Workshop Presenter Bios

Joanna Arkans
believes that research is messy. In her eight years as a high school librarian at New Paltz High School in New Paltz NY, she has encouraged the making of messes. Her goal is to constantly redesign the research project for authenticity and engagement. She is lucky to work with a dedicated group of teachers at NPHS; they have developed a strong information literacy program for their 9th grade students and they work to make research relevant at every grade level. You can find out more about her work and follow all the library happenings at http://nphslib.weebly.com.


Jeff Baron
, a popular guest speaker at elementary and middle schools, is the author of I REPRESENT SEAN ROSEN and SEAN ROSEN IS NOT FOR SALE, published by Greenwillow/HarperCollins. He is also an award-winning playwright whose plays have been produced in 23 languages in 45 countries. He has written for prime time TV series on all the major U.S. broadcast networks, and has written and produced for Nickelodeon. www.seanrosenbooks.com Follow him on Twitter:

Colleen M. Bonar
lives in Rochester, NY, and has been an educator for over 40 years, the majority of the time as a grade 7-12 public school English teacher. She has also been involved in leading the goal-setting process with teachers, administrators and Boards of Education in several rural school districts in the Rochester area. Currently, Colleen is the Curriculum Coordinator at Our Lady of Mercy School for Young Women, an all-girls private Catholic school of over 700 students in grades 6-12 in Rochester, NY, where she supports teachers in developing sound curriculum and adopting best practices pedagogy to benefit their students.


Gail Brisson
is a K-8 librarian in the Trumansburg Central School District.


John Brock
has a BA from Haverford College, Masters in Library Science from Syracuse University, with permanent certification as a school library media specialist from NYSED, and MS. Ed. from Stony Brook University. He has over 15 years’ experience as a school library leader in school districts, in both New York and in North Carolina, and is in his 8th year as an Associate in School Library Services with the New York State Education Department. He is proud to be a NYLA SSL member since 2009, and an NYSED liaison to the SSL Executive Board.

Sally Brothers
began her teaching career at Greece Central School District in 1994, and has been teaching English at Arcadia High School since 1997. She was the English Department's Building Leader and held the position for over twelve years. She co-led the implementation of the department’s idea of Summer Reading Circles to build a community of readers; this program is celebrating its tenth year this fall (2014) and is currently run by the library staff. She has presented with a team of district teachers and administrators at the Partner in Learning NCTE (National Council for Teachers of English) Conference in San Francisco, CA in November 2003 on the topic of Backwards Design, and has continued to present on the topic in the district. She has also presented on the Six Shifts in the new Common Core in the district. Sally has been teaching AP English Language and Composition for the past twelve years. Two years ago, she began as the Teacher Leader for ELA grades 6-12 at the Arcadia Campus. The grass roots approach to this leadership program provided the opportunity to work with the team of teacher leaders at Arcadia to develop a cohesive and unified Professional Development program for both the high school and middle school, and to design our first ever joint full staff campus staff meeting as a result of our summer leadership work. This past December 2013, Sally earned National Board Certification in English Language Arts/Adolescent and Young Adult, and has become certified to coach future candidates; a program she and four other teachers began implementing in Greece this year. Follow her on Twitter:
 

Rebecca Sofferman Buerkett
is the district librarian and technology coordinator for the Tupper Lake Central School District in Tupper Lake, NY. A 2009 graduate of Syracuse University’s iSchool, Rebecca was previously an elementary school librarian in Saranac, NY and a high school librarian in Malone, NY. She is a member of her district’s Inquiry Team, and runs an after school MakerJacks club for students. Rebecca occasionally presents at conferences and regional staff development sessions, writes articles for School Library Monthly and Knowledge Quest, and is Secretary of NYLA-SSL. Twitter her on Twitter: 

Angela Calderella
worked for New York Public Library as a Children’s Librarian for 32 years, in numerous Bronx Branches, presenting many types of programs, especially storytelling. In 1996 she joined the Rye Storytellers Guild. Their members, who share a love of storytelling, meet monthly at the Rye Free Reading Room to tell stories. In 2014 Angela became a member of the Ann Izard Committee for the second time. She loves reading (of course!), knitting, and cooking and, since her retirement in 2009, she has more time to enjoy these hobbies.

