New Hires Bring a Host of Talent to District
A former U. S. Army combat medical specialist, a flutist, a former TV producer, and a design and research specialist who just earned her doctorate in education are among the nine educators who joined the district in full-time teaching positions. Enthusiastic and ready to contribute their skills, the group gathered at Vernon Elementary School just before opening day for New Teacher Orientation. There, they had the opportunity to meet their mentor teachers who they partner with during the school year, learn about the different academic departments, and discuss school and district policy, culture, and building protocols.
Patrick D. Heusner
Deirdre Faughety, Ed.D.
Joining Oyster Bay High School as a French teacher is Patrick D. Heusner, who formerly served as Chair of the World Language Department at Harlem Village Academies. Mr. Heusner has taught English, and in some cases Humanities, to non-English-speaking students in Istanbul, Turkey; Bogotá, Colombia and São Leopoldo, Brazil. He also has language skills in Spanish, Portuguese and Turkish. Self-described as detail-oriented, creative and loud, Mr. Heusner said he chose Oyster Bay Schools because of the “drive in the people I have met; everything and everyone has a good energy.”
Mr. Heusner earned a Masters of Education in Teaching English as a Second Language from Wilkes University in Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania and a Bachelor of Science degree in Social Studies Education (7-12) from Steinhardt School of Education in New York City. Prior to earning his degrees, he served his country as a Combat Medical Specialist in the U.S. Army and was deployed to Bosnia and Iraq as part of Operation Iraq Freedom.
Mr. Heusner is engaged to his fiancé, Jessy. When he is not in the classroom he enjoys running, hiking, working out, sketching, practicing languages, reading historical novels, and watching historical films, and series.
Karina Reyes comes to Oyster Bay High School as a mathematics teacher. She was formerly a 6th and 7th grade mathematics teacher, teaching in both English and Spanish, at the Corona Arts and Sciences Academy in Queens, New York. She previously taught in the same capacity at Twenty-First Century Academy for Community Leadership in New York City.
Ms. Reyes said she knew Oyster Bay was where she wanted to teach because she felt a strong connection to the staff when interviewing. “I could tell faculty/staff were very supportive of their students and co-workers. Also, the parents are very dedicated in their children's education. I want to be part of a team where parents, school staff and students can work together to meet a common goal; student success.”
A Port Jefferson Station resident, Ms. Reyes earned a Bachelor of Science Degree in Secondary Education (7-12) and Mathematics from SUNY College at Oneonta and a Master of Science in Secondary Education (7-12) and Special Education this year from the City College of New York.
Ms. Reyes says her strengths as a teacher are her adaptability, her passion and her empathic nature. She loves animals and enjoys traveling, and most recently ventured to Nicaragua.
Jenny Alvarado is a new high school Spanish teacher who has returned to Long Island after teaching in North Carolina as a bilingual academic intervention teacher for the past two years. Working as a classroom teacher since 2011, she has experience in Foreign Language in Elementary Schools (FLES) (K-5), Spanish education (6-12), English as a New Language (ENL-5-12) and after school education (K-8).
A first generation college graduate, Ms. Alvarado earned a Bachelor of Arts in Adolescent Education in Spanish (6-12) and a Master of Science in teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL, preK-12) from Molloy College and put herself through school working in the health industry for 15 years. Describing herself as a dedicated and empathic teacher, Ms. Alvarado said she is “eager to bring students into the 21st century using a unique combination of highly effective instructional practices coupled with 15 years’ health background and life experience to improve student learning and academic performance.”
Ms. Alvarado has lent her talents as a translator by volunteering for various programs such as Hispanic Brotherhood and has mentored students through Molloy College’s Latina Mentoring Program. When she is not teaching or volunteering, she enjoys going to the movies and spending time with her two daughters Natalia, 12, and Abigail, 8.
After a year as a leave replacement, Victoria Wink has been officially hired as a physical education and health teacher, replacing Mr. Jay Davis who retired. As a leave replacement, Ms. Wink had the opportunity to incorporate her own ideas into her physical education and health lesson plans, such as the 9th- and 10th-grade Olympics and hybrid games, such as “boccer” that involved the skills of both basketball and soccer. In her health class, she introduced “Ms. Wink’s Health Tickets” for participation throughout the class period. Ms. Wink graduated from Adelphi University with a Bachelor’s degree in Physical and Health Education and a Master’s degree this summer in Adapted Physical Education. She played softball for the university and brought her skills to Oyster Bay High School where she was head coach of the varsity softball team for the 2017 season, a position she plans to continue this school year. She is currently coaching junior varsity volleyball.
Ms. Wink, of Seaford, comes from a family of educators. “My mom is a principal; my dad just retired from teaching physical education and my brother is a music teacher,” she said. “I grew up hearing about the joys of teaching and I am excited to start my journey as a teacher.”
Deirdre Faughey, Ed.D. brings her talents to Oyster Bay High School as an English Language Arts teacher. Ms. Faughey most recently comes from The Wheatley School in East Williston, but worked for several years as a research and design facilitator, and a communications associate for the Eskolta School Research and Design, Inc. in New York City.
Prior to that position she was employed as a new teacher supervisor and coach at Hunter College in New York City, a research assistant for the National Center for the Restructuring of Education, Schools and Teaching, and the managing editor of International Ed News at Teachers College, Columbia University. She also served the North Shore School District from 2010-2013 as a teacher, a team facilitator and an investigative research mentor, and taught at Hunter college and at Teachers College, Columbia University.
