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CECSD Welcomes New Teachers

We’re excited about the new staff members we are bringing on to the CECSD team. Some teachers come to us with decades of experience, others are at a newer part of the career. In all cases, they represent the best and brightest! Here are some short bios about each new teacher.

Name: Shane Adams

School: Senior High School, School Counselor 

Bio: Shane has been a school counselor for eighteen years. He has worked at DCMO BOCES, Cayuga-Onondaga BOCES, Berkshire Farms, and Vanderheyden. He lives in Cortland with his wife, three children and cat. He enjoys hanging out with his family and attending festivals. He has a desire to help young people figure out what they want to do. He is happy to serve his community in a more direct way.

Name: Kristina Beeman

School: Parker Elementary, Special Education, LTS

Bio: Kristina is from Syracuse, NY (born and raised) and subsequently an enthusiastic SU fan.  She is also a huge Yankees fan and enjoys spending time with her family watching games!  She has spent the last few years working long term positions in various districts and is excited for her first year with the CECSD!!  Kristina has always loved working with kids and enjoys seeing them grow and develop into the best versions of themselves they can be :)

Name: Liza Bourdon

School: District, Occupational Therapist 

Bio: Liza is from Sunapee, NH and moved to Ithaca to attend college. She recently received her Master’s degree in Occupational Therapy from Ithaca College. She lives in Ithaca with her two dogs, Marley and Tinkerbelle. She enjoys spending time outside, hiking with Marley, and riding horses. This is her first year in the District and she is incredibly excited to be a part of the team. She will spend the majority of her time at Parker Elementary, Smith Elementary, Barry Elementary, and the Jr. Sr. High School.

Name: Sarah Cartmill

School: Junior High, LOTE

Bio: Sarah is originally from Northern New York and has been a Spanish teacher for fifteen years, between Lake Placid and Marcellus Schools. She lives in Cortland (Homer) with her husband and 8-year-old son. She enjoys reading, live music, following college basketball and spending time with her family.

Name: Kari Colangelo

School: Senior High, LOTE

Bio: Kari is from Buffalo, New York, more specifically Niagara Falls. She currently resides in Ithaca, NY with her mom, her sister, who is a vet student at Cornell, and her dog, Lucy. This is her tenth year teaching Spanish. Prior to joining Cortland CSD, she taught nine years at Nardin Academy in Buffalo, New York and a year at TST BOCES. She is excited to be a part of the Cortland team! In her free time, she enjoys singing and spending time with her family.

Name: Ryan Condon

School: Smith Elementary School, Special Education 

Bio: Ryan is from Camillus, NY and enjoys being outdoors. He is a huge SU fan and likes cheering on the Orange during the basketball season. He loves working with children and seeing them grow to reach their fullest potential. He lives with his girlfriend and cat, Piper.

Name: Betsy Davison

School: Junior and Senior High School, LMS

Bio: Betsy has taught in the Auburn, Dryden and Cortland School District. She lives in Cortland with her husband and her two young children. Her favorite part of the summer was traveling to the Adirondacks to climb Mount Vanhoevenberg. She is a Cortland alumni and is excited to work in Cortland!

Name: Jennifer Fischer

School: Smith Elementary School, Music

Bio: Jennifer comes to CECSD with twelve years of teaching experience. She formerly taught 8th grade Music and Chorus in Schenectady, NY. She enjoys spending time with family and going to concerts. She had a fun summer that including camping in Vermont. She comes from a family of teachers.

Name: Samantha Gifford

School: Cortland High School, ELA

Bio: Samantha has taught both on Long Island and In Watertown, NY and comes to us with four years of teaching experience. She lies in Baldwinsville with her significant other and cat Arnie. She enjoys seeing live music and even attended the FireFly Music Festival to see the Weekend and Chance the rapper. She wanted to become a teacher to help students become good humans ready for the real world. She is excited to start the year at CECSD.

Name: McKenzie Gray

School: Parker Elementary School, Special Education 

Bio: McKenzie is a Baldwinsville native and has taught for five years at several districts in Syracuse. She enjoys nature and going on a walk with her dog Pepper. She is one of eight family members that are all educators. She played lacrosse at Lemoyne college and coached at the Fulton School District. She became a teacher through the influence of her family members and her desire to make a difference in the lives of students.

Name: Julie Haug

School: Junior High School, Special Education 

Bio: Julie lives with her husband and her 2.5 year old son in Homer. She became a teacher because she wants to help others succeed. She taught math previously in Dryden School District at the 7th and 8th grade level. She enjoys spending time with her family and has been teaching for thirteen years.

Name: Abe Johnson

School: Cortland High School, Earth Science and Biology

Bio: Abe is a local! He was born and raised in Cortland. He has two boys that attend Virgil Elementary School. He likes to play baseball on weekends and attend baseball games (the Boston Red Sox are his favorite team). He skis in the winter and enjoys the outdoors. He played baseball at Fredonia State University and before coming to Cortland he was the Athletic Director in McGraw.

Name: Jonathan Keefner

School: Virgil Elementary School and Senior High School, Music

Bio: Jonathan lives in Lansing and also teaches in the evenings at Ithaca College in the Music Department. Jonathan plays the guitar and many other instruments. He is passionate about music and excited to start the school year with the Cortland team. 

