Teacher Preparation Department
Teacher Preparation students and faculty with children
Teacher Preparation students and faculty with children Teacher Preparation students and faculty with children
Teacher Preparation students and faculty with children Teacher Preparation students and faculty with children

Faculty and Staff

Select a name below to find out more about our faculty and staff.

Department Chairperson

Full-time Faculty

Adjunct Faculty

Academic Advisors

Support Staff

Department Chairperson

Nancy T. CupoloNancy T. Cupolo, professor, department chair and academic advisor of the Teacher Preparation Department, has taught at Hudson Valley Community College since 1990. She has taught many of the courses offered by the department, such as creative activities, educational theory, all of the special education courses, and all of the student teaching courses.

Professor Cupolo has served as an educational consultant in special, elementary and early childhood education since 1977. She owned and operated her own preschool for 10 years, in addition to administering several educational programs. She was an associate with the New York State Education Department and taught at Russell Sage College for 13 years. She received the New York State Chancellor's Award for Excellence in Teaching in 1999 and the 1994 President's Award for Teaching Excellence. She is a multiple-year recipient of the Who's Who in America's Colleges Award. She is also a nationally recognized speaker. She is certified in special education, elementary education and early childhood education. She is also a certified trainer in Mandated Child Abuse and Neglect and Prevent Violence Education.

Most importantly, she is the parent of two daughters and she is from a family of nine children.

Chairperson Cupolo also is an online instructor; one of the first "pioneers" on campus to teach a course online. She says, "If I can do it, anyone can!"

Full-Time Faculty

Antoinette HowardAntoinette "Toni" Howard, instructor, graduated from the University of Albany with a master's degree in curriculum development and educational technology. She received her bachelor's in elementary education/social science at The College of Saint Rose, her associate's in early childhood education from Maria College, and was awarded a Montessori teaching credential from the College of New Rochelle.

She spent nine years teaching in the South Colonie Central School District in both primary and intermediate grades. Prior to that, she helped to establish Albany's first Montessori Magnet School. A highlight of her career was the time she spent teaching non-English speaking students in Warsaw, Poland. Her most recent accomplishments on campus include accepting a position as a student advisor and distance learning educator.

When she is not involved in academics, she is busy raising her two young children and working as a fitness instructor and trainer in the Latham area.

Dawn KolakoskiDawn Kolakoski, Ed. D (Dr. K), professor, has taught at Hudson Valley Community College since 1991.

She has a bachelor's and a master's degree in music education and a master's in early childhood education from The College of Saint Rose. Her doctorate in curriculum development and systemic change is from Nova Southeastern University in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida.

Dr. K teaches field courses, supervises student teachers and teaches most sections of "Creative Arts for Children." She also enjoys teaching online courses.

She frequently gives teacher training workshops on creativity, music and art, and she occasionally teaches a graduate course in music education for Lesley University. Dr. K. is the author of the textbook "Write It Down! A Guided Journal of Ideas, Strategies and Reflection for Beginning Teachers," published by Delmar/Thomson Learning.

Dr. K is the mom of two lovely daughters, an American Eskimo dog, two middle-aged cats, and a crazy kitten. She enjoys traveling and hiking in the southwestern part of the United States.

Joan LawsonJoan Lawson, Ed.D., professor, has served with the Teacher Preparation Department since 1984. She is the mother of two adult daughters, Katie and Emily. Dr. Lawson has taught child development; foundations of education; home, school, and community; and freshman and senior year field courses. She currently teaches "Children's Literature, Language and Literacy Development," "Classroom Management," "Foundations of Education" and freshman field courses.

Dr. Lawson was the department chair for 10 years. She was a department advisor, a faculty advisor to the Early Childhood Club and has participated in a variety of administrative activities on campus. Dr. Lawson also has served on the adjunct faculty of the Graduate School of Education at Russell Sage College, the executive board of the School of Education Alumni Association at the University at Albany and a wide variety of community boards and committees in service to children and families. She also consults to area school districts and early childhood programs and agencies. Dr. Lawson received a bachelor's degree from SUNY Plattsburgh, and a master's and doctoral degree from the University at Albany. She has completed post doctoral work at the Harvard Graduate School of Education.

Eileen MahoneyEileen Mahoney, associate professor, has been teaching in the department since 1979. She has taught three of the four student teaching classes, "Creative Arts," and currently teaches "Child Development," "Foundations of Education," and the first year student teaching courses.

