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Staff Opening Day kicks off 2017-18 school year

Filed in District by on September 5, 2017

Before students return to school, Bethlehem faculty and staff gathered at the high school on Tuesday, September 5 to meet their new colleagues, celebrate some career milestones and begin preparing for the arrival of students on Thursday, September 7.

After a faculty and staff breakfast, the day began for all district faculty and staff with an opening day welcome from Board of Education President Christine Beck and Superintendent of Schools Jody Monroe. 

Faculty & staff play a game of “To Tell the Truth” with district administrators.

Beck and Monroe were joined at the morning assembly by Board Vice President Lynne Lenhardt and board members Charmaine Wijeyesinghe, Michael Cooper and Jonathan Fishbein. Together, they welcomed 53 new teachers and staff and paid tribute to longtime employees who are celebrating employment milestones this year. The majority of new hires in the 2017-18 school year will fill vacancies created by retirements and by staff who have left the district.

In addressing new and returning district employees, Superintendent Monroe set the tone for the new year by asking administrators, teachers and support staff to take the time to nurture students’ enthusiasm with opportunities to learn and grow – academically, socially, emotionally and globally – and celebrate each students’ individuality and uniqueness. 

“To each child who comes through our doors, who boards our buses, who lines up for lunch, you are a monument. A living monument, with a story to tell,” said Superintendent Monroe. “I want you to tell those stories and invite your students to tell theirs. These stories are often told in the small moments of every day but they are cumulative and they make a difference. This is what creates the kind of environment we all long for. 

“Just looking around I see so many stories I already know,” said Monroe. “People whose stories resonate beyond the classroom, who are remembered by students not only for what they do — in and around our schools — but for who they are.”

Read the full text of Superintendent Monroe’s Staff Opening Day comments.

Superintendent Monroe concluded her opening day remarks with the special song that former colleague and BC alumnus Mike DeAngelis, who retired from his position as a physical education teacher in June 2016, wrote and recorded last year as a surprise tribute to his former colleagues and as a love letter to his alma mater. The song has been adopted by schools districtwide and has been performed by choral and musical groups many times since its debut at the start of the 2016-17 school year.

The song, with video, is called “I am an Eagle” and can be viewed here.

The staff kick-off also included what Monroe called a collective effort “to bring humor, joy and excitement back into our work and our schools.” Faculty and staff who spent much of the day in meetings and setting up classrooms were treated to a barbecue with food prepared and served by district administrators.

Teachers will also be back in their classrooms on Wednesday, September 6 preparing for the first day of school on Thursday.

View more photos on the district’s Facebook page.

Welcome new BC staff members!


  • Rachael Bacon – Elementary Teacher, Slingerlands
  • Erynn Barber – Social Studies Teacher, BCHS
  • Laura Bronson – CSE Chair, SESS
  • Ashley Carkner – Elementary Teacher, Eagle
  • Kelly Cerza – Elementary Teacher, Eagle
  • Nicole Conway – Hall Principal/Administrator, BCHS
  • Cynthia Munk Dering – SESS Aide, BCMS 
  • Dana DiGiansante – Elementary Teacher, Glenmont
  • Shauna Edwards – Elementary Literacy Teacher, Eagle
  • Kelsey Filipello – SESS Aide, Glenmont
  • Corey Fong – Art Teacher, BCHS
  • Jessica Gallo – Speech Pathologist, Elsmere & Hamagrael
  • Patrick Gilday – Industrial Arts Teacher, BCMS
  • Maria Hayes – FACS Teacher, BCHS & BCMS
  • Erica Hamilton – Math Teacher, BCMS
  • Katherine Howell – School Counselor, Elsmere
  • Holly Kaiser – Health Education Teacher, BCMS
  • Elizabeth Kennedy – ENL Teacher, BCHS
  • Jessica Kirk – Noon Aide, Elsmere
  • Kara Kowalski – School Counselor, BCHS
  • Emily Labate – Elementary Teacher, Hamagrael
  • Cynthia Lawrence – Senior Keyboard Specialist, BCHS & BCMS
  • Nicole Mahar – SESS Aide, BCMS
  • Andrea Manley – SESS Aide, Hamagrael
  • Elvis Mariapen – Mechanic, Transportation
  • Justine Marinello – Elementary Teacher, Slingerlands
  • Christin Maycrink – School Nurse, Districtwide
  • Laura McEneaney – Elementary Teacher, Elsmere
  • Diana McGrath – SESS Aide, BCMS
  • Jacqueline Munroe – Hall Principal/Administrator, BCMS
  • Michael Nageotte – Help Desk Technician, Technology
  • Raymond Nardelli – Directory of Technology/Administrator, Districtwide
  • Justine Nigro – Library Media Specialist, BCMS
  • Monica Parmenter – Library Media Specialist, Eagle
  • Martina Pokabla – SESS Aide, Hamagrael
  • Jessica Rhatigan – Noon Aide, Glenmont
  • Courtney Richmond – Music Teacher, Eagle & Hamagrael
  • Andrew Rickert – English Teacher, BCHS
  • Daphne Rogers – SESS Aide, Hamagrael
  • Edmund Rohrmeier – Health Teacher, BCHS & BCMS
  • Amy Roos – Elementary Teacher, Slingerlands
  • William Schwartz – Custodian, BCMS
  • Maggie Sheehan – Elementary Teacher, Eagle
  • James Smith – Hall Principal/Administrator, BCHS
  • Emma St. Jacques – Clerical Assistant, BCHS
  • Cyrilla Suker – School Counselor, Eagle
  • Tammy Taylor – Noon Aide, Slingerlands
  • Claudia Tiberia – Noon Aide, BCHS
  • Kyla Walsh – Noon Aide, Hamagrael
  • Mary White – Science Teacher, BCHS & BCMS
  • Jessica Winn – Elementary Teacher, Slingerlands
  • Kallie Yeager – Technology Teacher, BCMS
  • Christine Zemsky – Science Teacher, BCHS

25 Years of Service to BC


  • Donna Bailey – SESS, BCHS
  • Kathryn Campion – Teacher, BCMS
  • Mary Davis – Aide, Transportation
  • Edward Gill – Teacher, BCMS
  • Kim Irwin – SESS Teacher, BCMS
  • Loretta Jerome – SESS, BCMS
  • Jeff Klamka – Teacher, BCMS
  • Linda Kowalewski – Teacher, BCMS
  • Eric Orner – Trasnportation
  • Todd Tyler – Teacher, Science
  • William Wojcik – Teacher, BCHS
  • Richard Wright – O & M, BCHS

30 Years of Service to BC


  • Michele Atallah – Teacher, BCHS
  • Heidi Aupperle – Teacher, Glenmont
  • Ann Brands – Teacher, Glenmont
  • Kathleen Buckley – Teacher, BCMS
  • Gary Carl – Transportation
  • Catherine Fredette – Teacher, Elsmere
  • Kimberly Ganley – Teacher, Glenmont
  • Robert Helm – Teacher, BCMS
  • Kathleen Normile – Teacher, Glenmont
  • Dean Pemberton – O & M, BCMS
  • Lisa Relyea – O & M, BCMS