NYSEC Executive Board

Hudson Valley Region
Lydia Adegbola
Michelle Bulla
Vincent Fino
Christine Furnia
Bridgette Gallagher
Beatrice Lopez, Ed.D.
Janet Matthews
Christopher Mazura
Sara Taveniere Moy
Holly Spinelli

Long Island Region
Lawrence Butti
Vivett Dukes
Victor Jaccarino
Louisa Kramer-Vida
Michelle Peterson
Felicia Prince
Jeff Yagaloff

North Country Region
Dan Tusa

Lydia Adegbola
Board Member
Social Media-Twitter

Lydia Adegbola is in her 19th year as an educator. She spent the first 15 years of her career as an English Teacher and Assistant Principal serving students and families in the New York City Department of Education. She is currently the English department chair of New Rochelle High School. Her academic background includes a Master of Arts in School Building Leadership and a Bachelor of Arts in Secondary English Education from New York University. Lydia is honored to work alongside an amazing team of English teachers who work tirelessly to prepare students for the demands of college, careers, and citizenship. Her strongest desire is to provide the instructional leadership needed to cultivate the critical literacy skills students need to thrive in the 21st century and beyond. Lydia firmly believes that we can use literature to help students read the world and have a profound impact on their lives, both now and for generations to come.

Michelle-Bulla-NYSEC

Michelle Bulla
President
SED Liaison

Michelle G. Bulla is a 20+ year high school English teacher at Monroe-Woodbury High School in Orange County, where she also serves as 9-12 English Department Chair. She is on the Executive Board for the New York State English Council (NYSEC), serves on the NYSED English Language Arts Content Advisory Panel, and worked on the new revision of the state standards.

Lawrence-Butti-NYSEC

Lawrence Butti
Business Administrator

Bio coming soon!

Vivett Dukes

Vivett Dukes
Board Member

Vivett Dukes is a career educator, writer, facilitator, keynote speaker, and activist who cares deeply about those who are systematically disenfranchised. She has over 20 years of experience in classrooms across Long Island and the New York City Department of Eduacation as an English teacher, literacy specialist, and Teacher of English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL). Vivett is committed to social and educational justice, and is particularly well-versed in the nuanced intersection of literacy, social emotional learning, and authentic classroom community building as they directly and indirectly relate to genuinely caring student / teacher relationships, home-school relationships, and the ever-growing school-to-prison pipeline that disproportionately affects the Black community.

Christine-Furnia

Christine Furnia
Vendor Liaison

Christine Furnia has been a secondary English/ELA teacher for 24 years, teaching every grade 7-12 at some point, except 9th. She received her undergraduate degree in English from Manhattanville College, and her Master’s of Science in Curriculum from Western Connecticut State University. Currently, she is the Teacher in Charge of the ELA Department at Van Wyck Junior High School in the Wappingers district where she teaches 7th and 8th grade. In 2012, Christine received her National Board Certification, and strives to continue to grow professionally, particularly in the area of technology integration. She became a member of the NYSEC Executive Board in 2016 where she serves as the assistant editor to the NYSEC News newsletter. Christine loves to travel with her four high school and college-aged daughters, and most recently visited Thailand and Japan.

Vincent Fino
Board Member
Awards Co-Coordinator

Vincent Fino serves as Assistant Principal at Carmel High School in Carmel, NY. Prior to taking a role in administration, Vincent was an 8th-Grade English Language Arts teacher at Valley Central Middle School in Montgomery, NY. He is also a Teacher Consultant with the Hudson Valley Writing Project. In his free time, Vincent enjoys reading, traveling, and running.