Name: Stephanie Levine

School: Cortland Junior High School, Psychologist 

Bio: Stephanie recently graduated with her Master’s in School Psychology from Marist College. She is from Long Island and currently moved to Ithaca, NY.  She enjoys sunflowers, vegan desserts, and exploring new places. Stephanie will be working at the Junior High as the psychologist for grades seventh through ninth. She believes that every student can achieve success regardless of any academic, mental, physical, or emotional barrier when provided with the proper tools and strategies.   

Name: Chia Lor

School: Cortland Junior High School, Math

Bio: Chia has been teaching for six years at OCM BOCES as a math teacher. She lives in Liverpool with her two sons, her dog named Sam and her husband. She went to visit family in California this summer and toured Monterey Bay Aquarium, Fisherman’s Wharf in San Francisco, and went to Lake Tahoe. She enjoys camping and exploring new places. She became a teacher to become a mentor and role model for underrepresented minority students.  In her free time she has conducted eggroll workshops in the past to show co-workers how to cook ethnic food.

Name: Valerie Loucks

School: District Employee, Physical Therapist 

Bio: Valerie is working for Cortland School District as a Physical Therapist. She will be servicing all of the schools in the District. She got engaged this summer and has her Doctorate in Physical therapy from Ithaca College. She enjoys playing ultimate frisbee on the weekends and lives with her finance and cat named Babou.

Name: Alissa Main

School: Cortland Junior High School, Art

Bio: Alissa previously student taught in the West Genesee School District. She graduated from the Syracuse University Art Education Masters program this past May and is eager to have a classroom of her own. She was born and raised in Skaneateles NY. She has a passion for art and she realized that teaching people about art and inspiring others to create art was something that she wanted to spend the rest of her life doing. She loves animals and has a cat named Lady Boris and a dog named Hank.

Name: Becky McKenney

School: Cortland Junior High School, School Counselor 

Bio: Becky comes to the CECSD from Bishop Grimes High School in Syracuse, NY. Becky grew up in the suburbs of Syracuse and has lived there her whole life. She is an alum of SUNY Cortland. She enjoys spending time with friends and family on the weekends, listening to country music and watching basketball. She spent the summer coaching basketball and attending weddings as a bridesmaid for two of her close friends. Becky became a teacher to positively impact the lives of adolescents.

Name: Cora Mihalyi

School: Randall Elementary, Grade 6

Bio: Cora has experience working for CECSD, as she was a sub last year in the 4th and 5th grade at Randall Elementary. She is a Syracuse University Alumni and resides in Syracuse. She loves to hike and be outdoors and is always looking for new recipes to try. Over the summer, Cora was able to go to the Adirondacks and try out paddle boarding. Cora became a teacher because she believes in every child’s access to an equal education. Welcome to CECSD Cora! We are glad to have you on our team.

Name: Monica Oaks

School: Parker Elementary, Special Education 

Bio: Monica is from Cortland, NY, and she attended Parker School and the Cortland Jr. Sr. High. She is a SUNY Cortland alumni and enjoys spending time with her three daughters, creating zentangle designs, playing softball, and watching New York Yankees games. Monica became a teacher because she wanted to share her love of learning with students and wants to positively impact students in their educational journey.

Name: Kelly O’Kipney

School: Senior High School, Math

Bio: Kelly is from Chittenango, NY and now resides in Cortland. She is a SUNY Cortland alumni and enjoys golfing, hiking, shopping, and attending SU basketball games. She loves math and wants to share her enthusiasm for the subject with her students.

Name: Madeline Parente

School: Junior High School, LOTE

Bio: Madeline comes to us from Binghamton School District. She is currently planning a wedding for October and is excited to get married. Her favorite part of the summer was traveling to Washington D.C. and Boston Massachusetts. She enjoys spending time with friends and families. She is excited to join the Cortland team!

Name: Leslie Patriarco

School: Junior High School, School Social Worker 

Bio: Leslie calls Cortland home and enjoys practicing yoga, walking her puppy and spending time with her friends and family. Leslie will be working at the Junior High as a social worker this year and has two years of experience working at a charter school in Rochester. She is excited to start the school year!

Name: Maria Stamatogiannakis

School: Smith Elementary School, Reading 

Bio: Maria comes to Cortland from Charleston, South Carolina. Her family is all in Florida but she calls Ithaca home. She recently got married and went on her honeymoon this summer. She is a Disney World enthusiast and has two cats that she just adopted. Maria became a teacher because she believes that a quality education is a basic right for every child.

Name: Katie Swanson

School: Kaufman Center, Special Supervisor PreK-6

Bio: Katie has been teaching special education for the past twenty one years in Homer, Madison-Oneida BOCES, and Cortland for the past fourteen (Virgil and Parker).  She moves to the Kaufman Center this year in the role of Pre-K - 6 Supervisor of Special Education.  Katie lives in Cortland and is eager to work with more students and families in her new position.  If she is not in town, you will find her at some beach, somewhere.


Name : Ashley Trembley

School: Barry, Special Education

Bio:  Ashley grew up in central New York.  She has been working with children in the education field for 7 years.  She is a graduate from SUNY Cortland with her masters degree.  Ashley currently resides in Syracuse NY with her husband Dave, dog Gunner and cat Calli.  She enjoys making her own jams and jellies, tomato sauce and grape juice to enjoy through the winter months.



Mr. Michael J. Hoose, Superintendent

1 Valley View Drive
Cortland, NY 13045

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