Ms. Mahoney received her B.A. and M.A. in child development from the University of Dayton. She has also studied at Bank Street College, Syracuse University, and taken many courses in the reading department at the University at Albany. Her focus in graduate school was on early literacy. She worked as the director of the children's laboratory school at the University of Dayton, as a home visitor for Head Start, and as a nursery school teacher in New York City.

One of the treats of being at an institution for a long time is being able to work with former students in new roles: as parents, cooperating teachers, and as colleagues.

Ms. Mahoney is the proud parent of three children who have definitely humbled and inspired her teaching. When not engaged in school activities/parenting, Ms. Mahoney likes to read, play tennis, and ski.

Carol NasonCarol Nason, assistant professor, received both her degrees from the University of Maine at Orono; a B.S. in child development and a master's in early child development and family studies. While completing her graduate work, Ms. Nason was a kindergarten teacher at the lab school at the University of Maine. Her thesis was on 'The Leadership and Followership Characteristics of Young Children.'

In 1984, Ms. Nason went to work for the University of Southern Maine as a child development specialist where she worked for 14 ½ years. During this time, Ms. Nason traveled the state of Maine teaching early childhood courses, providing technical assistance to a variety of preschool programs, particularly the Head Start programs, and leading parent and teacher training sessions and conferences.

Ms. Nason joined the faculty in the Teacher Preparation Department at Hudson Valley Community College in 1998. She loves her work with the HVCC students, and feels raising three teenage daughters has truly prepared her for anything! She will say her love for her three daughters and husband, and her passion for the Boston sports teams are her true hobbies.

Diana PaneDiana Pane, assistant professor, joined the Teacher Preparation Department in 1996. She currently teaches the field-based practicum courses during the day and in the evening. Prior to coming to the campus, Ms. Pane's work focused on the preschool child, particularly those from low-income communities. Her philosophy of education was shaped at SUNY Geneseo through her work at the Geneseo Migrant Center. It was there that she co-authored "Guidebook: Child Development Center," part of the Project Child Guidebook series. She had worked in Head Start programs as a teacher and an education coordinator for more than 15 years. During that time she had the opportunity to work as an advisor and a national representative for the National Child Development Associate Credential Program.

She received her master's degree in education from SUNY Cortland. While working on her bachelor's degree in liberal arts at SUNY Geneseo she began her studies in early childhood education.

If asked why she teaches, she would happily tell you, "I love to learn, I love how young children learn, and I love to share what I have learned. Teaching allows me to do all three."

Adjunct Faculty

Martha BeckMartha Beck, received a bachelor's degree in history and a master's degrees in speech pathology and educational administration from the University at Albany. Her professional career includes 14 years as a special education teacher, elementary teacher and school speech therapist. She recently retired after serving 21 years as an elementary principal in the Guilderland School District.

Ms. Beck's first love has always been teaching and learning, and she is very pleased to be a part of the Teacher Preparation Department faculty at Hudson Valley. When she is not in the classroom, Ms. Beck loves to read, garden, cook and travel.

Lestor Betor has a M.S. Ed. from The College of Saint Rose and is an instructor for "Creative Arts for Children."

Denise Bourdeau has an M.S. from The College of Saint Rose and is an instructor for "Child Development."

Laura BrewerLaura Brewer began her educational endeavors at Mission Bay Montessori Academy in San Diego, California. She also has had a variety of experiences counseling children from diverse cultural backgrounds as a counseling intern, teacher, social services coordinator and special needs coordinator for the Head Start program. She acted as a mental health coordinator for the Essex County Head Start program where she provided play therapy for children in the program and family counseling, before becoming an adjunct instructor at Hudson Valley Community College.

She has a M.S. degree in counseling from San Diego State University and is certified in school counseling, K-12. Additionally, Ms. Brewer has a bachelor's degree in education from SUNY Plattsburgh with teacher certification N-6.

She teaches "Child Development" online, on campus and at Shenendehowa High School. She also teaches "Classroom Management" and, periodically, our freshman student teaching course, "Guidance of Young Children" and "Techniques of Teaching Math, Science, and Social Studies Through Play."

Ms. Brewer volunteers as a parent advocate for children with special needs and is the proud parent of two boys who keep her life interesting and ever changing.

