The NYACCE Board
2020-2021 Board of Directors
Regional Coordinator- North Country
Program Manager, Capital Region BOCES
Maria has been employed by the Capital Region BOCES since 2015 and began as the Literacy Zone (LZ) Coordinator at the Capital South Campus Center. As LZ coordinator she collaborated with multiple community partners to provide wrap around services for adult learners and residents in the South End, Arbor Hill, and West Hill neighborhoods. In November 2017, Maria became the Program Manager of Adult Education for Capital Region BOCES and now oversees the Adult Education Department, which supports adult learners who wish to earn their High School Equivalency Diploma, improve their English Language skills, or launch a new career in programs like Welding, HVAC, or Engineering.
Maria has a BA from Niagara University in Elementary and Special Education, and after graduating she volunteered in Egypt and Sudan with VOICA, a Catholic organization. Upon returning home, she enrolled in the School of International Training (SIT) in Brattleboro, VT and received her MA in Intercultural Service, Leadership, and Management. She’s very passionate about serving others and help them reach their full potential.
VP of Events
Stephanie Bevacqua has been an HSE/Adult Literacy teacher for Orleans/Niagara BOCES for the past nine years. Her classroom is located in the Niagara Falls Literacy Zone and Stephanie specializes in teaching what is arguably the most challenging student population: 17-21 year olds. Teaching five different subjects every day, she inspires these students to recommit to their educations. Stephanie has been recognized as a NYACCE Teacher of the Year and as Orleans/Niagara BOCES' Continuing Education Employee of the Year. She has been a member of NYACCE since 2010 and joined the Board of Directors in 2017, serving as co-chair for the annual Student of the Year event. Stephanie has a master's degree in Literacy Education and a bachelor's degree in Elementary Education and Students with Disablities. She has a wonderful husband, Mike, and two beautiful daughters, Jenna and Reagan.
Coordinator, Franklin-Hamilton-Essex BOCES
The NYACCE Board is comprised of Adult Education professionals representing all of New York State. This volunteer Board consists of a variety of instructional and administrative positions and meets quarterly to discuss association business and plan events. The Board also acts as the Association's liaison with NYSED.
Director of Adult Education
Buffalo Public Schools
Amanda serves as Director of the Adult and Continuing Education Division of the Buffalo Public School District, one of the premier education and workforce skills training providers in the Western New York region. The Division offers TASC test preparation, English as a Second Language and Computer courses, and vocational training at 35 sites around the city.
Retired Adult Education Coordinator
Syracuse City School District
Kathy is a long time Syracuse resident and a graduate of SCSD’s Henninger High School. She worked for the District for over 36 years ago and retired August, 2020. She has been on the NYACCE board since 2012; the Treasurer since 2013, and the recipient of the Lawrence Levin Professional award in 2013. She recently got her first hole-in-one! Kathy has a daughter, Kelsey, A fiancé, Linda, and a pug named Ally.
Delegate at Large
Administrator, Dutchess BOCES Adult Learning Institute (ALI)
Elizabeth began her adult education career as an adjunct and adult education instructor for Marist College, Rochester Institute of Technology, and Dutchess BOCES. In 2001 she became the Assistant Director for Ulster BOCES Adult Education, and during that time obtained funding from NYSERDA to start the Photovoltaic Practitioners Academy at Ulster BOCES. Additionally, the program participated in the seven county regional 13-N – Green Talent Pipeline funded by NYS-DOL, in partnership with the Westchester/Putnam Workforce Investment Board. This project funded the building of a hands-on solar lantern lesson delivered to over 200 middle and high school students in the Hudson Valley. The model of this partnership serves as an example of alignment with K-12, Workforce, DOL and BOCES Adult Education. In 2012 Liz accepted the position of Director of Adult Education at Sullivan BOCES, and was asked to join the NYATEP (New York Association of Training and Employment Professionals) Board, currently serving as the Executive 2nd Vice President, representing statewide WIOA Title II partners in the Workforce System. In 2014 Liz returned to Dutchess BOCES in the leadership position at Adult Education at ALI (Adult Learning Institute).
VP for Communication
Data Manager/ Literacy Liaison
Syracuse City School District
Kelli joined the Syracuse City School District in 2009 as an Adult ESL Instructor after teaching overseas in Japan, Haiti, South Africa, Guatemala and Northern Ireland for more than a decade. In 2014 she took on the assignments of Data Manager and Literacy Liaison. She was recognized by NYACCE as an “Outstanding Teacher” in 2016. She also serves as TASC Coordinator for the program.
Kelli holds masters degrees in International Relations and Public Relations and is currently working on her C.A.S in Education Leadership at Syracuse University. Kelli has been on the NYACCE board since 2016.
