John Hunter
Program Director

John has been leading the Summer Academy for fifteen years and he obtained his BA and MA in English from The College of Saint Rose. He also obtained his MFA in Stage Management from Mason Gross School of the Arts at Rutgers University. John is an Eagle Scout, a National Camp School certified program director, a Sigma Tau Delta Honor Society member, CPR certified, and a member of the American Guild of Musical Artists (AGMA). John began working in summer camps in 1993 at the Ten Mile River Boy Scout Reservation in Monticello, NY and he has been Program Director for the Summer Academy for Youth at the College of Saint Rose since 2002. He currently teaches at Rutgers University and served as an adjunct English lecturer at The College of Saint Rose. John is also a freelance, union stage manager and recent credits include productions at Opera Carolina, Bronx Opera, Manhattan School of Music, Jacobs School of Music, Juilliard, and New York City Opera at Lincoln Center.


Kendra Astemborski
Special Needs Coordinator

This is Kendra’s sixth year on the Summer Academy staff. She is a graduate of The College of Saint Rose with a Master of Science in Education, successfully completing the Educational Technology Specialist program. Prior to graduate school, she attended St. John Fisher College, obtaining a Bachelor of Science degree in Childhood Education and Special Education. She is currently a 4th – 8th grade Computer Technology Teacher at St. Pius X School. Kendra is also an Adjunct Professor at The College of Saint Rose teaching in the Computer Science Department. At St. Pius, Kendra leads two dance teams and a baking club; she is very much looking forward to working with those attending Summer Academy!


Bradley Boyles
Student Activities Coordinator

This is Brad’s third year as the Student Activities Coordinator. He is a graduate of The College of Saint Rose, holding a BS in Business Administration, a MBA, and a MS in Adolescence Education. Brad currently teaches Business and Marketing at Taconic Hills Junior/Senior High School, which he has done for the last four years. He is also the High School Yearbook Advisor, School Store Advisor, and Internship Coordinator. Over the last three years, Brad has also helped develop and worked at summer enrichment camps, teaching various courses. Some courses included Video Game Design, a STEM based course focused on different topics, and even a week-long Basketball camp. Last year, Brad was awarded the 2014 Outstanding New Business Educator award by the Business Teachers’ Association of New York State. He looks forward to bringing all these skills to the Summer Academy team and is very excited to be a part of such a great experience!


Abigail Brigham
Classroom Management Coordinator

This is Abby’s second year with the Summer Academy. She holds a BA in Adolescent Social Studies Education, as well as a MS in Education in Literacy 5-12 from Saint Rose. Currently, Abby is teaching AIS ELA for grades 6, 7, and 8 at Oliver W. Winch Middle School in South Glens Falls. This past year, she helped launch the No Place for Hate club at the middle school. Abby also has quite a bit of experience working with diverse learners; she volunteered at the Refugee and Immigrant Support Services at Emmaus church (RISSE) and participated in the Friday Knights program at Saint Rose. She is very excited to be back for a second summer and can’t wait to get started!


Rachel Peschieri
Administrative Coordinator

Rachel is a graduate of The College of Saint Rose with an undergraduate degree in Mathematics and minor in Computer Science, and this is her third year with the Summer Academy. She graduated from Saint Rose with her MS in Education in May 2014, completed the Curriculum and Instruction program, and graduated with Honors. Rachel has been teaching for the last six years and is currently teaching math and computer science at Guilderland High School. When not teaching, she’s reading, riding her mountain bike, or at a polo match.


Austin Eklund
Materials Coordinator

This is Austin’s first year on the Summer Academy staff. A recent transplant from New York City, he graduated from Columbia University with two Master’s degrees in Mental Health Counseling and is currently pursuing his Ph.D. in Counseling Psychology at the University at Albany. Austin has a long history of clinical work and social justice advocacy, specifically with respect to LGBT+ populations, and has published research on psychology and public health in several national journals. He will be presenting his work at multiple national conferences in 2017. In addition to his academic endeavors, Austin volunteers at the Pride Center of the Capital Region in downtown Albany providing free HIV testing and counseling. He is excited to work with the diverse students and staff at the Summer Academy!