Faculty & Staff

Administration

Felice Karlitz, Director of School – fkarlitz@siskids.org
“Ms. K” is responsible for all aspects of the school’s operations, including providing educational leadership, administration of all programs and services, and overseeing the school’s growth. Prior to joining Saratoga Independent School in 1995, she taught in gifted and talented, as well as in traditional classrooms in New York City. Ms. Karlitz received her BS in Education from State University College at Buffalo, and an MS in Education from Long Island University.

John Lefner, Director of Operations – jlefner@siskids.org
“Mr. Lefner” is responsible for the business oversight of the school’s operations. He provides leadership to the administrative team and manages marketing, public relations, fundraising & development, and all financial aspects of the school. Additionally, John oversees the summer programs, contract and vendor relationships, and the physical assets of the campus. Prior to joining the team at Saratoga Independent School, John served as the Assistant Director of Operations at Double H Ranch, A Serious Fun Camp and as Director of various YMCA branches and camps in Florida and Rhode Island. John received his BS in Elementary Education from Champlain College.

Samantha Bossalini, Office Manager – sbossalini@siskids.org
“Ms. Sami” offers administrative support to the directors with an emphasis on managing communications record keeping related directly to the students, families, prospective families, enrichment class participants, summer campers and alumni. She also assists with operations, research, community contact and outreach, and program registration.

Linda Auffredou, Accounting Coordinator -lauffredou@siskids.org
“Ms. Linda” manages the day-to-day financial transactions and payroll for the school.  Linda supports the administration and the board of trustees by providing in depth reports on the fiscal well being of the school.  She provides exceptional customer service to our families and vendors.  Linda earned her A.S. in Business Management from SUNY Adirondack, B.S. in Accounting from SUNY Oswego, and a M.S.T. in Elementary Education from SUNY Plattsburgh.

Faculty

Laurie Abele, Language Arts/ Primary Math Teacher – labele@siskids.org
“Ms. Abele” relocated to Saratoga Springs in 2012, after teaching in North Babylon, LI for eleven years.  In addition to her classroom experiences, she served on district-wide collaborative teams that addressed curriculum and standards. She graduated from State University of New York at Oneonta and received her MA from State University of New York at Stony Brook.

 Dina Baker, Kindergarten Teacher/Kindergarten Math – dbaker@siskids.org
“Ms. Dina” joined Saratoga Independent School in 2013 as a teacher for our new Kindergarten class.  Prior to joining our school, she was the lead teacher in the primary program at Montessori School of Schenectady since 2009.  She  also served as supervisor of her classroom staff and as an administrative assistant to the director.  Dina is currently completing the Early Education Graduate Program at the College of Saint Rose.  She is a member of the New York State Association for the Education of Young Children and was selected to present at their annual conference on “Differentiated Instruction in the Classroom.

Kim Blystone, Pre-K Teacher – kblystone@siskids.org
“Miss Kim” joined Saratoga Independent School in 2010, and serves as the lead teacher in our morning and afternoon class.  She previously was a head preschool teacher in the Discovery Preschool Program at KinderCare Learning Center in Niskayuna. She graduated with a BS in Elementary Education from SUNY Oneonta and holds her NYS Childhood Education Certification in grades 1-6.

Anne  Cummins, Pre-K Teacher’s Assistant
“Ms. Annie” assists Kim Blystone in the Pre-K class. She previously served as Head Teacher at Bright Horizons in Burbank CA.  She received her BS with a major in Early Childhood Development at the University of Vermont.  Ms. Annie holds NYS provisional teaching certification and adult and child CPR and First Aid certification.

Ilena Corr, Language Arts/ Primary Science Teacher – icorr@siskids.org
“Ms. Corr” joined our school in 2004 as a Language Arts/Science teacher. In addition, she taught science and third grade at John Marshall Elementary School in East Hampton,NY.  She graduated from Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, and received her MS in Education from Long Island University.  She holds her certification for Nursery – 6th grade.

Melinda Fant, Wrap-Around Program and Extended Day Program Teacher – mfant@siskids.org
“Ms. Melinda” runs our Pre-K Discover and Play Wrap-Around Program. She has been a Pre-K teacher with us since 2003. Ms. Melinda received her degree in Elementary Education from the University of Maine and has taught in a variety of early childhood classroom settings. As the teacher of our Pre-K Wrap-Around Program, her goal is to provide the children with activities that encourage them to explore their environment and to develop their social skills.

