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.

Linda Auffredou, Director of Finance

“Ms. Auffredou” 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. Auffredou formerly worked as a CPA.  She is an integral member of the administrative team.

Pamela Howard, Director of Development  

“Ms. Howard” 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 2016, Ms. Howard was Development Director at the Boys & Girls Clubs of Albany and Membership Manager at the Albany Institute of History & Art. She has been a Board member at the Association of Fundraising Professionals

 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.

Heather Strom, Office Assistant

“Ms. Strom” has been hired as an Office Assistant, who is in the office from 9:00-3:15 through June 30th.  In addition to being a school counselor, Heather has had experience as the school Administrative Assistant at the SaraMarie School in Clifton Park.  Heather’s role is answering phones, taking charge of dismissal plans, and supporting the administrative team in a myriad of ways.



Dina Baker, Language Arts/Primary/Science Teacher

“Ms. Baker” 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 received her MS in Early Childhood from College of St. Rose and is presently completing her MS in Literacy 1-6 from Oneonta.  She holds her NYS certification in Birth-2 Early Childhood.


Paula Bachinsky, Music Teacher

“Ms. Bachinsky” has over 18 years of 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.


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/ Intermediate 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.

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 joined Saratoga Independent School in 2012.

Jessica LaBounty, Wrap-Around Teacher’s Assistant

“Miss Jessica” joined our staff as an Assistant in September 2015.  She previously was the Children’s Ministry Director at Church Relevant, responsible for curriculum and lesson plans for four classes, and she was a home daycare provider.  Presently, in addition to her work at SIS,  Ms. Jessica manages and coaches  children’s baseball and soccer teams.


Michele LeChevet,  Pre-K Teacher’s Assistant and Lunchroom Aide

“Miss Michele” joined Saratoga Independent School as a Pre-K Aide in September 2015.  Prior to coming here, she worked for seven years in the  Saratoga Springs School District as an aide for individual students. Ms. Michele was also a Preschool teacher’s Assistant at the Saratoga Springs, YMCA



Sarah Morris, Language Arts / Primary Math 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  in 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.

Gabi Moore, Art Teacher

“Ms. Moore” implements the art program for students in  Kindergarten through 6th grade.  She received her MFA at the Graduate School of Figurative Art at the New York Academy of Art, New York, NY. She also teaches classes to children at Hubbard Hall in Cambridge and has led art projects and classes at several area schools.




 Mackenzie Parrish, Differentiation Support Teacher

“Ms. Parrish” collaborates with all teachers to support student success.  She received her degree in Childhood Education from SUNY Oswego and her Masters in Special Education and Literacy at SUNY Albany.  Ms. Parrish has an appreciation of the uniqueness each student brings to the classroom and to the community as whole.




Maria Soledad Pauli, Spanish Teacher

“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.

Alison Railsback, Language Arts/Primary Social Studies Teacher

Ms. Railsback” 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. Railsback 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.

Jeny Randall, Language Arts / Intermediate and Upper Science Teacher/Senior Seminar Teacher

Ms. Randall” joined Saratoga Independent School in 2011.  She has also served  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.  Ms. Randall conducts the Senior Seminar for our 6th grade seniors and guides them through their year long Senior Seminar project.


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.  She holds her certification in Childhood Education Grades 1-6.


Vanessa Shea, Pre-K Wrap-Around Program Teacher

“Ms. Vanessa’s” goal for children in the Wrap-Around Program is to provide them with activities that encourage them to explore their environment, nurture their love of learning, and develop their social skills.   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.


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 in Vermont and a MS in Reading from SUNY Albany.

Shauna Swinimer, Kindergarten Teacher/Kindergarten Social Studies Teacher

“Miss Swinimer” 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 and is NYS certified in English Grades 7-12.  Previously she served as Director/Teacher at the Montessori School of the Redwoods in Felton, CA.

Tammy Wagner, Pre-K Teacher’s 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.


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!





David Blair, Maintenance

“Mr. Dave” takes care of our building and grounds. He repairs, builds, maintains, and  spruces up whatever we need. He is our favorite all-round handyman.