Schools welcome new staff

Recent retiree Gayla Miller (center, in grey) celebrates 40 years of service with the entire fourth grade class in June.
Recent retiree Gayla Miller (center, in grey) celebrates 40 years of service with the entire fourth grade class in June.
Photo provided

At the end of the 2018/2019 school year, the district bid farewell to six instructional staff members and one school counselor who, combined, offered an incredible 225 years of experience. On the heels of the retirement, Trumansburg welcomes fresh faces to not only fill the vacancies but also to expand instruction for students.

Retiring from the high school was Gordon Bonnet, serving 27 years in the science department, Emanuel Cestero, with 21 years in the history department, and Larry Glanton, who served 34 years in the social studies department. 

The elementary school saw the retirement of educators Linda Duddleston after 37 years, Karen Glanton with 32 years and Gayla Miller, with 40 years, in addition to school counselor Chris Harding-Grosfelt, whose 34 years was felt throughout the district schools. There is no doubt district families thank these dedicated professionals who touched families across generations!

The elementary school welcomes eight new instructional staff and one counselor. Hannah Haskell, originally from Elmira, joins as a third grade teacher. She holds a degree in speech language pathology and graduated with a masters degree in childhood education.

Haskell is joined in third grade by Kaitlyn Olsen, who originally hails from Binghamton and holds degrees from SUNY Cortland and Binghamton University (BU). Olson also participated in the Teachers of English to Speakers of Other Languages program at BU learning how to effectively teach English Language Learners (ELL) before moving on to teach fourth grade at Norwich City Schools. 

Pre-K, kindergarten and first grade are joined by three new staff members: Ashley Richtmyer in pre-K, Jessica Masciale in kindergarten and Adam Bauchner in first grade. Richtmyer is from Watkins Glen and holds both her bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Elmira College. 

She has worked for the last three years as a universal pre-K teacher at Schuyler Head Start. Masciale holds degrees from SUNY Oneonta and Long Island University. After earning her degree from LIU, she worked as a substitute teacher in Long Island, where she worked with kindergarten students. Most recently, she worked as a reading specialist for third through sixth grade for Elmira CSD. 

Bauchner has served as a teacher and administrator since 2000, specializing in most elementary grades as well as English as a New Language. He holds degrees from Tufts University, Humboldt State University and Binghamton University.

The special education department welcomes Trumansburg graduate Bridgette Duncan in kindergarten and first grades and Dale Linskens in the third and fourth grades. Duncan joins the district in her third year of teaching and brings experience in a variety of settings ranging from kindergarten through eighth grade in both self-contained classrooms in addition to inclusive and co-taught settings. 

Linskens holds degrees in business and special education. He has experience teaching students of all ages and is moving in from the high school, where he taught last year.

Liz Corbett, originally from Odessa, joins Trumansburg as a library media specialist. She holds degrees from SUNY Binghamton and UB and has been working in the Ithaca City School District for the last four years as a one-on-one teaching assistant and then a library clerk.

The counseling department welcomes Geordie Geller, who recently moved to Ithaca from the Berkshires. He holds degrees from Quinnipiac University and Sage Graduate School and has experience working with children in both school and community settings.

The middle school is joined by four new instructors and one school counselor. The school will spotlight new staff in its weekly newsletter. The first staff member to be highlighted is math teacher Pinky Chandra, who will be teaching seventh grade math and pre-algebra. 

Chandra completed her Master of Arts in Teaching Adolescence Education in Mathematics program at Ithaca College and also holds degrees from Cornell University: Master of Professional Studies in Learning, Teaching and Social Policy and Master of Science in Biostatistics in addition to a Master of Science degree in Mathematics from India. 

Prior to joining Trumansburg she taught high school math in Ithaca, New York, and Malden, Massachusetts, and worked at Cornell University in supporting social sciences research. 

Stay tuned to learn more about Spanish teacher Erin Battles, ELA teacher Leslie Campos, choir teacher Margaret Storm and school counselor Rachel Sutherland.

In the high school, Maggie Storm will teach vocal music. Caitlyn Hunter and Marc Kimmerly join the social studies department along with Amy Torruella, who joins social studies and special education. 

Shaelyn McCabe also joins special education and English. Liz Corbett will work as a library media specialist in the high school along with the elementary school. Kayla Kucerak rounds out the new roster in the science department. We look forward to getting to know these new teachers!

The new staff is also joined by new Board of Education members Jim Mielty, Randy VanDerzee and Rebecca Baines. The next BOE meeting will be Sept. 23 at 6 p.m. in the high school library.


No comments on this story | Please log in to comment by clicking here
Please log in or register to add your comment