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Two more teachers meet gold standard

ALBANY, N.Y. (May 18, 2018) -- Two more City School District of Albany teachers have reached a professional gold standard.


Christine Rizzo, a reading teacher at William S. Hackett Middle School, and Kelly Toomey, a special education teacher at Philip Schuyler Achievement Academy, have joined the ranks of 25 educators in our school district that have earned the prestigious National Board Certification.


The Board of Education celebrated both teachers at its May 17 meeting.


The National Board of Teaching Standards 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.


In addition to Rizzo and Toomey, district teachers with national certification include: 

  • Elizabeth Bartlett, data coach, Albany High School

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

  • Sally Bruce, elementary math coach (retired)

  • Dawn Castle, literacy coach, Eagle Point Elementary School

  • Katie Chainkyk, fourth-grade teacher, Thomas O’Brien Academy of Science and Technology

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

  • Suzann Cornell, principal of Albany High School’s Citizenship Academy

  • Debbie Cronin, art teacher, Albany High School

  • Betsey Domenico, English-as-a-new-language teacher, Giffen Memorial Elementary School

  • Rita Floess, third-grade teacher, Giffen Memorial Elementary School

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

  • Diane Groezinger, reading teacher, Delaware Community School

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

  • Brian Huskie, English teacher, Albany International Center

  • 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, literacy teacher, North Albany Academy

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

  • Jessica Short, fourth-grade teacher, 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 work in partnership with our diverse community to engage every learner in a robust educational program designed to provide the knowledge and skills necessary for success. The district serves more 9,600 students in 18 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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