Rose with his M.S. in English Education, Josh got his BA in both English and Media Study with a concentration in Film from the University at Buffalo where he wrote and directed screenplays and films. Josh has taught English abroad for two years in South Korea, a higher needs charter school in New Orleans , and various public schools and community colleges throughout the Capital Region. He continues to write fiction and nonfiction whenever he is not teaching and is looking forward to another great summer with the Youth Academy!

Anna Pellicone: Born and raised in Northern New Jersey I have spent the last 5 years in Albany New York where I have recently graduated The College of Saint Rose with a BFA in Art Education concentrating in Printmaking. Art has been apart of my life for as long as I can remember. Ever since I was a young girl I would write in my journals my dream of someday becoming an art teacher. I am a collector of many things and love to go thrifting in hopes of finding new treasures! Random fun facts: my favorite color is seafoam, I have always dreamt of owning a 2001 Jeep Cherokee, and Sailor Moon is my hero.

Jack Shaefer: Jack is a graduate of the College of Saint Rose Sculpture program, BFA Studio Art / Art History Minor, 2007. Jack has worked steadily in art-related environments since graduating including; founding and supervising a theme-art studio for an amusement park equipment company, professional Art Installation with the Tang Museum and RPI’s EMPAC, and gallery oriented professional art moving and handling. Jack also has extensive theatrical experience, and his original puppets and props have been featured in the Moscow Ballet’s Grand Touring Nutcracker as well as in recent productions at the Steamer No. 10 Theatre. Jack is currently Sculpture Technician at the College of Saint Rose and is enthusiastic about working with Summer Youth Academy again.

Michelle Daus: Michelle earned a bachelor’s degree in Business Management and Entrepreneurial studies from Paul Smith’s College, in the Adirondacks, after originally planning to study Culinary Arts. Life presented many great plot twists and opportunities and she ended up at The College of Saint Rose earning a teaching degree and certification in Business and Marketing Education. One thing led to another and now she’s a business teacher at Guilderland High School with hopes and dreams of opening an ice cream shop, food truck, bakery, or maybe a mini golf course. She’s really looking forward to taking some time this summer to help others explore the hospitality industry and their entrepreneurial ideas!

Brad Boyles: This is Brad’s 5th year at the Summer Academy. Previously, he was both the Classroom Management Coordinator and the Student Activities Coordinator. This will be his first year as an instructor. He is a graduate of The College of Saint Rose, holding a BS in Business Administration, an MBA, and an MS in Adolescence Education. Brad currently teaches Business and Marketing at Taconic Hills Junior/Senior High School, which he has done for the last eight years. He is also the High School Yearbook Advisor, School Store Advisor, and Internship Coordinator. Over the last three years, Brad was in charge of all the Summer Academy’s social media accounts. He looks forward to bringing all that knowledge to the Summer Academy and is very excited to again be a part of such a great experience!

Joe Hetko: Joe Hetko worked as a freelance musician and private music teacher for more than 25 years. He has played a wide variety of music ranging from rock to chamber music, and has played in many musical theater pit orchestras. He is currently playing the guitar with Duo Dolce, and bass guitar with the Jim Sande Ensemble. He has written music for various bands and composed music for John Koethen’s Heldeberg Marionettes. Joe has been teaching music at The Doane Stuart School for the past nine years. This is Joe’s sixteenth year with the Summer Academy.

Art Wexler: Art Wexler a Social Studies teacher at South Glens Falls, will be teaching the Sports Broadcasting course in his first year with the Summer Academy. Art holds a B.A. in Psychology from UAlbany as well as a Masters Degree in Education from the College of St Joseph. At South Glens Falls Art handles the Public Address work for all the Bulldogs varsity sports programs as well as doing the P.A. work at the NY State boys basketball tournament in Glens Falls for the past twenty years.

Art has done PA work for the AHL’s Adirondack Phantoms as well as webcasting for the NJCAA Baseball World Series when Glens Falls hosted the event in 2005 and 2006. He is also a Red Cross disaster services volunteer having been deployed to Houma, Louisiana after Hurricane Katrina in 2005 and the Florida everglades following Hurricane Wilma that same year. Art has also worked as a college baseball umpire since 2002, and serves as the P.A. man for the Saint Rose Golden Knights womens’ soccer team.

He resides in South Glens Falls with his wife Lilly, and together they have 3 adult sons as well as five grandsons and one granddaughter. Art is very excited to have the opportunity to be involved with the Saint Rose Summer Academy.

TBD

Bradley McCrary: Brad McCrary is an artist from Albany and a current student at the Rhode Island School of Design where he studies painting. He has been a teaching assistant for multiple classes for foundations and continuing education students. He will graduate in 2020 with a Bachelors of Fine Art. Although he spends most of the year in Providence studying at RISD he considers Albany his home. Brad’s paintings often are based on explorations of color, either through representational figurative subjects or more recently diving into abstraction with a combination of drawing, painting and collage. Brad is looking forward to his second year teaching at the Summer Academy.

Jenn Dugan: Jenn Dugan is a makeup artist and owner of The Makeup Curio. The Makeup Curio blends the beautiful and the unusual in the art of makeup offering a unique blend of beauty, bridal, theater, and special fx for sale, through educational workshops, and with makeup artist services. She has worked with numerous students in the Capital District as a makeup artist, costume designer and wig stylist. Jenn has a Bachelor’s Degree from Marist College, an Associates Degree in Business Administration from SCCC, and is has a NYS Esthetics License.

Timothy Clow:

Shanna Maher: Shanna is so excited to share her love and passion for animals. She has 15 years experience as a middle school teacher in science and math at Shenendehowa. With undergrad degrees in Equine and Animal sciences, and 25+ years in the equine industry, she has immense experience in taking care of all types of animals. An animal advocate at heart, she has combined her passion for animals with her educational background to help nurture and take care of many needy animals, working directly with many different veterinarians throughout the years.

Rachel Peschieri:

Angela Ledtke:

Susan Moore-Palumbo: Susan has a B.S. in Environmental Biology from SUNY College of Environmental Science & Forestry and an M.S. from Syracuse University in Science Education. In addition, she is a Nationally Board Certified teacher and NYS Master Teacher.

She has taught science for over 20 years and currently teaches Living Environment, A.P. Biology and Forensics at South Glens Falls High School. She has developed full year curricula for Forensics and Environmental Technology courses, with an emphasis on inquiry learning. She has also been an adjunct professor at SUNY Albany and Syracuse University. She is excited to have students hone their critical thinking skills through inquiry science! This is Susan’s ninth summer with the Summer Academy.