Mr. Lawrence Nadel
Lawrence M. Nadel is thrilled to be the Coordinator for the Glen Cove City School District Fine & Performing Arts Department. He has directed various theatrical productions and taught Theater Arts for 16 years in schools and camps across the country, prior to arriving in Glen Cove. He was a former theater teacher and Arts Education Liaison at the Queens School of Inquiry in Fresh Meadows, Queens where he oversaw the execution of arts grants received. Before his start at QSI, he was a director at Edward R. Murrow HS in Brooklyn where he directed various Players Circle Productions in their conservatory-style studio theater program. He studied acting and directing at the State University of New York at Oswego. He has also performed as an actor at Molloy University with South Shore Theatricals for five years alongside Kathryn Crosby and Marilyn Maye among many others. Last year, Mr. Nadel focused on formalizing professional development around the Fine & Performing Arts learning standards for New York State, since the department is aligning instruction across content areas and disciplines to increase student achievement in the arts. He had Glen Cove City School District approved as one of the very few districts on Long Island for the IAAP (Individual Arts Assessment Pathway). This new opportunity will provide our students more ways to become noticed for their artistic achievements while also resulting in their overall academic success. He is looking forward to continuing his work with students, parents, faculty, community members and arts organizations to ensure that Glen Cove City School District thrives in the Fine & Performing Arts with exciting arts opportunities and initiatives.
Ms. Melissa Johnides
Melissa Johnides has been teaching high school art, primarily photography, at GCHS since 2008. Photography is her favorite medium to both teach and practice, but she also loves experimenting with all fine art techniques. Mrs. Johnides has also had the tremendous job of overseeing our high school yearbook creation since 2018. She attended F.I.T., C.W. Post and Stony Brook University. She taught Photography at the prestigious USDAN Center for 7 years. She is incredibly proud when her students receive art accolades, and her classroom was once even highlighted in the photography magazine Rangefinder. She is also a practicing artist and her personal photography has been published in magazines and displayed in galleries across Long Island.
Mr. Stephen Lombardo
Stephen Lombardo is thrilled to be in the high school as a media art teacher for his 21st year. Previous to being an art teacher, he was a professional graphic designer and art director. A few of those jobs were at the 92nd St. Y, the Asia Society, Univision, Sony music, and several ad agencies. In his spare time, he pursues playing guitar and doing vocals in a rock ‘n’ roll cover band. Mr. Lombardo brings his wealth of professional and personal experience to his profession as an art educator, championing and showcasing the work of his students and every possibility. You can also find Mr. Lombardo in several art museums, whether on Long Island or in New York City, where he stays abreast of current trends in art and design.
Ms. Kathleen Doughty
Kathleen Doughty has over 32 years experience teaching art and has been teaching in the Glen Cove School District for over 30 years. She currently teaches Creative Crafts, Studio Art, Advanced Visual Design and Drawing & Painting at the High School level. She spent the first 15 years of her Glen Cove career teaching art at the Middle school. Personally, she is married and has three adult children. She considers herself an artist who enjoys teaching, which is reflected in the quality of student work produced in her classes and artfully displayed throughout the building. She designs lessons which reflect a broad range of cultures, are relevant and appeal to today’s high school students. Her lessons support student diversity, reinforce positive interactions among students, and she looks forward to future art endeavors with Glen Cove students.
Ms. LeeAnn Palazzo
LeeAnn Palazzo is a dedicated art teacher who has been in the Glen Cove City School District Art Department for more than 23 years. She has taught for 25 years in New York State. She was part of the pilot Tilles program in our schools and trained at C.W. Post Tilles and Lincoln Center. She was on the Tilles Advisory panel. She was the elementary team leader for many years when she taught at the elementary level. She has been at the high school for 4 years. She currently teaches Fashion Illustration & Design 1, Fashion Illustration & Design 2 and Studio Art. She runs the Art Club at the High School. Mrs. Palazzo also teaches a fashion course on Saturdays to high school students. She looks forward to being a part of our growing arts department.