Bridgette Gallagher
VP High School
Social Media-Instagram

Bridgette Gallagher is a teacher and 9-12 department chairperson in the Saratoga Springs City School District. She started teaching in 2001 and became a teacher leader in 2010. She has a B.A. from St. Lawrence University in English Writing and a M.S.T.  from SUNY Plattsburgh in Curriculum and Instruction. She holds a Certificate of Advanced Study in Educational Leadership also from Plattsburgh State University. She is a Teacher Consultant of the Capital District Writing project’s 2020 cohort. She enjoys spoken word poetry and personal narratives which she enjoys teaching to her freshmen in English 9 and her seniors in Creative Writing. Her essays on teaching have been published in the Educator’s Room. Bridgette currently serves as the Vice President of Secondary for NYSEC. 

Victor-Jaccarino

Victor Jaccarino
VP Administration

Bio coming soon!

Louisa-Kramer-Vida-NYSEC

Louisa Kramer-Vida
VP College

Louisa Kramer-Vida, Ed. D. received her doctorate from Hofstra University in Literacy and Educational Administration. Louisa also has a P.D. in Literacy, a C.A.S. in Educational Administration, an M.A. in Literacy and a B.A. in English and History. Louisa retired from Pre-K- 12 education. She was an elementary classroom teacher, a high school English teacher, a K-12 literacy specialist, and had a variety of building and district office administrative positions, mostly in the areas of curriculum/instruction and personnel. Louisa adjuncted for many years and after “retirement” she became a full time professor of literacy. Louisa was promoted to Chair of the Department of Special Education and Literacy, held a stint as Acting Dean, and is now the Associate Dean of LIU Post’s College of Education and Information Technology. Louisa has published 39 peer and non-peer reviewed articles in such publications as Language Arts and The Language and Literacy Spectrum, and has presented approximately 109 times on the international, national, regional, state, and local levels. Louisa has served on the NYSEC Board in many capacities, twice as President, and has been the treasurer of LILAC (the Long Island Language Arts Council, a NYSEC affiliate) for over 15 years.

Beatrise-Lopez

Beatrice Lopez, Ed.D.
Social Media-Twitter

Perceiving every experience as an opportunity for gaining knowledge, growth, and self-reflection, Dr. Beatrice Lopez defines herself as a life-long learner and an agent for social change. Dr. Lopez’s professional experience includes twenty-one years teaching and serving within a school leadership capacity in New York State public schools. Currently, she serves as Humanities Chairperson at Isaac E. Young Middle School in New Rochelle, supporting adolescent literacy development. In addition, as an adjunct assistant professor, Dr. Lopez teaches in the Curriculum and Teaching Program at the Hunter College Graduate School of Education and has taught the Culturally Responsive Leadership graduate course at the College of Saint Rose. Dr. Lopez’s mission as a professional has been to help ignite the transformation of lives through equity-based educational practices that cultivate and sustain high-quality literacy learning experiences for all students.

Janet-Matthews

Janet Matthews
Friends of Excellence
Coordinator

Janet Matthews is a National Board and National Geographic Certified Teacher, Fulbright Scholar and recipient of several National Endowment for the Humanities Fellowships. Her career spans over three decades during which she served as a middle and high school English Department Curriculum Leader and classroom teacher in the Mount Pleasant Central School District. Her interest in global education has included study programs in all seven continents including a science expedition to Antarctica and a TEACH Fellowship in the Middle East where she had an opportunity to work with the Ministries of Education in Bahrain and Qatar. Currently, Janet works as a learning specialist and STEAM developer for her district. Her academic background includes degrees in Reading, English, and Administration. As a member of the NYSEC Executive Board, she serves as the Friends of Excellence chair and shares her passion for reading as a frequent contributor to Book Banter. Putting tennis aside a little bit this summer, Janet will be exploring the monasteries of Bhutan.

Chris Mazura
Board Member
President-Elect

Bio coming soon!

