Faculty and Staff

The Teacher Preparation Department faculty and staff are listed below.

Department Chairperson
Antoinette "Toni" Howard

Full-time Faculty
Laura Brewer
Diana Pane
Ann Plourde
Sarah Van Alstyne

Adjunct Faculty
Elissa Baker
Lestor Betor
Denise Bourdeau
Paula Buchanan
Tamara Calhoun
Dr. Stacey DeLaney
Carla Gleason
Dr. Shawn Hunziker
Amy Kiley
Dr. Dawn Kolakoski
Casey Lensink
Eileen Mahoney
Deanne Martocci
Christine Saxe
Diane Teutschman
Rebecca Wagner
Elizabeth Whiteman

Support Staff
Debbie O'Keefe
Marcy Smith

Elissa M. Baker received her M.S. in education from SUNY Potsdam and her B.S. in technical communications from Clarkson University. She is currently an instructional designer in the Center for Distance and Online Learning. She teaches Technology in the Classroom, an open SUNY COTE exemplar course, online for the Teacher Preparation Department. She also teaches Computer Concepts and Applications both in the classroom and online for the Computing and Information Sciences department.

Since 2003, Elissa has worked in academic technology and faculty development, focusing primarily on technology integration for distance and online learning since 2006. Prior to starting her career in instructional design and technology, she worked as a web/HTML developer.

In her free time, Elissa enjoys photography, traveling, and spending time watching her daughter figure skate.

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

Laura 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 while working as a social services coordinator and special needs coordinator for the Head Start program. She acted as a mental health consultant for the Essex County Head Start program, where she provided play therapy for children in the program and family counseling. She became an adjunct instructor at Hudson Valley in 1998 and has been a full-time instructor since 2015.

In addition to teaching both on campus and through distance learning at Hudson Valley, Laura served as an academic advisor for the Teacher Preparation Department, and currently serves as a life experience portfolio advisor for the department. Laura has a B.S. from SUNY Plattsburgh in elementary education and an M.S. in counseling from San Diego State University. With her background in counseling, she brings a strong focus on the importance of social-emotional development and the mental wellbeing of young children to the classroom.

Laura volunteers as a parent advocate for parents of children with special needs and served on the Policy Council for CEO Head Start, continuing her interest in and support of the Head Start program. She is also the proud parent of two college-aged sons, and enjoys hiking, yoga and gardening in her spare time.

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

Tamara Calhoun is a graduate of our early childhood program and returns as an adjunct instructor. She has an M.S. in elementary education with a concentration in early childhood education from The College of Saint Rose.

Tamara has more than 20 years of practical, hands-on experience in early childhood and elementary education. She has worked at her own family daycare and at area childcare programs with infants through school-aged children. She has also taught elementary school grades K-5, and developed and administered area summer programs and early childhood education programs.

Tamara 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!

Dr. Stacey DeLaney is an adjunct professor at Hudson Valley. She is a career educator and has retired from a career in public education. For the first half of her educational career, Stacey was a teacher for the deaf for Capital Region BOCES. She then served as an assistant principal at the Capital Region BOCES Career and Technical Education Center. Prior to retiring, she was the junior and senior high school principal for Schoharie Central School District. Currently, Stacey serves on the board of directors for the Haven of Hope Farm and Residence in Fonda, N.Y., a homeless shelter for women and their children, and is involved in her church music ministry and in the Boy Scouts of America as treasurer for Troop 32 in her hometown.

Carla Gleason has been teaching at the college level for over nine years. She has taught early childhood courses, psychology courses and introduction to college classes. She holds a M.S. in education from The College of Saint Rose. Prior to teaching at the college level, Carla spent six years working in various positions on the Pre-K- 12th grade level.

Antoinette "Toni" Howard, instructor and department chairperson, 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 and her associate degree 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. In 2015, Toni was awarded the President's Award for Excellence in Teaching at Hudson Valley.

When she is not involved in academics, she is busy raising her two children and working as a fitness instructor and trainer in the Latham area. Toni is an avid marathoner and tri-athlete.

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

A 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.

Dr. Shawn Hunziker graduated from the College of Saint Rose with an M.S. in special education. While working on his master's degree, Shawn worked as a residence counselor, working with several adults with various disabilities. Once he obtained his master's, he taught special education at Brittonkill Central Schools for 11 years. Shawn received his administrative certification and has been principal at the WSWHE BOCES since leaving Brittonkill Central School District, supervising several alternative and special education programs. Shawn received his doctorate degree in educational leadership from the Sage Colleges in 2014. He joined the Hudson Valley staff in 2013 and currently teaches Individuals with Exceptionalities In the School and Community (EDU 108).

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. She has taught tenth grade for Guilderland High School and seventh grade for Shaker Junior High School. She also has taught at Mildred Elley.