Ms. Jean Bennardo
Jean Bennardo has been teaching art to the K-5 students of Glen Cove for over 20 years. Her students participate in ASA (Art Supervisors Association) at Farmingdale State College annually, as well as Earth Day, Red Ribbon Week, PARP celebrations, and Red & Green games. She has created many permanent murals and displays throughout the district and community over the years: tile murals at Morgan Park in celebration of Glen Cove 350, the Outdoor Classroom board in the Deasy playground, collaborative murals of Glen Cove landmarks at Landing school, and the tile murals in the entrance to Deasy and Landing schools to name a few. She has also volunteered with the Memory Project, a non-profit organization that has artists create portraits for children in impoverished or difficult settings throughout the world. Teaching art is a passion that has no boundaries and no end. There is no greater joy.
Ms. Michele McLoughlin
Michele McLoughlin is a proud member of the Robert Finley Middle School where she teaches art to the 6th, 7th, and 8th graders of our community. Michele started her career in Glen Cove in 2016. Besides teaching art in the Middle School, she has had the opportunity to teach children at the elementary and high school level. You can also find her after school hosting an art club. She is a graduate of Purchase College with a BFA in graphic design and holds a Masters Degree from CUNY Queens College in art education. Michele provides her students with a safe place to express who they are and to be themselves. She does this through her loving heart, modeling and understanding / experience of the discipline. In watching a Ted Talk, she was introduced to the words “When you teach to the heart the mind will follow.” She values the concept of using your hands and mind, which can easily be taken for granted. It’s magical to experience the art-making process and unlock the potential of children. The overall goal for her students is to achieve greatness, become more independent with their processes, believe in themselves, not be afraid to take risks, solve problems and to build trusting relationships.
Ms. Maria Verni
Maria Verni is an alumna of the Glen Cove City School district! She is thrilled to have returned to work with such a wonderful community. She began her teaching career in Corona, Queens at PS 211 with the Department of Education and has been teaching a variety of courses for the Glen Cove School District since September 2019. She has taught Studio Art, Photography, Digital Media, Ceramics and Elementary Art. She studied Visual Arts Education at New York Institute of Technology for her undergraduate and received a Masters of Science & Instructional Technology Education. She is an educator that truly cares about all of her students, loves enriching them with various art skills, along with providing positive and successful experiences in her art room. She loves attending Professional Development to stay current within her discipline and bring her best practices into the classroom. “My goal as an arts educator is to build a community of artists who are inspired, self-motivated, and create unique/diverse art.”
Ms. Korey Leogrande
Korey Leogrande is the Glen Cove Art Teacher for Deasy and Gribbin Schools. She has been working for the Glen Cove School District since 2017. Prior to that, she taught elementary art in the city, as well as K-12 art classes at the Art League of Long Island. Korey has worked closely with the classroom teachers in the Glen Cove community to integrate arts education into the students’ grade level curriculum. Each year she coordinates with a team to bring enriching Cultural Arts Events and plays to the K-2 students of Glen Cove. Her goal is to give all students the opportunity to experience many different art mediums and styles. It is Korey’s goal that her students learn different techniques, as they explore how to use art as a mode of self-expression. She hopes to help her students strengthen their self confidence and problem-solving skills to utilize well beyond the classroom. In her personal art, which can be seen displayed in her classroom, Korey’s favorite mediums include drawing, painting and sculpture. She is excited to continue working with the students, parents, faculty and community members of Glen Cove to enrich our students' experience in the visual arts.
Ms. Brittney Frank Rifkind
Brittney Frank Rifkind has been a music educator in the Glen Cove City School District since 2011 and has worked in several schools in the district. For the past eight years, Brittney has served as the High School Band Director, where she oversees the Glen Cove High School Marching Band, Concert Band, Wind Ensemble, and Jazz Band. In addition to annual school concerts and events, the bands frequently perform outside of school - the Marching Band has participated in the NYC Columbus Day Parade several times as well as performed during halftime at a Hofstra Men’s Basketball game. The Wind Ensemble quite often competes and is awarded the highest ratings at the yearly NYSSMA Major Ensembles Adjudication festival as well as Music in the Parks competitions. The Jazz Band regularly does community outreach by performing at local events and organizations. Brittney holds degrees in Music Education from Hofstra University and CUNY Queens College and is an active member of several professional organizations, including NAFME, NYSSMA, and has served on the executive board of Nassau Music Educators (NMEA). She loves being a member of the Glen Cove community and looks forward to continuing to serve our students and families.