Delegate at Large
Coordinator, Orleans-Niagara BOCES
Coordinator, Hamilton-Fulton-Montgomery BOCES
Laurie Bargstedt is the Coordinator of Adult Literacy and Corrections Education at Hamilton-Fulton-Montgomery BOCES. She manages four adult learning centers: Amsterdam Literacy Zone; Gloversville Literacy Zone; and the Fulton and Montgomery Academies inside the County Correctional Facilities. In a career spanning more than 25 years in adult education she has taught basic education, GED preparation, English as a Second Language and workforce readiness in classroom settings and through distance learning programs. She holds a BS in Adult & Community Education, Master’s in Education Administration and is a certified School Administrator and Supervisor. She is a Certified Manager in Program Improvement and a recipient of the Lawrence Levin Award.
Laurie has served NYACCE in many roles: regional coordinator; treasurer; conference chair; several committee chair posts; legislative chair; vice president; president; and historian. She is also a member of the NYS Association of Incarcerated Education Programs (NYSAIEP); School Administrators Association of NYS (SAANYS); NY Association of Training and Employment Professionals (NYATEP), NYS Council of Educational Associations, Correctional Educational Association, AACE, COABE and WE LEARN (Women Expanding Literacy Education Action Resource Network).
Regional Coordinator, Capital North
Vocational Case Manager
Adult Education, Capital Region BOCES
Tarin grew up in Buffalo, NY, and she is a proud graduate of the University at Buffalo. She earned a bachelor’s degree in English, a minor in marketing, and then a master’s degree in school counseling. Before landing her dream job in education at Capital Region BOCES, Tarin worked primarily in management and human resources and was often tasked with training others to be efficient, effective, and creative employees. Now she assists Adult Education students in achieving their educational and career goals. Every work day is interesting, and it is exciting to hear about student accomplishments, such as earning the High School Equivalency (HSE) diploma or obtaining that first job!
To combine multiple famous quotes and produce an overall paraphrase, Tarin believes in endeavoring to leave every space she enters better than how she found it. She is delighted to join the NYACCE board. Tarin is appreciative of the chance to engage with and learn from a specialized group of intelligent, energized people who add value to their respective programs and their communities.
Director, Jefferson-Lewis BOCES
Georgia has been Supervisor of Adult & Continuing Education at the Jefferson-Lewis BOCES since 2012. She has been involved in Adult Education for over ten years in an administrative capacity.
Adult Literacy Teacher
Champlain Valley Educational Services
“Katie has worked for Champlain Valley Educational Services as an Adult Literacy Teacher since January 2018. She graduated from SUNY Plattsburgh with a Bachelors Degree in Childhood Education (with a Concentration in English) and a Masters Degree in Special Education. Katie has experience working as a Distance Education Teacher, as well as teaching in the incarcerated programs in both Clinton and Essex County Jails. Katie also holds night classes at a sober living facility. She has a wonderful husband, Eric and a golden retriever, Ivy.”
CEO, Literacy West
Lisa Lee joined Literacy Volunteers of Allegany County, Inc. in 2003 as the Executive Director. At that time the organization provided adult volunteer tutoring services and peer tutoring programs within the Allegany County school communities. Since that time, the organization has been transformed offering one to one and classroom based education, workforce development, career planning and support services for adults, and quality school based STEAM and afterschool education programs. Now called Literacy West NY, Inc., services have expanded to Wyoming, Cattaraugus and Livingston Counties. Lisa has served on the NYACCE Board since 2006.
Director, Schenectady City Schools
Jesse Roylance is the Director of Adult and Continuing Education for Schenectady City School District overseeing programs enrolling over 2,500 students in HSE, ESL, Career training, incarcerated education, alternative K-12 education, and a rich continuing education program in an inner city environment struggling with poverty and creating successful pathways for its residents. In addition, his office oversees one of the largest High School Equivalency testing facilities in New York State and has created several new training programs working with colleges, employers, community agencies, city agencies, as well as community advocacy groups. Jesse has served on the NYS "TASC" taskforce on the implementation of the new HSE assessment, the Schenectady County College and Career Counseling Center's advisory board, the municipal housing Family Self-Sufficiency board, and is an active member of the New York State Association of Incarcerated Educational Professionals (NYSAIEP), New York Association of Training and Employment Professionals (NYATEP), and ASCD. Jesse has received citations and awards from the Schenectady City Council and the Human Rights Commission for his service to the community.
Central & Southern Tier
Regional Coordinator Central & Southern Tier
Adult Literacy Instructor, OCM BOCES
Timothy Jachim is an Adult Literacy Instructor at Onondaga-Cortland-Madison County BOCES. He joined the program five years ago as a substitute instructor and worked his way up to becoming a full time instructor. Timothy teaches students of all ages and academic levels to help them attain their High School Equivalency Diplomas by passing the TASC test. He also assists students working in the National External Diploma Program (NEDP), English as a Second Language classes, and with the TABE assessments. Currently, he teaches morning, afternoon, and evening classes.
