Alessandra BarragatoAlessandra Barragato is an Augmentative and Alternative (AAC) evaluator and trainer for Nassau BOCES. She received her Bachelor Degree in Communication Disorders and her Master Degree in Speech Pathology from Adelphi University. Prior to her position on the AAC evaluation team, Alessandra served as a Speech Pathologist for students with Autism and related communication disorders for over 15 years. As a treating therapist, she has had the opportunity to work with students with special needs from ages 3 to 21, providing therapy to students in both individual and collaborative models. In addition, Alessandra has been teaching professional development courses for over 10 years, sharing her knowledge of speech and language with professionals throughout Long Island. In her free time, Alessandra enjoys spending time with her husband and three children. They can often be found cooking together, spending time outdoors or planning their next family trip.
Marcela FalconeMarcela Falcone has been a Bilingual Elementary Teacher in the Brentwood School District for over fifteen years. She currently teaches 3rd Grade Bilingual and has previously taught PreK, 1 st Grade, and 2nd Grade. She earned her Bachelor of Arts in Elementary Education at St. Joseph’s College and her Master’s Degree in Early Childhood Education at Long Island University. She received her Bilingual Extension at Adelphi University. She has a New York State permanent teaching certification in Pre-Kindergarten, Kindergarten, and Grades 1-6. She also has a NYS permanent teaching certification in Early Childhood Education, Birth- Grade 2. Finally, she has an Extension of Certificate in Bilingual Education. As an active member of the TESOL International Association and NYS TESOL, she has in-depth knowledge and expertise in the field of teaching English Language Learners. She prides herself on creating teaching resources that are being used by Bilingual Educators throughout the United States and around the world. She has also been honored for her work with Whole Brain Teaching. In her personal life, she enjoys spending time with her husband and three sons. Her interests include traveling, cheering on the local sports teams, and celebrating Hispanic culture.
Rebecca JamisonRebecca graduated from SUNY Plattsburgh with a degree in Elementary Education B-6. She also obtained her Masters Degree from St. John’s University in Literacy, K-12. Rebecca has worked for the NYC DOE as a classroom teacher as well as several other educational settings throughout Long Island. Rebecca currently works for the North Bellmore School District as a reading specialist. She is Wilson and Orton Gillingham trained, and had a strong belief if the success of implementing multi-sensory learning into the classroom environment. When Rebecca is not teaching, she enjoys time with her two daughters who keep her busy, and husband. Teaching is a passion of Rebecca’s, and she looks forward to sharing her experiences and knowledge with you!
John MaiorcaJohn Maiorca is a physics teacher at Mount Sinai High School on Long Island. He graduated from Stony Brook University with a Bachelor of Science in Physics, minoring in the Philosophy of Logic, Science and Technology and a Masters in the Art of Teaching Physics. His post-graduate studies have revolved around using technology effectively in the classroom. He is certified to teach physics and intermediate science in grades 7-12. Mr. Maiorca currently teaches AP Physics 1, AP Physics 2 and Regents Physics and has experience teaching life science at the middle school level. He is an adjunct lecturer for the Physics department at Stony Brook University, spending many summers teaching undergraduate courses. Mr. Maiorca is passionate about science education and enjoys working collaboratively with fellow teachers from all disciplines. He is consistently finding new ways to engage students through demonstrations and student-driven experiments and always works to help students connect science to other areas of their lives. From music theory and the science of sound to project adventure and students as pendulums, Mr. Maiorca loves to bring classes together to create memorable experiences for students. He has also led local workshops for teachers working to bring new technology and software into their classrooms to better engage students both in class and at home. Mr. Maiorca enjoys spending time with his wife and two daughters. They can often be found inventing silly games, playing music, cooking, and learning together as a family.
Jinell graduated from St. Joseph’s College with a degree in General and Special Education from birth through sixth grade. She obtained a masters degree from St. John’s University in TESOL, K-12. She has also received her advanced certificate in School Building and School District leader from the College of St. Rose. Jinell has worked for Nassau BOCES for ten years. She has worked with special education students of varying abilities. Jinell has worked as a classroom teacher as well as the curriculum coordinator for summer school. Jinell takes pride in creating and maintaining positive relationships with her students and colleagues each year. Her goal is to continue to learn professionally to help her students be their best. In her personal life she enjoys spending time with her husband and daughter.
Lee MarkowitzLee Markowitz has been an English teacher and Track & Field coach at Mount Sinai High School for over fifteen years. He earned his Bachelor of Arts degree in English and Secondary Education from St. Joseph’s College and his Master’s Degree in Education, with a concentration and Advanced Certificate in Educational Technology from SUNY Stony Brook. He is a NYS Certified English Teacher.Having taught standard and inclusion classes, Regents level and Advanced Placement English, Mr. Markowitz prides himself on remaining dynamic in the classroom, always willing to experiment with new techniques and strategies and always eager to learn from and collaborate with his colleagues. For the past five years, he has delved into the world of professional development, relishing the opportunity to share tried and true pedagogical approaches with other dedicated educators. He enjoys creating and conducting courses that offer useful, applicable tools for today’s teachers. In his personal life, he enjoys spending time with his wife and two sons at their home in Suffolk County, NY. His personal hobbies include cooking, reading, watching movies, and trying his hand at home improvements.