Mr. Edward P. Norris III
Edward P. Norris III is the proud director of choral music at Glen Cove High School, where he serves as the Artistic Director of the Mixed Chorus and Select Chorale. Mr. Norris also teaches courses in Music Theory and AP Music Theory. He is the Music Director of the spring musical productions and the advisor of the Tri-M Music Honor Society. Mr. Norris is a graduate of the Aaron Copland School of Music at Queens College, where he received both his Bachelor of Arts Degree, and his Masters Degree in Music Education/Conducting. During Mr. Norris’ tenure at Glen Cove High School, the Mixed Chorus and Select Chorale have only received Gold Medals and Gold Medals with Distinction at the NYSSMA Major Ensemble festivals. Numerous students from the choral program have performed in All County, All State, All Eastern and All National Choral Ensembles. The Select Chorale has performed all over the United States and Internationally as well, including performances for Pope Francis in St. Peter's Basilica and President & Mrs. Obama in the White House. Both the Mixed Chorus and Select Chorale have performed at some of New York’s most prestigious performance venues, including Carnegie Hall, Lincoln Center, Radio City Music Hall, St. Patrick’s Cathedral and even Citi Field. In addition to his work at Glen Cove, Mr Norris is the Artistic Director of the Metropolitan Youth Orchestra (MYO) Chamber Chorale, as well as the Artistic Director of the LIU Post Choir. Mr. Norris is also a contributing author of “Teaching with Heart, books I & II” by Dr. Jason Max Ferdinand and serves on Dr. Ferdinand’s National Education Advisory Team.
Mr. Chris Lippe
Chris Lippe is the string orchestra director of the Robert M. Finley Middle School. In addition to directing the 6th grade orchestra and the combined 7th and 8th grade orchestra, Mr. Lippe teaches 6th grade general music. He earned his Bachelor of Music from C.W. Post of Long Island University (now LIU Post) in 2006 and his Masters of Music Technology from Five Towns College in 2010. His primary instrument is guitar (jazz/classical/all genres) and also performs on the trombone. Before starting his teaching career, Mr. Lippe spent many years composing music and performing with a regional touring band. Mr. Lippe first started teaching in 2006 at Harborfields School District, where he taught high school guitar classes, high school music theory and Music In Our Lives, middle school general music and band Lessons. He also started his career teaching string orchestra at Thomas J. Lahey Elementary school by directing the 4th and 5th grade orchestra. Mr. Lippe then took the string orchestra position at Robert M. Finley Middle School in 2010, where he has since had much success growing the program and developing award-winning orchestras.
Ms. JoAnn Criblez
JoAnn Criblez is a professional singer and performer who has taught in the Glen Cove School District for 27 years (30 years total teaching) as an elementary general music and elementary orchestra teacher. JoAnn is a passionate arts educator who consistently strives to present a curriculum that includes experiential, aesthetic and enriching arts experiences for her students. JoAnn first received her bachelor’s degree in vocal performance (Soprano) and then graduated Magna Cum Laude from CUNY Lehman College with an MAT in music education. JoAnn has always been a strong advocate for fine arts education. She has been involved in countless arts endeavors for the district, including being the K-5 Team Leader for Music, the Fine and Cultural Arts Team Leader at Gribbin School and the Special Area Teachers Team Leader. These positions included being the liaison to outside organizations such as The Tilles Center, Friends of the Arts and the Great Neck Arts Center, and involved planning and organizing many extra fine arts performances and projects for the students. Currently, JoAnn is the proud director of the Connolly and Landing Elementary Orchestra program and is delighted to provide our beginner musicians the wonderful opportunity of playing an instrument while also learning music theory, note and score reading, ensemble performance and teamwork. Outside of school, JoAnn runs a professional vocal studio for singers of all ages and currently teaches cabaret classes for kids through Jazz Hands Children’s Theater.
Ms. Courtney Sack
Courtney Sack is the elementary general music and chorus teacher at Connolly and Landing Schools and is thrilled to be back for another wonderful year of making music in Glen Cove. Miss Sack taught elementary music in the Garden City Schools and middle school band in the Smithtown Schools prior to landing in Glen Cove. A primary vocalist, Miss Sack has performed at the Prudential Center with Barry Manilow, the Montreux Jazz Festival in Switzerland, and Jazzaldia in San Sebastian, Spain, as well as Carnegie Hall and Tilles Center for the Performing Arts. Miss Sack also plays the clarinet, bass clarinet and oboe, teaching private lessons on these instruments. Miss Sack loves musical theater and helping students realize their musical potential. She is looking forward to adding to the great successes of our students over the past few years!