Ana Canino-Fluit
is a Teacher-Librarian and Computer Instructor at Rochester Christian School. Ana received her MLIS degree from Syracuse University & has a BA in English and History from Calvin College. When she isn't teaching, Ana is either reading & reviewing romance novels, watching geeky TV shows with her pastor husband or shuttling her teen daughters to music & karate lessons. You can find her on twitter as @AnaTinkers, where she tweets about making, books & libraries or as @anacoqui, where she tweets about pop culture, comics & book blogging. You can email her with questions or ideas at anacaninofluit@gmail.com. 
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Tata Cañuelas
has been a children's librarian for the past 13 years at the White Plains Public Library, where she uses storytelling as a way to introduce multiculturalism to the children and their families. She is a storyteller, a member of the Rye Storytellers Guild and a co-chair of the Anne Izard Storytellers' Choice Award. She has told stories in New York, Connecticut, Portugal and Puerto Rico.



Jen Cannell
is the School Library System Director for Questar III. This position allows Jen the opportunity to work with school librarians from 23 school districts in Rensselaer, Columbia, and Greene counties. Prior to her current position, Jen was a middle school librarian in Fairport, NY where she was awarded a Crystal Apple as teacher of the year. Jen serves as Secretary for the School Library System Association and enjoys the new insights gained from working on many committees. 


Peter Catalanotto
has published 46 books for children, 16 of which he has written, including Ivan the Terrier, Matthew A. B. C., Question Boy Meets Little Miss Know-it-All, Emily’s Art, Monkey & Robot and More of Monkey & Robot. His book, The Painter, was featured on PBS’s Storytime and in 2008 Peter was commissioned by First Lady, Laura Bush, to illustrate the White House Holiday Booklet. Peter currently teaches the first children’s book writing course offered at Columbia University. Since 1990, he has visited over 1500 elementary schools in 40 states showing students his creative process from inspiration to final book. 

Margaux DelGuidice
is a teacher librarian at Garden City High School and also works part time as a youth services librarian at the Freeport Memorial Library in the hometown of her youth. She is a contributing editor for Publishers Weekly where she writes the monthly Cut To The Core column and is co-author of the book, Make A Big Impact @ Your School Board Meeting. Library Journal has recognized DelGuidice as a 2013 Mover and Shaker for her advocacy efforts and PBS has featured her as an American Graduate Day Champion. For more information and to view her curriculum vitae please visit: http://about.me/metadatachick or e-mail her: metadatachick@gmail.com. Follow her on Twitter:

Marifran DeMaine
 is the Library Media Specialist at Putnam Valley High School in Putnam Valley, New York, and works as a children's librarian in a Westchester public library in her spare time. She holds New York State professional certifications as a K-12 Library Media Specialist and English Language Arts 7-12. Marifran is excited about connecting students and teachers with the wealth of primary sources found in DPLA's collections. Find Marifran on the web (pvhslmc.weebly.com). Follow her on Twitter

Claudine Dixon
received her Master’s degree in Library and Information Science from Syracuse University in 2003 and has worked in the Greece Central School District as a Library Media Specialist for the last ten years at Arcadia High School. She achieved National Board Certification in December 2012 and is a candidate support provider for others working towards their certification. Claudine has presented at numerous NYLA-SSL conferences on topics ranging from using technology to improve student learning and engagement to National Board Certification for Teachers. In 2009, she led a session on podcasting for the American Association for School Libraries (AASL) national conference in Charlotte, NC. In August of 2013 she presented at the New York State Department of Education conference Uncommon Approaches to Common Core in collaboration with the Memorial Art Gallery using kits of the five major world religions. Her other community related projects include the Arcadia Reads summer reading program that is comprised of over 800 students, local authors, teachers, administrators, and support staff and the Culinary Arts “Diced Competition” which raised almost $500 for the local food shelf. Follow her on Twitter

Randall Enos is the Youth Services Consultant for the Ramapo Catskill Library System headquartered in Middletown, New York. He works with the children’s and teen librarians in the 47 public libraries in the area. He has served on several ALA award committees including the Newbery, Caldecott and Sibert Award Committees. He is the Chair of the 2015 Newbery Award Committee. 

