Maria Clavin

World Languages – Spanish

Ms. Maria Clavin is a native of Peru. She attended the Pontifical Catholic University of Peru and received both her bachelor’s and master’s degrees in Economics.  She served as the CEO and Executive President of the National Trade Enterprise as well as the Permanent Delegate of Peru to UNESCO. Ms. Clavin was the Peruvian representative to the Union Latina and also represented her country as the Ambassador to France. She received the distinguished title of General Brigadier of her high school senior class in Lima and was the recipient of the National Order of Merit, awarded by the President of the French Republic, in 2001. Ms. Clavin has eight years of experience as an adjunct professor of Social Science in the Master’s Program at Catholic University of Peru. She has served as the Development Director of St. Peter’s School in Hyde Park where she also taught Spanish and Title I Math. Ms. Clavin is a lifelong learner with a passion for reading and an unquenchable thirst for knowledge. She is currently an adjunct professor at Dutchess Community College in the HSE program. Ms. Clavin joined the NYMA Family as a Spanish teacher. She offers rigorous and creative instruction that prepares her students for a leadership role in our global society.

Bonnie Dong

World Languages – Language/Math

Ms. Dong has recently earned her master’s degree from Teachers College, Columbia University. She has years of experience teaching Mandarin Chinese to various groups of students. Ms. Dong has also worked in educational program management, cross-cultural communications, and social media marketing.  She also has experience with nonprofit organization management, education to employment transition, and research and evaluation.




Yvette Furnia

Science Department


Ms. Yvette Furnia comes from a diverse background of many varied educational disciplines. A local graduate of Minisink Valley High school, she pursued a pre-medical degree in Health Sciences with a minor in Biology from Castletown State University in Vermont. Ms. Furnia graduated Magna Cum Laude ahead of schedule. After being elected as part of the Emerging Leaders Class of 2009, she was sworn into the Sigma Zeta Honor Society for Mathematics and Sciences. While excelling in her academics, Ms. Furnia was also co-president of the Women’s Issues Group. This group fought against assault and gender disparity both on campus and within the small-town community. The group also taught therapeutic water aerobics to those with arthritis and disabilities in the surrounding area. While in college, Ms. Furnia also volunteered her time as part of the orientation staff working with incoming freshmen. She would help the new students to develop college awareness, study skills, organizational and scheduling plans, as well as tutor advanced students for A&P exams.

Her greatest passions in education stem from her work as a One-on-One AIDE for autistic students. Ms. Furnia would substitute for RTI and other support staff, help to differentiate materials for all learning styles, and provide home-school tutoring. Her scientific passions are in the fields of Infectious Disease, Neurobiology, and Ecology. Outside of education, Ms. Furnia enjoys snowboarding, writing music, and spending time with her 2-year old son.

Liz Harrell

Mathematics Department

Mrs. Liz Harrell holds a bachelor’s degree in Philosophy and a master’s degree in Education from The College of William and Mary in Virginia. She also has a degree in Mathematics from SUNY. Mrs. Harrell has over 15 years of teaching experience in a variety of settings. She loves helping students understand challenging math concepts and enjoys using technology in her classroom.

Mrs. Harrell is a published author with articles in AppleSeeds Magazine and The Mailbox. In her spare time, she enjoys tae kwon do, reading, and spending time with her family.


Samantha Hill

English Department


Ms. Samantha Hill joined the NYMA faculty in 2013 as an English teacher. She currently holds a Master’s of Education from Brooklyn College. She previously taught English for the Department of Education in NYC before putting her career on hold to raise her young children. While she originally hails from Brooklyn, NY, she has called Cornwall and Cornwall on Hudson her home for the past thirteen years.  Looking at the Hudson River and the majestic mountains around her on a daily basis has inspired in her a sense of home and happiness.

While having an immense love of literature and Greek Mythology, she is delighted to teach the new elective “Performance and Drama” to the new seventh graders. Some of her favorite literary works are Twilight, Harry Potter, Speak and The Witch of Blackbird Pond, Antigone and The Odyssey.

She lives with her three children, enjoys playing trivia, and loves going to local events and festivals.


Philip Mavrikis

History Department

Mr. Philip Mavrikis is a History teacher from Queens, NY. He joined the NYMA faculty in 2014. Mr. Mavrikis graduated from SUNY New Paltz with his bachelor’s degree in both History and English and a master’s degree in Social Studies Secondary Education. He currently serves as an advisor to the 7th grade and teaches American and World History. Mr. Mavrikis is passionate about bringing life to the Social Studies classroom and pushes for all of his students to be prepared for adult citizenship. He focuses on both teaching responsibility and helping students to understand the historical contexts of their lives.


Les McMillen

Athletics Department

Mr. Les McMillen is a graduate of Trinity Pawling School. He received his bachelor’s degree in Education from Western Connecticut State University in 1978 and his master’s in Education from the State University at New Paltz in 1991.

Mr. McMillen has been at NYMA for thirty years. He has taught Math and served as the Director of Athletics, Summer Programs, and Transportation. He has also coached varsity football, soccer, basketball, and baseball. During his time here, Mr. McMillen has led the NYMA Basketball Program to over 400 wins and eight Hudson Valley League Championships. He has been named New England Basketball “Coach of the Year” four times (2011, 2012, 2014, and 2017).

Outside of his passion for NYMA Athletics, Mr. McMillen and his wife, Barbara, spend a lot of their time enjoying their grandchildren’s sporting events.


Susan Pasquale

World Languages – ESL

Ms. Pasquale has worked at NYMA for thirty years and has been developing the ESL program here for over two decades. Her duties have included curriculum writing, placing students in proper levels, and preparing cadets to take the TOEFL test. She has also served as the tennis coach and the Cooking Club advisor. During her time at the academy, Ms. Pasquale has been both mentor and “mom” to the international student population.




Alicia Simon

Art Department – Fine Arts


Ms. Alicia Simon has been the Fine Arts Teacher at NYMA since 2015. Ms. Simon previously taught digital photography, crafts, advanced art, portfolio preparation, and computer graphics at schools in the local area. Currently, her classroom is run as a studio where cadets learn to think, plan, create, and reflect as an artist. She is dedicated to providing authentic art-making experiences for her students.



Deborah Tamulis

Library Media Specialist / Archivist

Ms. Tamulis is a Summa Cum Laude graduate of Granite State College where she received her Bachelor of Science degree in Library Science. She earned her master’s in Library Science at Clarion University. Deborah is a member of the Alpha Sigma Lambda and Beta Phi Mu Academic Honor Societies. Before coming to NYMA, Ms. Tamulis was a Library Media Specialist in public and private schools in Maryland and Colorado. She is proud of her many family members who have served in the United States Army, Air Force, and Marines.