Mr. James A. Guarini
James A. Guarini is honored to be teaching High School Orchestra and Digital Music for the Glen Cove City School District. He is one of the founding teachers for the Glen Cove School District String Orchestra Program, which is now in its 17th year. He completed his undergraduate studies in Music Education and Classical Guitar, and holds a Master’s Degree in Music Technology. He is a regular performer as an instrumentalist and singer in various ensembles throughout Long Island. Mr. Guarini is looking forward to the continued opportunity to help bring a world class music education experience to the Glen Cove School community.
Mr. Keith R. Schmidt
Keith R. Schmidt is currently the band conductor of the 7th and 8th Grade Band, 6th Grade Band and Jazz Band at Robert M. Finley Middle School. He has taught the 7th Grade Band and General Music as well. Mr. Schmidt was also the band director of the Wind Ensemble, Symphonic Band, Marching Band and Jazz Band at Glen Cove High School as part of his 15 years of teaching in the Glen Cove City School District. Before teaching here in Glen Cove, he taught for 8 years in the Seaford School District. Prior to that, Mr. Schmidt taught in the Mamaroneck Public School in Westchester County. Outside of school, Mr. Schmidt conducts The United States Coast Guard Auxiliary Band which supports all of the military branches with ceremonial music. He also conducts the American Air Power Museum Band. As a brass instrumentalist, but mainly a French horn player, he has performed in many pit orchestras, symphonic orchestras, concert bands, small ensembles and as a soloist around Long Island and abroad. Mr. Schmidt holds a Bachelor of Arts in Music Education and a Master of Science with a concentration in Wind Conducting from Hofstra University. He also holds an Educational Administration Degree from Queens College.
Mr. Pasquale Iannelli
Pasquale Iannelli is currently the elementary band director for Connolly and Landing Schools. He is a proud alumni of Glen Cove High School and the Glen Cove music department. After high school, Mr. Iannelli pursued his passion for live performance by touring the country opening for legendary artists such as George Clinton and The Parliament Funkadelic, The Wailers, Tower of Power and many others. In addition to sharing the stage with long-standing legends, Mr. Iannelli has also opened for some of the biggest names in pop music, including Open Republic, Life House, Blues Traveler, The Wallflowers, and many others. While still keeping a regular performance schedule, Mr. Iannelli also pursued degrees in music performance including an Associates in Music from Nassau Community College, a Bachelor's of Music from Hunter College and a Masters degree in music education from LIU Post. Mr. Iannelli has had the privilege of studying saxophone and clarinet with some of the best instrumentalists and educators from around the country, including Eastman School of Music alumni and lifelong Educator Bob Dransite. He has also studied with Bob Reynolds’s (John Mayer/ Snarky Puppy), and Jeff Coffin (Bela Fleck and The Flecktones/ Dave Matthews Band). Mr. Iannelli’s goal is to take his love of music and infuse all of his teachers’ passion and knowledge and pass both down to his own students.
Ms. Joy Sullivan
Joy Sullivan has been teaching music since 1989. She received her Bachelor of Science in Music Education from Elizabethtown College in Pennsylvania and her Master of Science in Choral Music from Five Towns College in Dix Hills N.Y., Summa Cum Laude. "It has been a pleasure and an adventure growing as an educator through the instruction of music from Kindergarten up to the Middle School Choral ensembles. Assisting students in finding those “Ah ha” moments when they know they’ve finally achieved a goal they’ve been working hard on is particularly rewarding. It is amazing to watch the littles that begin their musical journey in Kindergarten transform into the musicians that leave for the High School at the end of every school year." said Mrs. Sullivan. She has spent many years coaching both her school students and private students to perform at NYSSMA Solo Festivals and participate in All-County concert performances. She considers herself fortunate to have a career she adores, working with children to discover and create amazing music.
Ms. Grace Schene
Grace Schene is a recent graduate of Hofstra University with a Bachelor of Science in Music Education. She currently teaches 7th grade band, kindergarten general music and first grade general music here in the Glen Cove City School District. Ms. Schene also works as a woodwind instructor for the state championship title holding Mineola Marching Band. Ms. Schene is a clarinet primary and served as concertmaster in the Hofstra University Wind Ensemble and Symphonic Band. She is so excited to join the Glen Cove team this year and looks forward to teaching all of the wonderful students in the district!
