COMMITTEE MEMBERS

ROBERT CALLAN

K-12 Education/Facilities

MARCELLA PIZZO, PH.D. CANDIDATE, LMHC

Mr. Callan has over 31 years experience as a school custodian, including 30 years as a supervisor. He has also served as a CSEA union delegate for 16 years in the capacity of treasurer, Vice President and is the current President of the unit he represents. In his district he is an active member of the Sustainability Committee, the Strategic Leadership and Planning Committee and served on the Bond Committee. He is also involved with the interviews pertaining to cleaning, custodial, maintenance and grounds positions. Mr. Callan holds 9 green cleaning certifications from NYOGS, is a certified class "A" Underground Storage Tank Operator and certified in Bloodborne pathogens.

Recently Published Peer-Reviewed Article:

Political Discourse and Aging in a Neoliberal Singapore: Models of Citizenship, Older Adults and Policy Initiatives,
Journal of Aging & Social Policy (2020)

PATRICE DOBIES

K-12 Education/Post-Secondary

Ms. Dobies is a veteran educator in the field of special education. She brings her experience as teacher, school administrator and college professor to this committee. She has received the Award of Distinction from the Long Island Association of Special Educators. Ms. Dobies is a well-respected advocate for children. She is committed to excellence and equity for the students she serves.

Marcella is a Doctoral Candidate at Adelphi University’s School of Social Work. Her research interests are focused on institutionalized forms of oppression, organizational barriers to promoting social justice, and economic disparities related to race and gender.  Marcella founded a behavioral health practice in East Meadow where she works as New York State Licensed Mental Health Counselor that provides therapeutic interventions to adults and adolescents. Her post graduate training includes certification in Cognitive Behavioral Therapy that is utilized as a primary method of treatment interventions.  As an active member of her community, she is on the executive board of the East Meadow Chamber of Commerce, and a founding board member of Equity4LIYouth.org.  Some of her awards and recognitions include: Hometown Hero, for Community Service, East Meadow Herald (July 2020), Town of Hempstead Citation for Community work with Chamber of Commerce (January 2020) and A State Senator Proclamation for Community work with Chamber of Commerce (January 2020).

 

In her spare time, Marcella loves physical activities, traveling and experiencing new cultures, cooking, and cultivating her garden. Marcella resides in Nassau county with her family.

NICHOLAS GIAMPETRUZZI, LMHC., NCC.

Nicholas Giampetruzzi is a Licensed Clinical Mental Health Counselor, a National Certified Counselor and School Counselor.  He received his Master’s Degree in School and Mental Health Counseling from Long Island University and became a licensed clinical practitioner while conducting psychological counseling and group work at Promoting Specialized Care and Health/Northern Lights PROS, a comprehensive NYS Office of Mental Health day treatment program and clinic.  Prior to returning to graduate school, Nicholas worked in the private sector for seven years, and then for nine years at Hunter College where he worked in the capacity of Student Advisor and Program Manager for three grant – funded programs, one in higher education with the mission of training underrepresented and underserved undergraduate students for careers in public service, and two an NYSED–CUNY partnership programs aimed at retention and academic achievement of economically disadvantaged and at-risk students.  Nicholas is currently a Student Psychological Counselor and CUNY LEADS Specialist at CUNY, home campus – Kingsborough Community College, and Adjunct Lecturer at Hunter College.  The mission of LEADS, is to assist disabled, at-risk students in developing realistic academic, career, and life goals in order that they may move on to productive careers upon the completion of their studies. Nicholas works with students from a holistic and strengths-based perspective and utilizes an eclectic multidimensional counseling approach to ensure optimal results and success for each individual student.

WARREN GRAHAM, PH.D.(C)

Post-Secondary/Mental Health

Warren is currently a 4th year Ph.D student at Adelphi University and Clinical Assistant Professor and Director of Field Education at Stony Brook University’s School of Social Welfare. He is a NYS Licensed Clinical Social Worker (LCSW), NYS Credentialed Alcohol and Substance Abuse Counselor (CASAC) and has over 15 years of experience in addictions, criminal/juvenile justice, child welfare, and forensic social work. Warren has been active in the National Association of Social Workers, Association for Family and Conciliatory Courts and sits on the board of the NYS Social Work Educator’ Association and Darnice’s Place, a Washngton, D.C. based non-profit coordinating re-entry services.