Tamara CalhounTamara Calhoun is a graduate of our Early Childhood program and returns as an adjunct instructor with a master of science degree in elementary education with a concentration in early childhood education from The College of Saint Rose.

She has more than 20 years of practical, hands-on experience in early childhood and elementary education which includes her own family daycare, working at area child care programs with infants through school-aged children, teaching elementary school grades K-5, as well as developing and administering area summer programs and early childhood education programs.

She has been educating adults in businesses since 1988, and teaching adults at the college level since 1998, in the topics of early childhood and elementary education. Teaching is her passion! She knows she is making a difference in the lives of children through the students that she has in her classes. Not everyone is a future teacher, but everyone can make a positive difference in a child's life!

Brian Corey has a master's degree from the University at Albany. He is an instructor for "Classroom Management."

Kathy Creed has a master's degree from The College of Saint Rose. She is an instructor for "Child Development."

Tina Daigle has a multitude of experiences in the education field. She was the owner and operator of her own licensed day care, Step by Step, and an adult education teacher for Albany-Schenectady-Schoharie BOCES. She served as an assistant director at Karner Day Care Center in Schenectady and as a substitute teacher within the Averill Park School District.

She has a master of science degree in elementary education/early childhood education from The College of Saint Rose and is pursuing her doctoral degree.

Bonnie Farrell has a master's degree from the University at Albany. She is an instructional designer in the distance learning office here at Hudson Valley. Ms. Farrell is an instructor for "Technology in the Classroom."

Gerald Germano has a master's degree from The College of Saint Rose and is a retired educator with more than 40 years of experience. Mr. Germano is an instructor for "Foundations of Education In America."

Marie B. Irving Marie B. Irving has a master's degree in curriculum and instruction from Pennsylvania State University and is certified as a teacher and school administrator in New York State. She has a wide range of teaching and staff development experience.

She taught middle level students in a Hudson Valley middle school, helped to build a new Early Childhood program as an assistant professor in a community college, and collaborated with University of Washington faculty in the development of research protocols that were used for assessing and supporting attachment and early literacy. Ms. Irving also spent seven years developing, delivering and monitoring a professional development program for the New York State Office of Children and Family Services, and contracted agency staff that monitor licensed and registered day care and family day care programs throughout the state.

She has a loving husband and two wonderful little boys who support her professional pursuits.

D. Wayne Johnson has a doctoral degree in education. from Columbia University, Teachers College and is an instructor for "Classroom Management."

Amy KileyAmy Kileygraduated from The College of Saint Rose with a master's degree in literacy, PreK-12. She received her bachelor's in elementary education with a concentration in earth science from Saint Rose as well as her associate's degree in business administration from Hudson Valley Community College.

Ms. Kiley taught for eight years within the Lansingburgh School District. She has been with the Teacher Preparation Department for four years as an adjunct instructor, a distance learning educator, and a student academic advisor.

Rachael Lawrence has a master's degree from the University of Akron. She is an instructor for "Diversity in Education" and "Culturally Responsive Teaching."

Casey Lensink began working at Hudson Valley Community College in October 1999 as an academic advisor and off-campus coordinator in the Office of Continuing Education and Summer Sessions. She has taught for Guilderland High School (Grade 10) and Shaker Junior High School (Grade 7). She also has taught at Mildred Elley.

Ms. Lensink earned her associate's degree in 1993 at Hudson Valley Community College, her bachelor's degree in English at the University at Albany, and her master's degree in secondary education at The College of Saint Rose in 1997. She is currently an advisor in the School of Business Advisement Center and teaches both –"Foundations of Education in America" and –"Home, School and Community," online for the Teacher Preparation Department.

Ms. Lensink is the mother of two children, Olivia and Jakob.

Deanne Martocci has a master's degree from the University at Albany and is associate director of the college's Center for Access and Assistive Technology and adaptive technology specialist. Ms. Martocci is an instructor for "Introduction to Assistive Technology."

Ann PlourdeAnn Plourdebegan her teaching career shortly after she graduated from SUNY Plattsburgh where she earned a bachelor of science degree in elementary education. Teaching in central New York for five years at the first grade level, Ann gained a wealth of knowledge as well as experience concerning developmentally appropriate teaching practices. It was during this time that she earned her master of science degree from SUNY Oneonta. A move to the Capital Region, where Ann taught second grade and kindergarten, provided an opportunity to further her teaching experience.