Media and Television Production
Mr. Chris Barry
Chris Barry has been working in the Glen Cove Schools TV Studio for 25 years. He currently teaches TV Production 1, 2, 3, and 4 and Broadcast Journalism. Mr. Barry got his start in the TV/Film business interning with Jim Henson Productions in New York City while completing his degree in Communications/Broadcasting at C.W. Post (now LIU Post). He was subsequently hired to work in the Jim Henson Studio, working with the crew producing Muppets TV shows and home videos. Mr. Barry spent 7 years in the New York City TV/Film production business and has worked for a wide range of major networks including ABC, CBS, MTV, VH1, Comedy Central, Nickelodeon, ESPN and AMC as well as numerous independent production companies. He has worked on commercials, music videos, TV series, live concerts, sports programming, documentaries and corporate video productions. His former students can be found working throughout the television, film and media industries. Watch his current students work by following the GCTV LiveStream page as well as the GCTV YouTube page. Mr. Barry has also been a die-hard skier for the last 50 years and proudly runs the Glen Cove High School Ski Club.
Ms. Valerie Lasser
Valerie Lasser is a proud alumna of Glen Cove High School and the Glen Cove TV Studio, where she studied under the guidance of founder Thom Ruckert. Since graduating from NYIT, she has been cutting mainstream commercials with advertising agencies worldwide as a senior editor at Big Sky Edit, NYC for over 25 years. Her portfolio extends to include music videos, documentaries, independent features, and short films. Additionally, she has been credited as Post Production Manager and Sound Editor on various film projects. Valerie has been honored by her recruitment to several judging platforms, including the AICP, Clio Awards, and the Emmys. She is an active member of the Television Academy for Editing and Technical Sciences serving as a peer advisor. During her career as an editor, Valerie has been dedicated to teaching the craft through internship programs and volunteering for many non-profits, mentoring emerging talent in the post production field with the tools and mindset needed for success in today’s industry. Her involvement with the AICP has allowed her to be a key player in a nationwide competition for post production including editing, gfx, sound and music challenges. This experience has been a highlight of her professional life, as she mentors and instructs emerging talent in a manner that has proven to elevate careers.
Theater and Dance
Ms. Suzy Damaszek
Suzy Damaszek is excited to be the Dance Teacher at Glen Cove High School. She is a passionate dancer, educator, and choreographer who holds professional teaching certification in Dance Education K-12 through New York State. She has a Bachelor of Arts degree in English and American Literature from Hofstra University, a Master of Arts degree in Dance Education from Hunter College, and a teaching certificate in Vinyasa yoga from Revolution Yoga. She is a proud recipient of the Excellence in Dance Education award from Hunter College and a former Arnhold Graduate Dance Education Program Scholar. Suzy has taught dance for twelve years in both private and public schools across New York City and Long Island. She recently developed and taught a Music and Movement program at The Gateway School, a private school that serves K-8 students with language-based learning differences and attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorders. Prior to this position, she taught Latin and American ballroom dance to elementary and middle school students through Dancing Classrooms. She also worked for ten years supporting young adults with developmental disabilities as a Direct Support Professional. Suzy has studied dance since she was five years old and has trained in a variety of styles, including ballet, modern, contemporary, theater jazz, hip-hop, and salsa. She is a former dancer of the Long Island Dance Project and has performed in works by Larry Keigwin, Pedro Ruiz, Emily Schoen Branch, Devin Pullins, and Amalgamate Dance Company among many others. She believes that dance has the power to create community and that all people should have the opportunity to experience the joy of self-expression through movement.
Mr. Jared Ross
Jared Ross is ecstatic to be the Theatre Teacher at Glen Cove High School & Robert M. Finley Middle School. He has performed in countless productions in both professional and educational theaters. He is a proud graduate of Northwestern University’s Theatre & Music Theatre programs. Building on his training as an actor, he is currently pursuing his Master’s in Educational Theatre at The City College of New York. A native Long Islander, Jared recently assistant directed a sold out run of Rent directed by original cast member Adam Pascal at Five Towns College, produced by From Stage to Screen Performing Arts Academy. He is eager to help build a successful and supportive theatre program here at Glen Cove alongside this wonderful team of arts educators. He hopes to work closely with faculty, students, parents, and Glen Cove community members to create the most valuable artistic experiences for the students of Glen Cove.