DR. JACCI HARRIS

Dr. Jacqueline Harris serves as Executive Director for Access 7 Services, Inc. where she is an integral part of the branding, coordination of services, recruitment, and daily operations of this agency that provides special education supports and services across Long Island. She also uses her leadership skills to serve as the Program Director for the Cedarmore Corporation’s Youth Empowerment Series, coordinating the culturally relevant Girlz Talk and BoyzN2Men programs for underserved youth. Her notable work on disproportionality, access, and equity has been recognized locally, regionally, and nationally.

ALAN HODISH, ESQ.

Legal/Community

DR. PATRICK PIZZO, M.B.A.

Assistant Superintendent for Business & Finance, East Meadow School District

Throughout almost 30 years of public service, Dr. Pizzo has been an advocate for effective solutions related to student health, safety, equity of resources, and equity related to opportunities.  Dr. Pizzo’s dissertation examined environmental factors related to student learning and he has also published articles related to leadership, management, sustainability, health, and equity.

 

Statement of goals:

Being personally accountable, but publicly silent is no longer acceptable.  Through collaboration, tangible, authentic, sustainable change must be achieved with contributions from all segments of society.  Let’s build partnerships, through inclusion, to expand our allies, to then contribute to a equitable future together.  All well-meaning citizens are affected by inequities and the injustice which results.

“Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.” - Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

ROSS SCHILLER, ESQ.

Legal/Community

Mr. Schiller runs his own licensed N.Y. State legal practice in East Meadow, Ross L. Schiller & Associates P.C., concentrating on real estate, trust & estate work, asset protection, litigation and entertainment.  Previously, Ross was an Associate Director at Standard & Poor’s, and has intimate knowledge of the financial community, having worked with multiple financial firms on a variety of structured transactions and with ISDA documents. 

In 2020, Ross was honored as a HomeTown Hero, and was previously awarded the East Meadow Herald's Person of the Year.  Ross has served as a three year Member of the Board of Directors for the Nassau County Bar Association ("NCBA") from 2015-2018, Committee Chairperson of the Sports, Entertainment and Media On-Line Committee, and was a recipient of the Access to Justice Champion Award from the NCBA.  He also served as a Distinguished Past President of Kiwanis East Meadow, continuing to help children and families in the community and worldwide. Ross is a licensed NY State EMT-B Firemedic for the past 8 years with the East Meadow Fire Department, Rescue Co. 5, and served as a Staff Officer for 5 years.  Ross takes great pride in helping those in the Community, serving on a variety of different committees and counsels, and takes pride in collecting and giving out clothing and food at various events.  

Importantly, Ross wants to continue helping those who are looking for an opportunity to learn and work, and looks forward to serving on this, the Economic Opportunity for All Youth, where diversity and opportunity come together.

LUCIA SEDA-PÉREZ, PH.D. STUDENT

Lucía Seda-Pérez is a PhD student in the Department of Comparative Literature at the CUNY Graduate Center. A graduate of Brown University and NYU, Lucía taught English and Creative Writing at James Madison High School in Brooklyn, New York. She is currently a writing tutor at NYU's Opportunity Programs and a first-year writing instructor at Baruch College. Her journalism work has been featured in Latin America News Dispatch, the Journal of Political Inquiry, the New York Transatlantic, and Refinery29.

Alan B. Hodish, Esq. maintains a law practice in Garden City, New York.  Prior to attending law school at St. John’s University, Mr. Hodish taught for more than twenty years in the Hempstead School District. He coached both football and lacrosse while at Hempstead.  

His community service includes the East Meadow Chamber of Commerce: Past President 2003, Man of the Year 2014, Business Person of the Year 2008, and Chair of the Chamber’s Annual Mock Interview Program held for East Meadow School District students.