Samantha MarkowitzSamantha Markowitz is a NYS Certified Social Studies teacher who graduated with a Master’s Degree from Stony Brook University. She has always maintained a love and passion for history and our country. From early childhood, Samantha has always enjoyed taking historical trips with her family, visiting various landmarks and absorbing our country’s rich history. Taking her enthusiasm for history into the classroom, she has been teaching social studies in the Mount Sinai School District for about fifteen years. She has also had a variety of experience in the classroom teaching inclusion, standard and honors level courses. When she is not teaching, she loves spending time with her husband and two sons. She also enjoys puzzles, gardening, and traveling (especially to historical locations)!
Sue PresbergSue Presberg has been teaching art, photography and digital media for 35 years; teaching in Long Beach and NYC. She received a Bachelors of Fine Arts degree from SUNY College at Purchase, a Masters in Art Education degree from Brooklyn College and holds her Administrative Staff Development Certification from the College of New Rochelle. She holds three certifications from New York State in Administration and teaching; New York State Provisional SAS Certificate, New York State Permanent SDA Certificate and New York State Permanent Certification- Art teacher- K-12. Sue has taught numerous fine arts, crafts, darkroom photography and digital photography classes at the high school level. She loves seeing her students’ accomplishments as they have been admitted to higher institutions to achieve art degrees and have won countless internationation, national and local competitions. She advised the school’s yearbook, National Art Honor Society, Art club and Photography club. Her photographs have been featured in CNN/Money magazine, The Wave newspaper, various Town of Hempstead’s calendars and at the Heckscher Museum, Long Beach Public Library and numerous local exhibitions. She loves teaching professional development courses where she has taught for the Long Beach School District, Long Beach Teacher Center, SCOPE, Art Supervisors Association & Dellacave Institute. In her spare time Sue loves traveling whether it’s taking her students to Europe to capture the beauty and culture or exploring with her husband as many sites and places they can! More recently she loves taking photographs of birds, cooking, exercising, gardening and learning new photographic and technological “tricks” and of course spending time with her children who live around the country whenever possible!
Lindsey RuedaLindsey Rueda is a NYS Certified Mathematics teacher who graduated with a Master’s Degree from Dowling University. Lindsey is dual certified in mathematics and special education and is currently a math teacher at the Mount Sinai School District where she has been teaching at the secondary level for the past ten years. Lindsey has taught in a variety of different classroom settings including inclusion, standard and honors level classes. In addition, she has taught both at the middle school level as well as regents level classes. When she is not in the classroom, you can find her on the track coaching the middle school track & field team. In her personal life, Lindsey loves to spend time with her husband and three children. She enjoys running, going to the beach and traveling.
Laurie ThodeLaurie Thode is currently a special education teacher at the Mount Sinai School District located on Long Island. She received her Bachelor Degree in Special Education with a concentration in Psychology from St. Joseph’s College. Ms. Thode also received a Master Degree from Stony Brook University. Currently, she has two New York State permanent teaching certifications. The certifications are Special Education, birth-21 years of age and also Elementary Education, K-6th grade. Ms. Thode has been teaching children with special needs for nearly 20 years. She has worked in many different teaching settings. Ms. Thode has experience in the self- contained setting, resource room setting, inclusive setting, and also has worked in residential settings. She loves teaching professional development courses and is constantly researching to further herself for her students. She prides herself on creating a physical presence for her virtual courses. Ms. Thode has been teaching professional development for 18 years! She has a genuine desire to share their skills, strategies and successes with her students. On a more personal level you might find that she has a double life. By day she is a special education teacher working with multiple disabilities and by night she is a wife and mother of two beautiful little girls. In the summers she keeps busy with teaching courses, educational research, spending time with her family, tinkering with the latest technology, crafts, gardening, cooking, and of course traveling!
Erin Vandette is a NYS Certified Elementary teacher who graduated with an undergraduate degree in Education from Iona University, an Early Childhood degree from Molloy College, and a Master’s Degree in TESOL from Touro College. Erin has worked in the Nassau County Schools as a classroom teacher as well as several other educational settings throughout Long Island. Erin currently works for the Plainview Old Bethpage School District as an Elementary Teacher. Having taught various grade levels and within different classroom models, Erin sees true value in adaptability and consistent growth for educators. Erin enjoys creating useful and applicable courses for today’s teachers. Her personal hobbies include cooking, reading, running, spending time with family, and traveling.