Polly-Alida Farrington
 is a consultant and the owner of PA Farrington Associates, with 18 years of experience providing technology-related training, web project development, and consulting services to libraries, library systems, and schools. A former academic librarian, she has experience in reference, government documents, interlibrary loan, and technology services. Polly runs the popular Cool Tools for Schools online learning program that has had reached over 600 participants. She and Kyle M.L. Jones are the co-authors of Library Technology Reports, April 2011 (47:3), Using WordPress as a Library Content Management System and Learning from Libraries that Use WordPress: ContentManagement System Case Studies and Best Practices (2012, ALA Editions). When not in front of a computer, she can be found in her garden trying to help things grow. You can find Polly on the web at pafa.net or follower her on Twitter

Denise A. Garofalo
has worked in technical services and technology in school, public, academic, and special libraries in New York and the Northeast. Prior to joining the Mount Saint Mary College community, Denise served as Library Director at the Astor Home for Children (Rhinebeck, NY), held various technology positions at the Mid-Hudson Library System (Poughkeepsie, NY), was the Automation Consultant at the New Hampshire State Library (Concord, NH), Head of Technical Services and Automated Services at the Warwick Public Library (Warwick, RI), and a Librarian at the Pawtucket Public Library (Pawtucket, RI). She held positions at the Libraries at the State University of New York at Albany, and worked afterschool and summers at the Perry Browne Elementary School Library (Norwich, NY), She has consulted with libraries on technology, information processing, and digitization projects, and has served as an adjunct professor at the Department of Information Studies at the State University of New York at Albany. She is a trustee for the Marlboro Free Library in New York (currently President of the Board), and has served on various library committees at the regional and state level. Denise has given presentations at state conferences as well as at American Library Association, NERCOMP, Internet Librarian, and Computers in Libraries conferences. She reviews for Library Journal, School Library Journal, Technical Services Quarterly, and the American Reference Books Annual. She writes a column for the Journal for Electronic Resources Librarianship, has written a book on social networking in libraries, and has contributed to books on library technology.

Stacey Gerwitz
has been a middle school librarian since 2008 after almost 10 years as a middle school English teacher at Ballston Spa. Many times you’ll see her discussing books, quite animatedly, with students and staff. Besides teaching students the joys of research, she shows them the pitfalls of plagiarism and charm of proper parenthetical documentation. When she’s not reading or crusading against plagiarism, she’s with the people most important to her- her husband and four year old twins.

Anne Gordon
has been the Library Media Specialist at Pocantico Hills School (prek-8th grade) for the past 8 years.  Prior to this, her career path included many other interests including photography, writing, and editing for books, magazines, music, and filmmaking.  Computers and technology have always played a big part in her work, and she's enjoyed having the opportunity to continue to grow and learn new skills with her students and colleagues.


Dr. Timothy Horan
holds five degrees and an Advanced Certificate in Creative Writing. He is also a former teacher of high school English. As the inventor of the “School Library Writing Center,” he has published a series of eight articles on this topic in School Library Monthly, and is in contract to write two books on this subject. He is currently a Library Media Specialist in Hauppauge High School on Long Island, and is the Director of their School Library Writing Center (which he founded). He was the 2013 School Librarian of the Year in Suffolk County.

Tali Horowitz
is the Senior Education Manager at Common Sense Media, for the East Coast, where she helps educators and families meaningfully harness the potential of technology with students. She has worked in education since 2002, and feels passionately about professional development for educators around digital literacy and citizenship, cultural competency and educational technology. She has worked in a variety of educational settings on both the East and West Coasts, as a classroom teacher and educator coach, as well as in New Zealand as a Fulbright Fellow. In her free time she loves face-to-face interactions with friends and family.

Melissa Iamonico
is the school librarian at R.J. Bailey School in Greenburgh. She received her M.S.L.I.S. in 2010 from Long Island University. Melissa is currently working on certificates in Educational Computing and Education for Sustainability. She is an ALA Emerging Leader for 2015. Previous presentations include Using Non-fiction Picture Books, E-Readers for Struggling Readers, Reaching Reluctant Readers, and Using Yoga in the Classroom. Her next presentation will be at the 2015 SSL Conference on Snakes in the Library! Follow her on Twitter