Mr. Hodish also developed and currently chairs the Nassau County Bar Association’s Mentor Program, which will be entering its twenty-fifth year, that brings judges and lawyers together with “at risk” students in ten communities throughout Nassau County including both Clarke and Woodland Middle schools in the East Meadow School District

LOUIS A. MEDINA, CLTC

“Everybody Deserves Your Best Everyday”

Louis A. Medina, CLTC is a long-term care insurance specialist and is a financial sales professional for the New York Life Insurance Company. He works with individuals and business owners with retirement planning, estate planning, college funding strategies, employee benefits and tax strategies in numerous states.

 

They say life doesn’t give you anything you can’t handle. But that doesn’t mean you have to handle it alone. These days it’s more important than ever to make sure you have a financial professional by your side; someone who can help evaluate your needs, assess the current economic landscape and recommend a plan of action that will help protect your family’s wealth, lifestyle and dreams for the future.

 

Lou mentors new agents in their careers at the Long Island General Office. He volunteers for various non-profits and seeks to help the communities he serves. He has a degree in Business Economics from The State University of Oneonta. Lou enjoys time with his family and friends. He has traveled to every state in the USA, sailed throughout the Caribbean and visited many countries and cultures around the world.

All Committee Members

Robert Callan

Patrice Dobies

Nicholas Giampetruzzi

Warren Graham, Ph.D (c)

Dr. Jacci Harris

Alan Hodish, Esq.

Louis Medina

Marcella Pizzo, Ph.D.(c)

Dr. Patrick Pizzo

Ross Schiller, Esq.

Lucia Seda, Ph.D. Student

Dr. Gerilyn Smith

Glenn Stewart

Christine Waters

DR. GERILYN SMITH

Dr. Smith is the Director of Guidance in the East Meadow School District. She is a graduate of Concordia University where she earned her Doctorate degree and Long Island University where she earned her Masters Degree in School Counseling. Dr. Smith began her career as a school counselor and has over 10 years of counseling experience. She enjoys working with students and families to assist them on their journey to post- secondary success.

Glenn Stewart

I am currently the Assistant Director of Special Education and Pupil Personnel Services for the Freeport Union Free School District and have been in this position for the past eight years.  In my capacity, I supervise the Special Education and Pupil Personnel Staff, evaluate student growth, and conduct Committee on Special Education Meetings, BOCES Meetings, and Manifestation Determination Meetings in both English and Spanish. I also resolve State Education Department issues and complete mandated reports. I am proficient in the New York State Part 200 Regulations and am able to apply them on any level.

 

Prior to this position, I served in the capacity of the 6-12 Special Education Department Coordinator for the Garden City Union Free School District. I also worked for the Central Islip Union Free School District in the capacity of Administrator for Special Education and Director of Special Education and Pupil Personnel Services. My administrative experience began at the South Country Central School District as the CPSE Chairman/District Psychologist. I also worked at the New York City Board of Education as a Bilingual (Spanish) School Psychologist as well as a Monolingual School Psychologist. I am extremely passionate about education and started off my educational journey as a middle school mathematics and science teacher straight out of college.

CHRISTINE WATERS

Former East Meadow Teacher (1993-2017), Co-President of East Meadow Association of Retired Teachers (2018-2021)
NAACP NYS Conference, Education Chair

