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Staff Spotlight

February 14. 2024

Graphic of Amanda Tomchesson
  • Position: Third grade teacher, Seneca School
  • WICSD service: 7 years
  • Hometown: Grapevine, Texas 
  • What’s your WHY?  “Working with kids brings joy to my life, it's as simple as that! The laughter and love that is shared at Seneca School means the world to me.” 

February 7, 2024

Guetti Spotlight text
  • Position: School Counselor at Listwood and Southlawn
  • WICSD service: 25 years
  • Hometown: Native of Perry, N.Y.; resides in Geneseo 
  • What’s your WHY?  “I have considered it a true gift to work with the students, staff, and families I have over the years.  I have learned so much from all the individuals that I have had this privilege to cross their paths. I love seeing those tiny moments, such as a student's face lighting up when they’ve successfully transferred the social/emotional skills/strategies we worked on in sessions and lessons. I'm constantly blown away by my fellow staff due to their dedication, expertise and kindness. I feel honored to just contribute my part as we collaborate to help students shine.” 

January 31, 2024

  • Name: Victoria Gerhardt
  • Position: School Social Worker
  • WICSD service: 7 years
  • Hometown: Native of Albion now lives in West Irondequoit
  • What’s your WHY? “I'm passionate about teaching children lifelong social emotional skills that benefit their health, learning, coping, and relationships.  Self-awareness and emotional regulation are essential for optimal functioning!”

January 24, 2024

spotlight graphic of Erica Kane
  • Position: Intervention Teaching Assistant, Southlawn Elementary; VP of Student Affairs, WICPTSA 
  • WICSD service: 2.5 years
  • Hometown: West Irondequoit (IHS Class of 2001)
  • What’s your WHY? “I love providing support to students and then seeing their growth throughout the year.”
  • What colleagues are saying:  

“I have worked in the district for 18 years and I have never seen anyone work as hard as Erica. She greets students every morning, does afternoon parent pick-up at the front door and as the school day ends is there waving and smiling at family members picking up their child. She is simply amazing,” teaching colleague, Jori McKenna. 

“Erica is an incredible person.  She's kind, hardworking, focused and flexible.  Working with her is joyful,” Southlawn Lead Teacher, Kristina Bajardi. 

“Not only does Erica wear many hats and work extra hard, she does so with joy and enthusiasm,” teaching colleague, Lisa Poinan.

January 17, 2024

graphic of teacher Stephen Johnson with student
  • Name: Stephen Johnson
  • Position: Earth Science teacher, Irondequoit HS
  • WICSD service: 5 years
  • Hometown: Baldwinsville (near Syracuse); now Pittsford
  • What’s your WHY? “I love learning new things about the world around us. As a kid, I remember wondering why snow could be different from day to day - sometimes it packed really well to make great snowballs and other times it just fell apart. What gives?!"

January 10, 2024

Haley Spiro graphic
  • Name: Haley Spiro
  • Position: Dake Jr. HS Physical Education and Unified P.E. teacher.
  • WICSD service: 15 years
  • Hometown: Rochester (Brighton HS graduate)
  • What’s your WHY? “To bring ALL students together to celebrate their individual strengths, similarities and differences and be able to work cohesively in a movement setting. Exposing students to different lifetime accessible physical activities and sports that they may not have participated in prior and creating life-long lovers of movement.” 

SEE MORE SPOTLIGHTS!

January 3, 2024

Ashley Romano
  • WICSD service: 7 years
  • Hometown: West Irondequoit (2011 IHS graduate)
  • What’s your WHY?: "I want to have a positive impact on students' lives and the community. I love seeing smiling faces when offering fun treats and healthy food choices, and being able to help students meet one of their basic needs brings me joy!"

Dec. 20, 2023

Jeff Stenglein graphic
  • WICSD service: 27 in West Irondequoit, 30 overall; has coached football, basketball and baseball
  • Hometown: Greece (1987 Athena graduate); West Irondequoit resident for 30 years.
  • What's my WHY? "The kids. Helping kids grow academically, socially and athletically is what it is all about."

Dec. 13, 2023

Nina Rivera graphic
  • WICSD service: 4 years
  • Hometown: West Irondequoit (IHS Class of 2005)
  • What’s my WHY? "I'd like to think that I have/can make a positive impact on someone's life even with just a good morning and a smile!"

Dec. 6, 2023

Lauren Seeley
  • WICSD service:13 years (she also coaches Unified Basketball, Modified Girls Basketball & Soccer)
  • Hometown: West Irondequoit (IHS Class of 2003)
  • What’s my WHY? “Making the switch from business to education was one of the best decisions I have ever made. I am very thankful that I work at a school that embraces diversity, encourages inclusion and fosters a strong sense of community. Every day is a unique experience and being able to form positive connections with students as a teacher and coach is truly rewarding."

