Faculty & Staff


 Felice Karlitz, Director of School

“Ms. K” is responsible for all aspects of the school’s operations, including providing educational leadership, curriculum development and implementation, 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 a BS in Education from State University College at Buffalo and a MS in Education from Long Island University.

Sharon Kellner-Byrnes, Director of Operations

“Ms. Kellner-Byrnes” is responsible for the business oversight of the school’s operations. She provides leadership to the administrative team, business planning, and human resources functions. She also oversees contract and vendor relationships and all physical assets of the campus. Ms. Kellner-Byrnes previously served as Deputy Commissioner of Accounts for the City of Saratoga Springs.

Anne-Marie Campbell, Director of Development

“Ms. Campbell” is responsible for leading the School’s advancement program as adopted by the Board of Trustees.  In conjunction with the school leadership and trustees, she manages all fundraising activities including annual giving, endowment and capital campaigns, and special events.  Prior to joining  Saratoga Independent School in 2014, Ms. Campbell worked in various fundraising positions in higher education at institutions including Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey, University of Notre Dame, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, and Skidmore College.  Ms. Campbell is a member of the Council for Advancement and Support of Education.

 Colleen Fortune, Office Manager

“Ms. Colleen” offers administrative support to the directors with an emphasis on managing communications and record keeping related directly to the students, families, prospective families, summer campers and alumni. She also assists with operations, research, community contact and outreach, and program registration.

Linda Auffredou, Finance Manager

“Ms. Linda” is responsible for the financial oversight of the school, managing budget development and the day-to-day financial transactions, including managing accounts receivable and payable. Ms. Linda formerly worked as a CPA.  She is an integral member of the administrative team.


Dina Baker, Kindergarten Teacher/Kindergarten Science Teacher

“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

“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 received a BS in Elementary Education from SUNY Oneonta and a MS from SUNY Plattsburgh.  She holds her NYS Childhood Education Certification in grades 1-6. Ms. Kim has completed Medication Administration training.

Ilena Corr, Language Arts/ Primary Science Teacher

“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, Teacher, Pre-K Wrap-Around Program

“Miss Melinda” began as a Pre-K teacher with us in 2003.  She 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 in our Pre-K Wrap-Around Program, her goal is to provide children with activities that encourage them to explore their environment and develop their social skills.

Theresa Ibbotson, Pre-K Teacher’s Assistant

Ms. Ibby” joined Saratoga Independent School as Ms. Sharon’s afternoon assistant in January 2013 when we opened our fourth Pre-K class.  Prior to coming to Saratoga Independent School, Ms. Ibby taught at the Learning School in Hudson Falls, where she shared a class with Ms. Sharon.  She also taught at The Bluebird’s Nest in Glens Falls.  Ms. Ibby served on the Board of the North Country Association for the Education of Young Children.

Sharon Kelly, Pre-K Teacher

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 eight 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, her BA and MS degrees in Education from College of St. Joseph, and her certificate in Literacy. Ms. Sharon joinedSaratogaIndependentSchool in 2012.

Alison Mace, Language Arts/Primary Math Teacher

Miss Mace” joined Saratoga Independent School in 2014 as a teacher for new primary class.  Her prior experience includes teaching at Brighter Choice Charter School for Girls in Albany,NY and at PS 29 in Brooklyn. Ms. Mace received her BS in Early Childhood Education and Psychology from New York University and her MA, Literary Specialist from Teachers College Columbia University. She has certifications in Early Childhood, Birth-Grade 2 Students With Disabilities Birth-Grade 2, Literary Specialist Birth-Grade 6, and Childhood Education Grades 1-6.

Sarah Morris, Language Arts/Science Teacher

“Ms. Morris” joined Saratoga Independent School full time in 2015, after a year at SIS as a substitute and an enrichment writing mentor.  Sarah received her BS in Environmental Conservation Studies from the University of New Hampshire,  and her MS  I Early Childhood and Elementary Education from Antioch University. She holds a New York Certification in Childhood Education 1-6.  She previously taught at Birches Academy of Academics and Art in Salem NH, Winchester Community School in NH, and at Warwick Community School in MA.

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.

Maria Soledad Pauli, Spanish Language Instruction

“Señora” has over 25 years of experience teaching Spanish to students from Pre-K through 8th grade.  Her prior experiences include teaching at Hudson Country Montessori School in New Rochelle, NY, and Saint Patrick/Saint Theresa School in Briarcliff Manor, NY. She is also currently employed at Capital Region Language Center. She is committed to creating child-based, hands on activities to engage children in learning a second language. Ms. Pauli is a native speaker who received her BA in Facultad de Lenguas, Universidad Nacional de Cordoba in Argentina.

Jeny Randall, Language Arts / Intermediate and Upper Science Teacher

Ms. Randall” joined Saratoga Independent School in 2011.  She also serves as director of our Summer Environmental Program. She previously taught science at Tenacre Country Day School in Wellesley, 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, Language Arts /Intermediate and Upper Social Studies Teacher

“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.

Vanessa Shea, Pre-K Teacher’s Assistant

“Ms. Vanessa” assists Ms. Kim in the Pre-K class. She received her BA from Boston College and her MS in Teaching in Elementary Education from Quinnipiac University.   She is a recipient of the Excellence in Scholarship and Teaching Award.  Prior to joining our faculty in 2015, she taught at Cold Spring School in New Haven, CT.  She is certified in CT for grades K-6.

Lauren Smith, Language Arts/Primary Math Teacher,

“Ms. Smith” joined Saratoga Independent School as a Primary Language Arts Teacher in 2013.  She received her BS in Elementary Education from the State University at New Paltz and her MS in Literacy from Queens College. Her prior experience includes teaching in the primary grades at PS 203 in Bayside, New York.  She holds a Gifted and Talented Advanced Certificate and initial certifications in Literacy Birth-6th and Grades 1-6.

Heather Swatling, Kindergarten, Intermediate and Upper Math Teacher

“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/Kindergarten Social Studies Teacher

“Miss Shauna” has been a 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.

Tammy Wagner, Pre-Kindergarten Assistant

“Ms. Tammy” joined Saratoga Independent School as Ms.Sharon’s assistant in 2015.  Prior to coming to Saratoga Independent School, Ms. Tammy was the Preschool Director and Head Teacher for three and for year olds at Faith Lutheran Preschool in CT.   She holds a BA and an MA in Elementary Education from St. Joseph’s College and is certified in Birth – Grade 2 and Elementary  Grades 1-6.  Ms. Tammy has also completed CPR and AED Training.

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 formerly licensed Kindermusik and Musikgarten teacher, a member of the NYS Music Teachers Association, and the recipient of Kindermusik Maestro Award for Excellence in Teaching.

Dashia Wallace, Differentiation Support Teacher

“Ms. Wallace” collaborates with all teachers to support student success.  She received her BS in childhood education/special education from College of Saint Rose and her MS in Special Education and Inclusion from the University of Albany.  She has NYS initial certifications in Early Childhood Birth–Grade 2, Childhood Education Grades 1-6, and Special Education Grades 1-6. Prior to joining Saratoga Independent School in 2014, she taught at  Francis Stevens Elementary in Ballston Lake and Harmony Hills in Cohoes.


David Blair, Maintenance

Jane Lampert, Lunch Program Coordinator

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

Jen Ferris, Lunch Assistant

Barb Senn, Cleaning Support