Christine‌ ‌Layne-‌ ‌Waters‌ ‌has‌ ‌been‌ ‌an‌ ‌educator‌ ‌for‌ ‌more‌ ‌than‌ ‌35‌ ‌years‌ ‌in‌ ‌private‌ ‌and‌ ‌public‌ ‌education.‌ ‌She‌ ‌holds‌ ‌a‌ ‌B.A.‌ ‌in‌ ‌Elementary‌ ‌Education‌ ‌from‌ ‌Brooklyn‌ ‌College,‌ ‌a‌ ‌NY‌ ‌State‌ ‌Education‌ ‌Certification‌ ‌in‌ Birth, Pre K, ‌K-‌ ‌6‌th‌ ‌grade,‌ ‌a‌ ‌license‌ ‌in‌ ‌Health Conservation‌ ‌for‌ ‌Special‌ ‌Needs‌ ‌students,‌ ‌an‌ ‌M.A.‌ ‌in‌ ‌Liberal‌ ‌Studies‌ ‌with‌ ‌a concentration‌ ‌in‌ ‌Labor‌ ‌and‌ ‌Civil‌ ‌Rights‌ ‌from‌ ‌SUNY‌ ‌Stony‌ ‌Brook‌ ‌University. Her dissertation was on “The Significance of Rosa Parks in the Civil Rights Movement.” and she subsequently obtained a ‌Masters‌ ‌of‌ ‌Science‌ ‌in‌ ‌Educational‌ ‌Administration‌ ‌from‌ ‌the‌ ‌College‌ ‌of‌ ‌New‌ ‌Rochelle with a certificate in Staff Development. ‌

Mrs.‌ ‌Waters‌ ‌began‌ ‌her‌ ‌career‌ ‌in‌ ‌inner‌ ‌city‌ ‌schools‌ ‌and‌ ‌was‌ ‌an‌ ‌early‌ ‌childhood‌ ‌educator‌ ‌who‌ ‌ ‌‌specialized‌ ‌in‌ ‌creating‌ ‌a‌ ‌sense‌ ‌of‌ ‌community,‌ ‌differentiating‌ ‌instruction‌, and  ‌successfully‌ ‌integrating‌ ‌music,‌ ‌movement,‌ ‌STEAM‌ ‌(Science‌ ‌Technology‌ ‌Engineering,‌

‌Arts‌ ‌and‌ ‌Mathematics)‌ ‌creative‌ ‌writing,‌ ‌arts ‌‌and‌ ‌cultural‌ ‌awareness‌ ‌into‌ ‌the‌ ‌curriculum.‌  ‌She‌ ‌was‌ ‌a‌ ‌classroom‌ ‌teacher‌ ‌at‌ ‌Barnum‌ ‌Woods‌ ‌Elementary‌ ‌School‌ ‌in‌ ‌the‌ ‌East‌ ‌Meadow‌ ‌School‌ ‌District‌ ‌from‌ ‌1993‌ ‌to‌ ‌2017,‌ ‌where‌ ‌she mentored ‌many‌ ‌student‌ ‌teachers‌ and parents.

She was a candidate for National Board Certification. She‌ ‌was‌ ‌proud‌ ‌to‌ ‌serve‌ ‌on‌ ‌many‌ ‌committees at Barnum Woods school including ‌the‌ ‌Curriculum,‌ Committee for Preschool Special Education (CPSE), ‌Character‌ ‌Education,‌ ‌and‌ ‌district Center‌ ‌for‌ ‌Human‌ ‌Dignity‌ ‌committees.‌  Mrs. Waters is currently ‌the‌ ‌Co-‌ ‌President‌ ‌East‌ ‌Meadow‌ ‌Association‌ ‌of‌ ‌Retired‌ ‌Teachers.

‌ ‌

‌Mrs. Waters ‌has served as the ‌‌Education‌ ‌Chair‌ ‌for‌ the NAACP NYS Conference ‌since ‌ ‌2019, which is focuses on the mission of ensuring that every student has equal access to, a challenging, culturally sustained curriculum, equitable funding and access to technology, as well as highly qualified & diverse educators that will prepare them with life skills to be college and career ready.   Mrs. Waters ‌looks ‌forward‌ ‌to‌ continuing to ‌assist with guiding ‌students‌ ‌and‌ ‌families,‌ ‌‌to‌ ‌create‌ ‌partnerships‌ ‌between‌ ‌home,‌ ‌school,‌ ‌and‌ ‌our community‌ ‌as‌ ‌we‌ ‌encourage‌ ‌the‌ ‌advancement‌‌ and‌ ‌success‌ ‌of‌ children to be ready for college and careers.

“Keep Your Eyes on the Prize.”