Dr. Faughey is the founding editor and publisher of “Esteem: Conversations Between Educators,” an online publication for graduate students to publish long-form interviews with scholars, researchers and educators. Dr. Faughey earned a Bachelor of Arts in Literature and Creative Writing from Bard College, and a Master of Arts in Teaching of English and a doctorate in Curriculum and Teaching from Teachers College, Columbia University.
In her new teaching role in the district, Dr. Faughey said, “I look forward to getting to know the students. I will be teaching 9th and 12th grade English courses, which will give me a great sense of how the students here grow and learn over time. I’m also excited to be working with Dr. Ryan O’Hara on the school play. I love the theater and I’m eager to see what I can do to help the students bring Romeo & Juliet to life on stage this fall.”
Dr. Faughey lives in Sea Cliff with her husband of 12 years, Adam Davison, her daughter Norah, 10, and son Colin, 9. Outside the classroom, she enjoys spending time with family, reading, playing music and travelling.
Dr. Faughey also comes from a family of educators, as her mother, husband, and several aunts, uncles, and cousins are teachers. She said her family is also very musical, and she and her husband both enjoy playing music in their free time.
Kim Romeo joins Vernon Elementary School as a special education teacher. Ms. Romeo has been a special education teacher for the New York City Department of Education for six years. She also served the Oyster Bay-East Norwich School District as a teacher assistant and substitute teacher, and worked for the Young Autism Program at the Developmental Disabilities Institute.
As a teacher assistant for the district, she said, “I chose to come to Oyster Bay because I observed first-hand the passion and respect the teachers and administrators have for the special education community….My goal is to promote a positive learning environment through my energetic, compassionate, and creative personality…and I look forward to sharing fun moments with my students,” Ms. Romeo said.
Ms. Romeo has a Bachelor of Arts in Video/Television Production from Hofstra University and was a producer at A&E and FOX Networks. She also has a Master of Science in Childhood Education (1-6), Students with Disabilities (B-2, 1-6, 5-9) from Touro College.
She lives Bellmore with her husband, Chris, and her two-year-old daughter Angelina. When she’s not teaching, Ms. Romeo enjoys running, reading, going to the beach and spending time with family.
Nicole Silva joins Vernon Elementary School as a social worker. Fluent in Spanish and Italian, Ms. Silva said “I am so excited to be joining the team at Oyster Bay, as I have heard such wonderful things about the staff, administration, and community. I am thrilled to be working at the intermediate level once again, and have already been welcomed by great people at Vernon. Most importantly, I am looking forward to being a compassionate and welcoming social worker for the children and families we serve.”
Ms. Silva has worked as a social worker in the Hicksville School District, at the Developmental Disabilities Institute in Huntington and the Patchogue-Medford School District. She also worked as a social worker in the Sachem Central School District in Holbrook. She holds a Bachelor of Science in Human Development from Binghamton University and a Master of Science in Social Work from Columbia University School of Social Work. While studying Spanish and Italian in school, she lived abroad in both Puerto Rico and Florence, Italy.
Silva hails from East Northport where she lives with her husband Matthew and two children, son Luca, 5, and daughter Aurelia, 2. In addition to teaching, Ms. Silva said, “I love traveling, reading, listening to music, and spending time with my family. I enjoy hiking and camping, and love doing outdoor activities with my husband and two young children. I am also vegan, and like to cook and try out new vegan recipes!”
Hayley Byron has been hired as a kindergarten teacher at Roosevelt Elementary School after more than two years as a leave replacement teacher at the kindergarten level, and prior experience as a 4th-grade leave replacement teacher. Ms. Byron also worked for six years as a substitute teacher in the district, in Locust Valley Central School District and at Holy Child Academy, where she previously taught 3rd and 5th grade. Ms. Byron was also very active in the Locust Valley Elementary Parents’ Council, serving in positions such as co-presidents, co-vice president.
About her experience in the district, Ms. Byron said, “I have always loved the warm, close knit, small community and have always admired the faculty, staff and administration’s dedication and commitment to their highly respected educational program and philosophies. I have always felt that the Oyster Bay East Norwich School District would be the perfect place for me, and I am truly blessed with this position that I have been afforded.”
Passionate, dedicated and nurturing, Ms. Byron said she looks forward to learning from her colleagues, and the children and families in this community.
“I look forward to seeing the children’s eyes light up as they are learning, and discovering and exploring the world around them,” she said. I look forward to the smiles that will walk through the door every day and most of all… I look forward to doing all that I can to foster a love of learning and have each child know that he/she is unique and successful in his/her own way.”
Ms. Byron lives in Bayville and has been married for 20 years to her husband Matthew. They two boys, Jarred, 17, and Owen, 13. She said, she knew from a young age that teaching was her calling.
Outside of teaching, she enjoys reading, going to the beach, exercising, spending time with family and friends and being outdoors.
Music instruction is in the hands of Brenda Murphy at Roosevelt Elementary School who said she is looking forward to getting to know the students and bringing her enthusiastic, creative and lively style to the music program. She previously taught general music to grades 2-7 and directed school productions at P.S./I.S. 128Q, the Lorraine Tuzzo, Juniper Valley Elementary School.
Ms. Murphy earned a Bachelor of Music in Music Education and a Bachelor of Music in Music Performance from the Crane School of Music at SUNY Potsdam. She plays the flute and piccolo and has played with several ensembles in college, as well as the Orchestra of Northern New York. She said she chose Oyster Bay Schools because of the warm, supportive environment. “Everyone is so helpful and welcoming,” she said.
Ms. Murphy has many teachers in her family, but said she is the first music teacher and knew she wanted to be a music teacher when she was in the 6th grade. Ms. Murphy also enjoys boating and spending time with friends and family.