Nov. 29, 2023

Nicole Juzwiak
  • WICSD Service: 14 years
  • Hometown: West Irondequoit (IHS Class of 2005)
  • What’s My WHY? “My why is the smiling faces that come through my door each day eager to learn, grow, take risks and have fun. The impact we have on our students is huge. We play an important role in shaping their little minds and personalities, especially in the very early years. The hugs, questions, lightbulb moments and growth -- it's all amazing and makes every day an adventure!”

Nov. 22, 2023

Lisa Cronin
  • WICSD Service: 15 years
  • Hometown: Penn Yan, NY
  • What’s my WHY? “I remember sitting in college thinking back to my sophomore year in high school and how one person changed my life for the better. This one person was not my favorite teacher, was not my best friend, was not someone I even interacted with that often. I sat in my lecture hall thinking about how different my life may have been if I hadn't had that one person take the time to really see me and push me to be better. That one person was my school counselor. My hope for my students is that they always see themselves the way I see them. Talented, courageous, brave, kind, and strong. My hope is that I can inspire them to be their best selves and take risks so that they reach every goal they want to achieve.”

Nov. 15, 2022

sarah putman
  • WICSD Service: 8 years
  • Hometown: Liverpool, N.Y.
  • What’s my WHY? “I became a teacher because I am passionate about helping all students feel successful at school. It is really important to me that I help guide students through learning experiences that might be challenging at first but become easier over time with support and practice. I want all of my students to leave school each day feeling smart and capable no matter what we are learning.”

Nov. 8, 2023

Adrinne Raines & Katie Coleman
  • Mrs. Raines, Secretary to the Asst. Supt. for HR
  • WICSD service: 5 years
  • Hometown: Rochester
  • Mrs. Coleman, Support Clerk – Personnel
  • Hometown: Fairport
  • WICSD service: 5 years

What’s Our Why: “Giving back to the community that has given so much to our families.”

Nov. 1, 2023

Chris Taylor
  • WICSD service: 10 years
  • Hometown: West Irondequoit (IHS Class of 2006)
  • What’s my WHY? “I love going to work at Dake every day because of the sense of community that exists between the students and faculty.”

Oct. 24, 2023

Susan Glastonbury
  • WICSD service: 5 years
  • Hometown: Abercrave, Wales (UK)
  • What’s my WHY? "Working in the main office at Iroquois is so much fun. We never quite know what the day will bring, and I love having the opportunity to connect with just about everyone involved in the school. For me, the most important connections are those built with our students. It means so much to be able to celebrate their successes, and even more to be able to help problem-solve when they need a little extra support."

Oct. 18, 2023

Picture of three Teaching Assistants

Francine DeFay

  • WICSD service: 15 years
  • Hometown: Warsaw, N.Y.; Irondequoit for 26 years
  • What’s my WHY? “I struggled with math as a child, so having the opportunity to help children who also struggle is extremely rewarding. I also love making connections and building relationships with our students!”

Maureen Heron

  • WICSD service: 15 years
  • Hometown: Binghamton; Irondequoit for 25 years
  • What’s my WHY? “I love reading and math and want to help students so they will feel the same way.”

Mary Beth Lenzi

  • WICSD service: 23 years
  • Hometown: Webster; Irondequoit for 38 years
  • What’s my WHY? “One of the greatest rewards of intervention is seeing a student's eyes light up after grasping a new piece of knowledge. It is priceless!”

Oct. 11, 2023

Miriam Johnson
  • WICSD service: 5 years
  • Hometown: Rochester
  • What’s my WHY? “Teaching is rewarding in so many ways. I enjoy seeing my students make progress both academically and non-academically as well-rounded people and future contributing community members. Everyone comes from a different background and for this short time in their lives I get to be a positive role model, an educator and trusted adult. I love what I do because I have the opportunity every day to contribute to children having a happy and healthy future.”

Oct. 4, 2023

Joe Barber
  • Positon: Custodian, IHS
  • WICSD service: 5 years
  • Hometown: Irondequoit (Eastridge Class of 2003)
  • What’s my WHY? ‘One of the most important aspects of a great learning environment is having a clean and safe building. I take pride in providing that every day for students, staff and community members.”

Sept. 27, 2023

Jaime Juliano
  • Position: Reading Intervention teacher at Brookview
  • WICSD service: 13 years
  • Hometown: Fairport
  • What’s my WHY? “I believe that literacy is a fundamental human right and that every child deserves to feel the joy of learning to read. Literacy empowers children and improves their lives by expanding their capabilities to choose a kind of life they can value. It is the skill that opens doors to a world of opportunity and possibilities.”