Casey earned her associate 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 Business and Computer Science Advisement Center and teaches both Foundations of Education in America and Home, School and Community online for the Teacher Preparation Department.

Casey is the mother of two children, Olivia and Jakob.

Eileen Mahoney, Professor Emeritus, has recently joined the ranks of adjunct faculty in the teacher preparation department. She began teaching at the college in 1979 and has taught many of the required courses. Currently, she teaches Child Development and Developmentally Appropriate Practices for Infants and Toddlers online. A few highlights of Eileen's career at Hudson Valley include receiving the Chancellor's Award for Excellence in Teaching in 2015, and keeping in contact with former students as they become mentors. Prior to her time at Hudson Valley, she was a home visitor for Head Start and director of the laboratory school at the University of Dayton. When not engaged in teaching activities, she is busy with tennis, gardening, and quilting. She is also the proud mother of three adult children.

Debbie O'Keefe, program assistant, has a bachelor's degree from Endicott College in business administration.

She has worked at Windham-Ashland-Jewett Central School, FEMA, and The Healthcare Association of New York State.

Diana Pane, assistant professor, joined the Teacher Preparation Department in 1996. She currently teaches field-based practicum courses during the day and in the evening. Prior to coming to Hudson Valley, Diana's work focused on preschool children, particularly those from low-income communities. Diana received her master's degree in education from SUNY Cortland. She began her studies in early childhood education while working on her bachelor's degree in liberal arts at SUNY Geneseo. Her philosophy of education was also shaped at 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.

If you asked her 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."

Ann Plourde began her teaching career shortly after she graduated from SUNY Plattsburgh, where she earned a B.S. in elementary education. She taught in central New York for five years at the first-grade level, where she gained a wealth of knowledge and experience concerning developmentally appropriate teaching practices. It was during this time that she earned her M.S. 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, Anne joined the Teacher Preparation Department 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.

Christine Saxe is a graduate of Union College and The College of Saint Rose and has taught kindergarten and first grade for over 15 years. She has also had the privilege of teaching in both public and private institutions in various demographic areas. Christine has extensive knowledge of children's literature and creative activities for young children from her work planning children's programs at the William K. Sanford Town Library. She enjoys spending time with her family in her free time.

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: the Teacher Preparation Department and the Fine Arts, Theatre Arts and Digital Media Department. Marcy has previously worked at George Washington University, Russell Sage College, and Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute.

Diane Teutschman holds a B.S. in psychology and a master's degree in elementary education from C.W. Post College. She came to the Capital Region in 2003 while serving as a Vista volunteer. After completing her project of implementing a family court program for abused and neglected children, Diane began teaching and advising within the Teacher Preparation Department and the Fine Arts Department at Hudson Valley.

Prior to joining the college's faculty, Diane 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, learning, and preparing future teachers and assistants for the rewarding field of education.

Diane is a certified trainer in the mandated New York State "SAVE" program (Safe Schools Against Violence in Education) and in child abuse treatment and prevention. These trainings are offered each semester through the Office of Community and Professional Education. She is a nationally certified trainer for the Olweus Bullying Prevention Program, and also evaluates preschools for the Quality Stars program in New York state.

Diane is the proud parent of four grown children and eight grandchildren. In her free time she takes Zumba classes, goes line dancing, and enjoys karaoke.

Sarah Van Alstyne received both her master's degree in literacy and her bachelor's degree in childhood education and special education from The College of Saint Rose. She has experience working with children of all ages, and has worked as a special education teacher for grades K-5 for Bethlehem Central Schools, as the director and teacher of an early childhood program, and as a reading specialist. She has gained the most experience through being a mother to an energetic and imaginative son, and also through her role as a foster parent.

Rebecca Wagner has 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, as well as Southgate Elementary School and Cornell Cooperative Extension.

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

Elizabeth Whiteman holds a bachelor's degree in elementary education from Boston College and a master's degree in history from the University at Albany. She has taught kindergarten, first, third, and fifth grade and enrichment for the Guilderland Central School District since 1994. She has been an adjunct in the Teacher Preparation Department since 2000. Elizabeth enjoys sharing her classroom experiences and her love of learning and books with her college students. When she's not teaching, Elizabeth enjoys reading, theater, movies, sewing, traveling, and spending time with her husband and two busy teenage daughters.

Get in Touch

Department or program information:

Elizabeth A. Yanoff, Ph.D.
Education and Social Sciences DEPARTMENT CHAIRPERSON
Higbee Hall, Room 109

Program admission information:

Guenther Enrollment Services Center, Room 223
Regular Hours: Monday – Friday, 8 a.m. – 5 p.m.
Summer Hours: Monday – Friday, 8 a.m. – 4 p.m.