Melissa Jacobs
 is a Coordinator in the Office of Library Services for the New York City Department of Education. Melissa is the founder and current Chair of the American Association of School Librarians Best Apps for Teaching and Learning Committee, President of the School Library Systems Association of New York State, book reviewer for ReadKiddoRead.com, and a Community Representative for the Digital Public Library of America. Melissa is the recipient of the 2014 School Library Systems Association of New York State Distinguished Service Award and has been published in Teacher Librarian, School Library Journal, School Librarian’s Workshop and Knowledge Quest. She enjoys spending time with her two high-spirited daughters, exploring emerging technologies, lifelong learning, cooking, and obsessively collecting cookbooks. Connect with Melissa by email mjacobs7@schools.nyc.gov or follow her on Twitter


Paige Jaeger is an educational consultant delivering professional development at
the local, state, and national levels. She is widely published in many educational
journals and serves on the advisory board for Scholastic Administr@tor Magazine. Her three books were published recently by Libraries Unlimited, ABC Clio. RX for the Common Core; Think Tank Library (Elementary & Secondary). She considers herself a lemon loaf aficionado and chocoholic. Follow her on Twitter


Anne Jaffe Holmes
is Director of Conservation & Sustainability Education for the Greenburgh Nature Center in Scarsdale, NY. Anne has been teaching about nature and creating programs and community dialogues on environmental topics at the Greenburgh Nature Center since 2008. Previously, Anne was an environmental educator for Westchester County Parks, leading field trips and nature programs for schools throughout the County. Anne love of hands-on, active, place-based education began when she was fortunate to spend five very enriching years as teacher-director of a parent-cooperative nursery school in Yorktown Heights, NY. 

Sara Kelly Johns
is the Immediate Past President of the New York Library Association and is a past president of the American Association of School Librarians and the School Library Section of NYLA. Johns has written and presented nationally and statewide on school librarians and advocacy. She is an online instructor for Mansfield University’s School Library and Information Technologies and recently contributed a chapter, “Flipping the Switch” for School Library Advocacy” to the soon-to-be-published Rowan and Littlefield book, Creative Library Promotion and Publicity: Best Practices. She is an online instructor for Mansfield University’s School Library and Information Technologies. She is a current member of the Regents Advisory Committee on Libraries and the ALA’s Executive Board, Literacy Committee and Conference Committee. Follow her on Twitter

Julie Johnson is currently a full-time seventh grade English Language Arts teacher at Ballston Spa Middle School (located in the town of Ballston Spa in upstate New York). After earning a BS in education from the College of Saint Rose and an MS in literacy from SUNY Albany, she has spent the last nine years teaching sixth and seventh grade English in an integrated classroom setting. Julie, as well as fellow teacher and colleague Mrs. Laurie Struffolino, have been collaborating and teaching inquiry-based research units with expert librarian, Mrs. Stacey Gerwitz since 2008.

Amy Kaplan
 has been the Children & Teens Librarian at Briarcliff Manor Public Library for 11 years, and started this Video Booktalk Club with Tara Phethean 7 years ago. She also collaborates with the Middle School Librarian, running a parent-child book discussion group that has been thriving for several years, and is a member of the WLS Battle of the Books planning committee. 




Sue LeBlanc
is the School Library System Coordinator for Delaware-Chenango-Madison-Otsego BOCES, where she serves as part of the Instructional Support Services Team. Prior to her current position, she was the Jr./Sr. High School Library Media Specialist at Otselic Valley Central School. Sue attained her MLS through Syracuse University’s iSchool program, where she worked at the Center for Digital Literacy with Drs. Ruth Small and Marilyn Arnone, and is currently pursuing her Education/Leadership/Administrative degree at Canisius College. Her most recent interest is in the librarian’s role in crafting text sets for inquiry-based learning. Sue can be reached at leblancs@dcmoboces.com, or follow her on Twitter
Nina Levine
is a School Library Media Specialist and Instructional Technology Coach at Hendrick Hudson High School. Having earned her BA in Psychology and Masters of Library Science at SUNY Geneseo, she has held positions as elementary, middle and high school librarian. In 2012 Nina was named one of the Top 50 Innovators in Education by the Center for Digital Education and Converge. Nina has presented at state, regional and local conferences. As a member of the Hendrick Hudson Instructional Technology Academy, she is a frequent teacher of technology integration. Follow her on Twitter 


Jean Mancuso
has been a Library Media Specialist for the past 17 years, for the last 15 years at Ardsley Middle School. A love of books was what brought her into the field and during the school year she only reads YA books, finding great joy in recommending books to her students. Although now technology has become a major part of her job, helping both students and teachers navigate through it. She has lived in Westchester for most of her life, has three grown children, and a husband that coaches local high school hockey. She thoroughly enjoys reading, crocheting and gardening.

 

Sheri McNair
is the head of library services for her district, overseeing the library curriculum instruction grades K-12. In addition to teaching information literacy and technology integration at the high school, she also serves on the district’s technology team and the inquiry facilitation team. She has taught many technology integration/social media professional development classes to teachers and fellow librarians, and is in the process of transforming the existing traditional high school library space into a 21st Century Learning Commons. McNair is a member of NYSCATE, NYLA/SSL, SLMSSENY, and the Orange-Ulster Regional Library Council. She also serves on the Advocacy Board for the Council, is currently the treasurer of SLMSSENY, and is on the planning team for the annual NYLA/SSL Conference to be held in April 2015. Follow her on Twitter

Shannon Mersand
 is a School Media Specialist at Yorktown High School. She holds a Bachelors in Information Science and Policy with minors in English and Education Studies, as well as a Masters of Library Science and a Masters in Curriculum Development and Instructional Technology, all from the University at Albany, State University of New York. Shannon holds professional certification as a K-12 Library Media Specialist, as well as in English Language Arts 7-12. She has taught in a number of capacities in multiple districts, and in her role as School Media Specialist, has worked with teachers from all disciplines to integrate Information Literacy and Technology into the curriculum. Shannon has presented at District, Local and State Conferences on the integration of technology in the curriculum. In 2011, she was named the Lee Bryant Outstanding Teacher of the Year by New York State Association for Computers and Technology in Education. She is an authorized Google Education Trainer, qualified in Google Apps and Google Chrome. Learn more about Shannon Mersand at www.ShannonMersand.com. Follow her on Twitter

Monique C. Morgan
is part of the Innovations in Learning Team with the Northeast Comprehensive Center, a federally funded technical assistance center. Her experience ranges from project design to implementation and evaluation. In her work with state education departments across the Northeast, she has been successful in sustaining strong collaborations between SEA staff and other organizations to work through challenges that meet the project goals. Currently, Morgan is supporting New York State Education Department (NYSED) in their plan to update the School Library Media Program Evaluation (SLMPE) web pages. Her responsibilities include suggesting a new webpage design, facilitating the content curation and working on a plan towards scale and sustainability. With the modifications to the SLMPE web pages, Morgan and her team hope to create a space that will be a valuable resource for all school librarians and school administrators across New York State. Follow her on Twitter 


Sudha Narsipur
is a National Board Certified Librarian at Ossining High School. She is passionate about the work she does with young adults. Her mission is to raise awareness on digital citizenship and provide safe learning environments for her students. She utilizes new tools and technologies including e­books to engage her students. She guides them to find books they love to read in the format of their own choice. Most recently, she has been involved in setting up and managing a makerspace at the Ossining High School Learning Commons. You may find Sudha’s posts and photos of her students’ work on her Twitter 

Eric Neuman
has been a teacher for the N.Y.C. Dept. of Education since September, 2002. In September of 2005 he was assigned as a teacher to manage the school library. He took the library at P.S. 83x from archaic to modern, and spearheaded a $500,000 Resolution-A renovation grant from New York City Council. In June of 2014 the library at P.S. 83x was closed due to budget constraints. Neuman is currently the teacher assigned to the school library at P.S. 206m in East Harlem New York. Neuman earned his B.A. in English from SUNY Albany, a M.Ed. in Curriculum Design from American Intercontinental University, and is currently enrolled in the Syracuse iSchool as a distance student to finish his MLIS degree and become a certified Librarian. Neuman is also married, has two sons, and resides in Westchester county. Keep up with Neuman via social media: https://www.linkedin.com/in/theneuman http://misterneuman.wordpress.com. Follow him on Twitter

Jennifer Palmentiero
is the Digital Services Librarian at Southeastern New York Library Resources Council (SENYLRC). She is responsible for the administration of the Hudson River Valley Heritage (HRVH) website and SENYLRC's digitization services to members. Jennifer provides training and support to member libraries and cultural heritage organizations on all aspects of the digitization process. The HRVH website provides free access to a wealth of primary sources that help document the rich history of the Hudson River Valley. 

J’aimé Pfeiffer
is currently the School Library System Director for WSWHE BOCES. She has 27 years in education, including 7 years teaching High School Social Studies, 15 years as a School Librarian, and five years as an administrator. In her present position, she works with librarians, teachers and administrators to understand the Common Core and Social Studies Framework standards and skills through the use of the Empire State Information Fluency Continuum, as well as selection of quality and rigorous informational “seed” texts, developing inquiry units and lessons, and selection of the best resources for the unit/lesson based on both content and standards. She has presented to the New York State Board of Regents on the importance of collaboration between school librarians and teachers. She serves on the Board of Trustees for the Capital District Library Council, the planning committee for the statewide “Uncommon Approaches to the Common Core Conference,” and is President-Elect of the School Library Systems Association of New York State. 

 
Tara Phethean
 has been the school librarian at Todd Elementary for 13 years, and has collaborated on the Video Booktalk Club with Amy Kaplan since its inception in 2007. She has also presented at the SLS annual conference for P/NW and SW BOCES, and runs the Mock WLA/WLS Caldecott Award at White Plains Library with Tata Cañuelas. Follow her on Twitter



Kimberly Rouleau
was a secondary school teacher of English, Creative Writing and Journalism at Aquinas Institute in Rochester, New York before becoming a librarian. For the past 11 years Kimberly has been the library media specialist at Our Lady of Mercy School for Young Women in Rochester, NY, an all-girls’ Catholic school with over 700 students. During her tenure at Mercy, Kim transformed the library to one which supports the learning needs of 21st century students. She has further contributed to the educational program at Mercy by establishing the process of data-driven collaboration with teachers, and implementing a strong team-teaching model to support the learning goals across all disciplines. In 2013, the Mercy Library Media Center was awarded Honorable Mention in the Rochester Regional Library Council’s “Library of the Year” contest. Kimberly is also a member of the organizing committee for the Greater Rochester Teen Book Festival, which annually fosters a celebration of reading by bringing over 30 nationally acclaimed authors to Nazareth College of Rochester to hold workshop sessions for over 4,000 wildly enthusiastic teenage book-lovers. Follow her on Twitter 

Livia Sabourin
is the librarian at Fallsburg Jr/Sr High School in Sullivan County, NY. She has worked in that space for 17 years. Her favorite parts of the job are collection development and talking to her students about what they're reading. She has maintained an active HS Book Club over the last several years and she has very strong circulation statistics as well. She travels as often as possible and studied abroad in Spain twenty years ago. Her most exotic travels have been to Morocco and Thailand. Her wallet contains no less than five different currencies at any one time, her passport is always within reach, and she is never without something to read. Contact her at livisabourin@gmail.com. You can follow her on Twitter
but she doesn't understand nor have the patience for it, so it's probably best not to bother contacting her that way.

Cynthia Sandler, a former English teacher turned Library Media Specialist, teaches at the North Salem Middle/High School.  Cynthia is a Google Certified Teacher, a Google Geo Teacher Institute member, a Flat Classroom Certified Teacher, runs professional development workshops on integrating technology into inquiry based projects and has been selected to present a workshop at ISTE 2015 entitled "Transmedia Play as a Classroom Game-Changer."  Leading a STEAM initiative this year, Cynthia helped start a middle school robotics club and began coaching a new school robotics team.  She also helped launch a middle school coding club that has reenergized computer science in their school, resulting in new computer science class offerings for next year.


Pamela Schembri
 grew up listening to her father tell stories. Spellbound, she was transported to wherever his words took her. Later, when Ms. Schembri became a school librarian, she found the power of storytelling essential. For the past 23 years, Pamela has been an invited guest to conferences, schools and libraries. Ms. Schembri enjoys telling the stories she’s written and collected through her career, and she co-authored Second Grade Friends, a set of easy-reader books published by Macmillan. She hopes you will take her stories and share them with your family. Visit her website at www.pamelaschembri.com

Joanne Shawhan
is a certified library media specialist, and works as an Associate for School Library Services in the Office of Educational Design and Technology at the New York State Education Department, where she has worked since the end of 2007. At State Ed, she works on school library issues, curriculum projects, and implementing educational technology. Prior to joining State Ed, she served as the high school librarian at CobleskillRichmondville High School in Schoharie County for ten years, and as the District’s Library Department Chair. At Cobleskill-Richmondville, she spent much of her time teaching students to find the right resources for their projects and papers, especially in Social Studies. Her educational background includes a BA in History from Barnard College, an MLS from the University at Albany, and a Ph.D. in History from Columbia University. When she is not working, Joanne enjoys reading, photography, visiting art museums, travelling with her husband Peter, and staying in touch with her two grown sons. Follow her on Twitter

Bridget Smith
received a BS in Secondary English Education and Secondary Special Education from Marymount College of Fordham University. She received an MS in English from SUNY New Paltz. Bridget has taught high school English for ten years, both in the role of special educator and lead teacher. In addition, she is a certified SUPA professor through Syracuse University.



Brynn Speer
has been a K-12 school librarian for 8 years, first in the small district of Long Lake Central and currently at Weedsport Central School. In both districts, she has designed and co-taught a high school art elective called “Graphic Novels” with the high school art teacher. Her goal in these K-12 positions has been to make the library a vital center of the school, not only for inquiry and research, but also for reading and student-centered interests. The “Graphic Novels” course brings students into the library and gives artistic students access to information about how the library can serve their needs. 

Laurie Struffolino
has worked as a middle school English Language Arts teacher since 2007. She is currently a full-time seventh grade English Language Arts teacher at Ballston Spa Middle School in Ballston Spa, New York. She holds a BA in English from The College of Saint Rose and an MS in Literacy from the University at Albany. Laurie has spent the last several years collaborating with Julie Johnson and Stacey Gerwitz to create rich, engaging inquiry-based research units.



Christine Susskind is a former lecturer in Linguistics and French at the State University of New York at New Paltz. She currently teaches English as a Second Language in Highland Falls, NY. She is a member of NYS TESOL, for which she serves as Chair for the Secondary Education Special Interest Group.






Ellen Tannenbaum
is the Youth Services Librarian of the Tuckahoe Public Library, Co- Chair of the 2015-2016 Anne Izard Storytellers’ Choice Awards Committee and a storyteller. Follow her on Twitter 






Audrey Vernick
writes nonfiction and humorous fiction picture books. Brothers at Bat: The True Story of an Amazing All-Brother Baseball Team was a New York Times Notable Book of 2012. Her books have been Junior Library Guild selections and named to a number of fabulous lists including Bank Street College Best Children’s Books of the Year and the IRA/CBC Children’s Choice. Audrey received an MFA in creative writing from Sarah Lawrence College and has received two fiction fellowships from the New Jersey Council on the Arts. A frequent and popular presenter at schools, libraries and conferences, she lives near the ocean with her family. You can visit her at www.audreyvernick.com and follow her on Twitter 

Nicole Waskie-Laura
is the School Library System Coordinator at Broome-Tioga BOCES in Binghamton, NY; she leads professional development and provides media/ technology resources to 16 school districts. Prior to her current position, Nicole was a school librarian for 6 years. Nicole holds a B.A. in Literature from SUNY Geneseo, a M.L.S in Information/ Library Science from the University of Buffalo, and a M.Ed. in Educational Administration from the University of Scranton. Nicole is particularly interested in the way technology and libraries intersect to impact learning, the changing role of librarians, inquiry across the curriculum, and social media as a force for good. Follow her on Twitter 

Hilda Weisburg
retired as library media specialist in 2004 after a long career in elementary and high school libraries. She teaches a graduate course at William Paterson University and has taught at Rutgers University. A past president of the New Jersey Association of School Librarians, she Chairs AASL’s Advocacy Committee and is on the ALA Committee on Literacy. Her most recent book for ALA Editions is the 2nd edition of New on the Job: A School Librarian’s Guide to Success. She has also written the School Librarian’s Career Planner (2013) and Being Indispensable: A School Librarian’s Guide to Becoming an Invaluable Leader (2011)- both for ALA editions as well as fourteen other books for library media specialists. Hilda Weisburg has given presentations at AASL and state library media conferences and given staff development workshops in many locations. She is most proud and excited about her first YA fantasy, Woven through Time, published in October 2013.
 Follow her on Twitter