This is Timothy’s first year on the NYACCE Board, serving as a Regional Coordinator for the Central-Southern Tier Region. He has Bachelor’s Degrees from SUNY Oswego in both Adolescent Education (with a Concentration in English) and English Literature, and a Master’s Degree from the University of Rochester in Twentieth Century and Contemporary American and British Literature. He looks forward to serving on the board and helping advance the education field in order to help current and future students.
Director of Adult and Continuing Education - Orange-Ulster BOCES
Andrew Carnright is the Director of Adult and Continuing Education at Orange-Ulster BOCES which helps provide numerous educational opportunities to the local community. Andrew began working in Adult Education at OU BOCES in 2010 as an instructor for the Incarcerated Youth program. Andrew has since gone on to other roles in Adult Education including working as an Instructional Technology Specialist, and most recently as the Hudson Valley RAEN Director from January of 2015 up until accepting his current position in the fall of 2017.
Since becoming the Director of Adult Education Andrew has worked to increase the program's community involvement and outreach as a way to fortify relationships and to help promote the many amazing educational and opportunities that Adult Ed can provide to local community members.OU BOCES serves approximately 2,000 students each year through the various literacy, vocational, out-of-school youth, and incarcerated education programs that are offered.
Alyson has been with the Putnam|Northern Westchester BOCES since 1982. She started her career in Career and Technical Education in 1989 and then became the Coordinator of Adult and Continuing Education in 2004. The adult education program serves over 2500 students per year in Adult Literacy, Continuing Education and Adult CTE programs. Alyson is also a member of the Putnam/Westchester Workforce Board and the Red Carpet of Putnam County.
Regional Coordinator Hudson Valley
Assistant Executive Director
Sarah Wyre is the Assistant Executive Director of Literacy West, NY Inc. located in the Southern Tier. Sarah is graduate of Mercyhurst University, where she received a BA in Art Therapy. After graduation, Sarah worked a year for Americorp in her former high school working with “at-risk” youth. That lead her to working as an educator for a teen pregnancy prevention program sponsored by Planned Parenthood in Corning, NY for the following ten years. After returning to her hometown of Belmont, Sarah was given the opportunity to be the Youth Manger at Literacy West, NY Inc. for Allegany County, NY. Sarah later became Program Site Manager for Cattaraugus and Allegany counties, serving both Youth and Adult education programs. Sarah now oversees seven programs within six counties of Western NY. Sarah enjoys spending quality time with her son, Jaxson.
New York City
New York City
Director, Fifth Avenue Committee, Inc.
Christina Curran is the Director of Adult Education & Family Literacy at Fifth Avenue Committee, Inc. (FAC) located in South Brooklyn NYC. Founded in 1978 FAC is a nationally recognized is not-for-profit Community Development Corporation. To achieve our mission FAC develops and manages affordable and supportive housing, provides student-centered education, creates economic development and access to training and employment and combats displacement caused by gentrification. Currently the Adult Education Unit provides 30 classes in English Language Instruction, Adult Basic Education (ABE), TASC Prep classes for the High School Equivalency (HSE) Diploma and Computer Skills instruction. The Adult Education Unit serves over 850 students in the neighborhoods of Carroll Gardens, Gowanus, Red Hook, Sunset Park and Bay Ridge in Brooklyn. Christina has worked in the field of Adult Literacy since 1992 and is a founding member of the New York City Coalition for Adult Literacy (NYCCAL).
Director, Literacy Assistance Center
Nell Eckersley has worked at the Literacy Assistance Center in New York City since 2005. She began as a trainer for the ASISTS data management system, then became the New York City RAEN Director, and since 2014 has been the Director of Instructional Technology and Communication. In 2015, she also became manager of the New York City Support and Technical Assistance Center (STAC) for ALE funded adult education programs in New York City. Nell is on the steering committee of the New York City Coalition for Adult Literacy (NYCCAL). Nell was the Technology chair for COABE from 2013 to 2015. She is a LINCS trainer and a partner of the EdTech Center at World Education. Nell joined the NYACCE board in 2017.
New York City
Riverside Language Program
Berta Colón is the Executive Director of the Riverside Language Program, an Immigrant Integration Center that has been serving newly arrived immigrants, refugees, and asylum-seekers in New York City for over 40 years. Riverside's services include top-quality, full-time English language classes, wrap-around case management and counseling services, and workforce readiness and civic engagement training.
Berta has over 25 years of experience working in the nonprofit and philanthropic sectors. Prior to joining the Riverside team, Berta was co-President of NEO Philanthropy, a national public charity that works with funders across the country and abroad to support social justice initiatives. During her time in the philanthropic sector, Berta oversaw several national grantmaking initiatives focused on race and gender justice, including a $15 million donor collaborative supporting immigrant rights. From 1997-2002, she served as the economic security program officer for the Ms. Foundation for Women. Berta has a Master's degree in Public Administration from Columbia University School of International and Public Affairs and a Bachelor's Degree from Barnard College.