Michelle-Peterson-Davis

Michelle Peterson
Past-President
VP Elementary
NCTE Liaison

Michelle Peterson-Davis has over 25 years of experience as a teacher and administrator at the secondary and elementary level. She received her Bachelors in English from the University at Albany, Masters in Literacy Studies from Hofstra University, and a certificate in School District Administration from Stony Brook University. Michelle has served as an English Teacher, Reading teacher, building administrator, and K-12 ELA Director. She has served on the New York State English Council board for over 10 years in various capacities, including twice as President. In 2019 the NYSEC board honored her with their highest honor, the Fellow Award, for her service to both the Council and teaching profession. Michelle has presented workshops at local, state, and national conferences. She was a board member on the Long Island Language Arts Council, has participated on an advisory panel between P-12 and higher education on Long Island, and facilitates collegial circles for ELA leaders. In addition, Michelle has served on the New York State Education Department Content Advisory Panel for ELA for over 10 years. This panel provides feedback from the field on initiatives and curriculum for ELA at the state level. Michelle is a wife, dog mom, avid reader, and beach lover.

Felicia Prince
Board Member
VP Middle School

Felicia Cooper-Prince has been in education for more than 20 years. She served students on the secondary level and currently supports educators as a Director of Humanities. A guiding principle for Felicia is “a well-read person is likely to make fewer mistakes.” Also, she believes that reading, writing, speaking, and seeking to make connections with others is a responsibility. Formerly, she was the International Baccalaureate Primary Years Program (IB PYP) District Coordinator for a school district that embraced the pedagogical practices needed to foster global citizenship, agency, and action.

Sara-Taveniere

Sara Taveniere Moy
2021/2022 NYSEC Fellow
Business Secretary

Sara Moy is an Assistant Principal at FDR High School in Dutchess County. Sara is an avid reader who loves to travel in her free time, especially to the beach. She is a member of the Executive Board for the New York State English Council and also sits on the Board of Directors for the Hyde Park Educational Foundation. She holds an undergraduate degree from SUNY Oneonta in Adolescence Education and English and a Master’s Degree in Literacy Education from SUNY New Paltz. She completed a program in Educational Leadership through Stony Brook University.

Holly Spinelli

Holly Spinelli
Board Member
Co-Editor for Voices of NYSEC Blog

Holly Spinelli is an advocate for equality through anti-racist, anti-bias, and anti-oppressive facilitation within and beyond the classroom. She began her full-time teaching career as an English educator, academic advisor, and students’ rights activist at City-As-School High School (M560) in New York City. In 2011, she received the Alice Trillin Teaching Award For Social Justice Work in New York Classrooms. Holly continues to cultivate community-inspired work as an English teacher at Monroe-Woodbury High School in Central Valley, New York, and as an adjunct instructor in the English Department at SUNY Orange County Community College. She is an Academy for Teachers fellow and an active member of the National Council of Teachers of English Committee Against Racism and Bias in the Teaching of English.
Her writing has appeared in the Bread Loaf Teacher Network Journal, EdWeek blog, Faculty Forward Network blog, The Art of Breaking Up (HitRECord.org and Harper Design), Maps We Forgot to Bring (Workhorse), If Only They Were Hungrier (Workhorse), NCTE blog, and The Huffington Post.

In her free time, Holly enjoys writing, running, backpacking, and grooving to music that moves her soul.

Daniel-Tusa

Dan Tusa
Recording Secretary

Bio coming soon!

Jeff Yagaloff

Jeff Yagaloff
Board Member

Jeff Yagaloff is the English Chair (7-12) for Plainview-Old Bethpage Central School District. He earned his undergraduate degree from Skidmore College and his master’s degrees (secondary education for English and Educational Leadership) from Long Island University / CW Post. Jeff taught junior high school English in Queens, New York and then high school English in Commack, New York.
After earning his administrative degree, he served as English Chair for Glen Cove schools before obtaining his current position of English Chair (7-12) in Plainview-Old Bethpage. He takes great joy in working with various educational stakeholders to promote engaging instruction for all types of learners in a safe, warm, and challenging environment. Jeff is a proud family man, a lover of music (playing percussion in bands), and a plant-based diet proponent.