In 2000, Mrs. Plourde joined the Teacher Preparation faculty as an adjunct instructor. Some of the courses she teaches at Hudson Valley include "Guidance of Young Children," "The Child in the Ever-Changing World," "Developmentally Appropriate Practices for Infants and Toddlers" and "Children's Literature, Language and Literacy Development."

Kathleen Ross has a M.S. in special education from Russell Sage College, the school district administrator credential from the University at Albany and North Adams State College, and a B.S. in elementary/special education from SUNY Geneseo. She worked for 12 years as a special education teacher in the Shenendehowa school district and is a co-founder of the Helping Hands School for special needs children, 0-5 years old. Ms. Ross worked for 30 years as program director before retiring to work at HVCC as an adjunct and Russell Sage College as a supervisor of student teachers.

She is an accomplished educator with extensive experience in program management, policy development and the execution of learning disciplines.

Lisa Ruud has a master's of science degree from the University at Albany in curriculum development and instructional technology. She is an instructor for "Individuals with Exceptionalities in the School and Community."

William Scott has a M.S. Ed. from SUNY Plattsburgh and is an instructor for " Foundations of Education in America."

Nora Senecal has an M.S. Ed. from Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts and is an instructor for "Foundations of Education in America."

Rebecca Wagnerhas held positions as a special education coordinator, special education teacher, academic enrichment program supervisor and co-teacher. She has worked at the New Covenant Charter School in Albany, Southgate Elementary School and Cornell Cooperative Extension.

She has a master's degree in special education and elementary education. She believes in community service as is evident by her involvement in tutoring programs, a reading program at Galway Library, and the Saratoga City Arts Center.

Elizabeth WhitemanElizabeth Whitemanholds a bachelor's degree in education from Boston College and a master's degree in history from the University at Albany.

Her professional interests include planning and implementing developmentally appropriate literacy activities, developing innovative thematic studies of historical topics, and educating parents on the development of young children.

In addition to her work as an adjunct in the department she teaches 3rd grade for the Guilderland School District. She also conducts training and workshops for various local agencies on topics such as classroom management, motivation, music and movement, and literacy learning.

Ms. Whiteman's hobbies include sewing, singing, traveling and spending time with her husband and two daughters.

Academic Advisors

Diane TeutschmanDiane Teutschman holds a bachelor of science degree in psychology and a master's degree in elementary education from C.W. Post College. In 2003, serving as a Vista volunteer brought Ms. Teutschman to the Capital District area. After completing her project of implementing a family court program for abused and neglected children, Ms. Teutschman began teaching and advising within the Teacher Preparation Department. She has taught "Child Development" (on and off campus), "Guidance of Young Children," "Techniques of Teaching Math, Science, and Social Studies," and "College Forum." Currently, Ms. Teutschman is the full time advisor for the department in Higbee Hall, Room 105. Advisement appointments are available by calling (518) 629-7250. Evening appointments can be arranged to accommodate working students, as well as phone advising for our distance learners.

Prior to her position at Hudson Valley Community College, Ms. Teutschman worked as a preschool teacher, a special education tutor, a substitute teacher for all ages in her local district, and a nursery school director. She enjoys teaching and learning, and preparing future teachers (and assistants) for this rewarding field of education.

Ms. Teutschman is a certified trainer in the mandated New York State "SAVE" program (Safe Schools Against Violence in Education) and offers this training each semester through the Office of Community and Professional Education. She is also a certified trainer for the Olweus Bullying Prevention Program.

In her free time, Ms. Teutschman enjoys outdoor activities (especially winter sports), time with her four grown children and grandchildren, and volunteering for her church and community.

In addition to Ms. Teutschman, the department currently has four part-time advisors: Laura Brewer, Antoinette Howard, Marie Irving and Amy Kiley.

Support Staff

Deborah Rusiecki, program assistant, has a bachelor's degree from SUNY Plattsburgh. She has worked at Okte Elementary School, Eden Park Health Services, Eden Park Home and the Carol A. Dungan Child Care Center.

Marcy Smith, technical assistant, has a master's degree from George Washington University in management information systems. She works for two departments at Hudson Valley Community College - the Teacher Preparation Department and the Fine Arts, Theatre Arts and Broadcast Communications Department. Previously, Ms. Smith worked at George Washington University, Russell Sage College, and Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute.