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Back to Communications Home

Giffen teacher meets gold standard

ALBANY, N.Y. (Jan. 13, 2017) -- Another City School District of Albany teacher has reached a professional gold standard.


Betsey Domenico, an English-as-a-new-language (ENL) teacher at Giffen Memorial Elementary School, has earned certification through the highly prestigious National Board for Professional Teaching Standards.


Domenico, pictured at right with one of her students, is the first ENL teacher in the district to earn national certification. But she's not the first in her family to do so: Her sister, Katie Chainkyk, a fourth-grade teacher at Thomas O’Brien Academy of Science and Technology (TOAST), earned the certification last year.


Domenico will be recognized on Wednesday along with other teachers from New York state who earned the certification.


NBTS develops rigorous standards for teaching and certifies teachers who meet those standards. The process takes one to three years and teachers are required to submit four portfolio entries, including video recordings of classroom activities and examples of student work. They also must pass an assessment that is specific to their certification area.


The City School District of Albany now has 23 teachers with NBTS certification. In addition to Domenico and Chainkyk, they are: 

  • Elizabeth Bartlett, special-education teacher, Philip Schuyler Achievement Academy

  • Connie Blair, fourth-grade teacher, Albany School of Humanities (ASH)

  • Sally Bruce, elementary math coach (retired)

  • Dawn Castle, literacy coach, Eagle Point Elementary School

  • Kristin Clancy, special education teacher, New Scotland Elementary School

  • Suzann Cornell, assistant house principal of Albany High School’s Discovery and Leadership academies

  • Debbie Cronin, art teacher, Albany High School

  • Rita Floess, math coach, Philip Schuyler Achievement Academy

  • Maggie Fuller, first- and second-grade teacher, Montessori Magnet School

  • Diane Groezinger, reading teacher, Delaware Community School

  • Melissa Hirt, technology teacher, Stephen and Harriet Myers Middle School

  • Brian Huskie, English teacher, Albany High School

  • Kimberly Jones-Gravel, third-grade teacher, New Scotland Elementary School

  • Kim McDonough, fifth-grade teacher, New Scotland Elementary School

  • Anne Miller, literacy coach, Philip Schuyler Achievement Academy

  • Betsy Nigro Despart, second-grade teacher, North Albany Academy

  • Ann Paulsen, third-grade teacher, Eagle Point Elementary School

  • Jessica Short, math coach, Pine Hills Elementary School

  • Marsha Strosberg, Ph.D., reading teacher, ASH

  • Betsy Tanenhaus, third-grade teacher, TOAST

  • Zeovadis Tavarez, fifth-grade teacher, Dual Language Program at Delaware Community School


The mission of the City School District of Albany is to educate and prepare all students for college and career, citizenship and life, in partnership with our diverse community. The district serves more than 9,600 students in 17 elementary, middle and high schools. In addition to neighborhood schools, the district includes several magnet schools and programs, as well as other innovative academic opportunities for students, including four themed academies at Albany High School.

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