Sharon Kelly, Pre-K Teacher – skelly@siskids.org
Miss Sharon” serves as the lead teacher in our second morning Pre-K class. She previously taught a 3 and 4 year old multiage class at Warren County Head Start. She also taught four years as a Pre-K teacher at Bluebird’s Nest Preschool, and as a classroom teacher at St. Mary’s/St. Alphonsus Regional Catholic School. Ms. Sharon received her Associate’s degree in Early Childhood Education from Centenary College and her BA and MS degrees in Education from College of St. Joseph.

Marilyn Parker, Art Teacher
“Ms. Parker” has implemented the art program at Saratoga Independent School since 1997. She also serves as a substitute teacher, an enrichment class teacher, and a summer camp staff member.  Ms. Parker taught children’s art classes at the Saratoga County Arts Council, and served as a K-12 substitute teacher at Ballston Spa Schools. Ms. Parker studied art at the Boston School of the Museum of Fine Arts and the New England School of Art and Design.

Jeny Randall, Science / Language Arts Teacher – jrandall@siskids.org
Ms. Randall” joined Saratoga Independent School in 2011.  She also serves as director of our Summer Environmental Program. She previously taught science atTenacreCountryDay School inWellesley,MA, and at Kentucky Day School in Louisville,KY.  Ms. Randall received her MA in Environmental Education from Antioch University.

Kyle Roberts, Physical Education Teacher
“Coach Roberts” joined our faculty in 2013. He is a graduate of SUNY Cortland where he received his Bachelor of Science in Education with a major in Physical Education and 4+1 Health Education.  He has been nominated for the EDA-AAHPERD Outstanding Future Professional Award and has presented at the NYS AHPERD Conference and the AAHPERD National Convention. He holds his New York State Professional Coaching Certification.

Mary Sacks, Social Studies/ Language Arts Teacher – msacks@siskids.org
“Ms. Sacks” has been with Saratoga Independent School since 2007.  She has a deep commitment to education and learning through meaningful learning activities. A graduate of SUNY Buffalo, Ms. Sacks received her MS in Childhood Education from the College of Saint Rose.

Colleen Staszak, Spanish Teacher – colleen@hola-la.com
“Señora” has over 8 years experience teaching Spanish to children and managing Spanish programs.  She is the co-founder of Hola La, a program that incorporates physical movement, music and social interaction into its Spanish language curriculum. Ms. Staszak has a musical background in violin, piano, and voice and uses her talents to help create the music for Hola La’s curriculum.  She studied Spanish at the University of Vermont, and also studied at the University of Granada in Granada, Spain during college.

Heather Swatling, Math Teacher – hswatling@siskids.org
“Ms. S.” has been teaching at Saratoga Independent School since 1999. She serves as the primary math teacher for all students and provides instruction and guidance in the Kindergarten learning centers.  Ms. Swatling also taught summers in the Skidmore College HEOP Math program for incoming students. She has a BA from Castleton State College inVermontand a MS in Reading from SUNY Albany.

Shauna Swinimer, Kindergarten Teacher/Primary Social Studies Teacher – sswinimer@siskids.org
“Miss Shauna” has been the Saratoga Independent School Kindergarten teacher since 2001. She received her BA in Education degree from McGill University in Montreal. She also has an MS in Elementary Reading and Literacy. Previously she served as Director/Teacher at the Montessori School of the Redwoods in Felton,CA.

Paula Walentowicz, Music Teacher
“Ms Walentowicz” has over 18 years experience teaching music to students of all ages, including Kindermusik classes and private piano instruction. She is a former Kindermusik and Musikgarten teacher, a member of the NYS Music Teachers Association, and the recipient of Kindermusik Maestro Award for Excellence  in Teaching.

Anita Yevoli, Pre-K Teacher’s Assistant – ayevoli@siskids.org
“Ms. Anita” assists Sharon Kelly  in the morning Pre-K class. She previously served as a Pre-K teacher at St Mary’s institute and as a Head Start teacher .  She received her BS in Psychology and Education  and her MS in Education from Sage College..  Ms. Anita holds NYS  initial certifications in Birth through 6th grade.

Support Staff

Jane Lampert, Lunch Program Coordinator
“Ms. Lampert” creates and serves enticing and healthy lunches for our students. Her warm personality makes lunchtime a favorite part of the students’ day!

Jenn Ferriss, Lunch Staff