Seventeen Educators Graduate from Future School Leaders Academy


Seventeen educators graduated from the Future School Leaders Academy at Putnam | Northern Westchester BOCES Thursday, having earned a master’s degree in educational leadership and state certifications as school building and district leaders.

For Carmel’s Amanda Allison, it was an eventful two years – she earned a master’s degree, got married, had a baby and just landed an administrative position as chairperson for the Committee on Special Education and Committee on Preschool Special Education in the Carmel Central School District.

“It was a great experience and a great fit” for working professionals, she said, adding that going through the program with the same classmates was also important. “It was a great support not just for advice and gathering information but for the emotional support we all needed when it became too stressful. We lifted each other up.”

Yorktown’s Raymond Cavallo, a 23-year veteran teacher who was unanimously chosen as the graduation speaker, urged his fellow graduates to put real joy into education. “Don’t take the very serious business of education so seriously all the time,” Cavallo said.

Ossining Superintendent Raymond Sanchez, a graduate of the program who also teaches in it, told graduates if they approach their work with purpose, they will find joy. Dr. Anthony Conelli, chair of educational leadership for Bank Street, told grads to “stay true to your beliefs and continue to become who you are.”

Dr. James Ryan, superintendent of BOCES, gave welcoming remarks, while BOCES Board members Anita Feldman and Richard Kreps were in attendance.

The following educators graduated from the Future School Leaders Academy: Amanda Allison (Carmel); Raymond Cavallo (Yorktown); Regina Cunningham (Byram Hills); Jennifer DeFalco (Harrison); Meredith Polansky Dutra (Carmel); Kristie Evers (Chappaqua); Mary Harrison (Bedford); Mary Catherine Hillman (Ossining); Claire Kaitz (Harrison); Hugo Osorio (Ossining); Kathleen Walsh Parra (Ossining); Tara Platt (Peekskill); Christina Rutledge (Briarcliff); Jason Spector (Bedford); Lauralyn Stewart (Chappaqua); Alissa Stoever (Chappaqua); Michael Voram (Pleasantville).

Kerry Ann MacEntee, Christine Otero and Marisa Wiley are expected to graduate in August 2017.

Throughout the two-year, 30-credit program, participants complete coursework at PNW BOCES in Yorktown Heights and the Bank Street campus in New York City and complete concurrent internships in their home districts. The FSLA program is run by Co-Directors Terry Orr, PhD, of Bank Street, and Joan Thompson, program developer for the Center for Educational Leadership at PNW BOCES.